FAO in Namibia

The State of Namibian Agriculture: Towards Building Sustainable Agricultural Systems for Food Security


Over the past years, Namibia has suffered three significant droughts.  The poor rainfalls have led to widespread soil erosion and land degradation, loss of arable land, crop failure and high livestock mortality rates.  Another effect has been limited income generating opportunities for farmers who live off the land.  The combined factors have led to an increase in food insecurity in the country.

The Hanns Seidel Foundation held a dialogue which aimed to provide a platform to analyze the situation and conceptualize a way forward that simultaneously promotes sustainable agriculture and prioritizes food security in Namibia.  Since the Food Security is core to the mandate of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), FAO Namibia participated in the event.

FAO’s contribution during the event was to make a presentation on “Sustainable Measures for Food and Natural Resources”. Mr. Babagana Ahmadu, FAO Representative to Namibia stated that FAO defines sustainable agricultural development as "the management and conservation of the natural resource base, and the orientation of technological and institutional change in such a manner so as to ensure the attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for present and future generations”.

The past half-century has seen marked growth in food production, allowing for a dramatic decrease in the proportion of the world’s people that are hungry, despite a doubling of the total population. However this is still not enough as global food demand in 2050 is projected to increase by at least 60 percent above the 2006 levels. This increase in demand is driven by income growth, population growth which is estimated to reach over 9 billion by 2050, as well as rapid urbanization. This means that global food demand will on average increase with about 1.1% per annum.” He added.

The Minister for Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Honourable John Mutorwa who was also present at the event stated that, “the agriculture sector on a global scale and so also in Namibia, is increasingly being affected by the energy, food and economic crises.  This situation is further compounded by natural disasters, such as the floods, periodic droughts and like in 2017, worms being experienced in many African Countries and which are predicted to escalate due to the very real visible threats caused by climate change.  The negative impacts of these phenomena are being particularly felt in Africa, where agriculture, in its broadest sense, is inextricably linked to the economy, the environment and most importantly, the people.”