Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi (right) and FAO Namibia country representative, Farayi Zimudzi showing the two policy guidelines on land
Namibia Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Farayi Zimudzi shared guideline documents related to land tenure when she paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi yesterday.
The two documents titled “Framework and guidelines on land policy in Africa” and “Voluntary guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests in the context of national food security” provides lessons and best practices for improvement and implementation of effective land policy. The two comprehensive guidelines are the results of the efforts of the AU-ECA-AfDB consortium and regional consultations by FAO in more than ten countries including Namibia.
Zimudzi noted that sharing information on land with Members of Parliament would set a base to review the current legislative framework, particularly that Namibia has just concluded its second land conference.
She reiterated the importance of partnering with lawmakers. “We are delighted to work with lawmakers. Parliament is a strategic partner. It is important that Members of Parliament have information they need for lawmaking purposes”, noted Zimudzi.
Hon. Katjavivi concurred with this assertion and implored FAO to continue with its advisory role on food security. “We are pleased to have these documents that will help us in our discussions in the House. I feel FAO could play a role to provide advisory services to guide us on how to implement the recommendations of the land conference”, said Katjavivi.
The Speaker felt that Members of Parliament would also be in a better position to contribute to the land debates at both regional, continental and global level constructively. “We are active members of SADCPF and the Pan African Parliament. Through this we would be able to add value to land debates”, noted Katjavivi.
He however, bemoaned the lack of funding to agriculture and implored for the intervention of the Parliamentary committee responsible for food security issues. “I am not sure about the level of funding to agriculture. Our committee has to liaise with FAO to see if we have reached the target of 10%”, said Katjavivi.
The AU Maputo Declaration on agriculture and food security requires African countries to allocate 10% of their budgets to agriculture development.
FAO will organise a capacity building workshop for Members of Parliament on issues of land tenure early next year.