Agriculture in Namibia plays a critical role in the formal and informal economy supporting 70% of the population directly or indirectly through employment and income generation. The agricultural sector in Namibia contributes over 10% to the GDP of which 75-80% can be attributed to livestock farming. The livestock industry accounts for 90% of all agricultural production in Namibia with approximately 60% of households owning cattle, including nearly 40% of poor households.
Crop production activities in Namibia are limited, mainly due to the arid climate and low rainfall patterns. Rain-fed crops include pearl millet, sorghum and maize are the most dominant crops grown in Namibia. The average yield for these crops ranges from 24.7 ton for pearl millet, 72,438 for maize and 14,819 for wheat. The dependence on rain-fed agriculture increases the vulnerability of farming systems and predisposes rural households to food insecurity and poverty. However, the reduction in crop yields will have devastating impacts on food security at both national and household levels. Under the current conditions, the agriculture sector in Namibia needs to grow by 4% a year to meet the food requirements for the expanding population. In light of these challenges, Namibia needs to adapt its agricultural practices and increase the resilience of livelihoods to be able to withstand the challenges posed by climate change to sustain development and growth of the country.
The Namibian Country CSA Programme aims to build resilience of agricultural farming systems for enhanced food and nutrition security through six Programmatic Result Areas, namely:
Result Area 1: Improved Productivity and incomes– a pro-growth, pro-poor development agenda that supports agricultural sustainability and includes better targeting to address climate change impacts and improve resilience and climate change adaptation. As climate change has a negative impact on agricultural production, achieving any given food and nutrition security target will require greater investments in agricultural productivity increased income. Public and private sectors as well as public-private partnerships will play a critical role.
Result Area 2: Building social and environmental resilience and associated mitigation co-benefits – CSA will help reduce vulnerability of Namibia’s agriculture sector by increasing productivity, enhancing adaptation and resilience of the integrated farming systems and reducing emissions intensity in the context of achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication.
Result Area 3: Value Chain Integration – This approach is holistic in that it considers input supply, production, agricultural services, marketing and business support services as necessary building blocks. Under the approach, both public and private sector are seen as critical actors in the value chain. Knowledge and capacity building are critical strategic priorities to leverage innovations and increase efficiencies to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions intensity from agriculture and food systems. The approach also provides enabling framework for integrating gender and the needs of the youth across the production value chains.
Result Area 4: Research for Development and Innovations for scaling up CSA – The role of research will be reoriented to support innovations that facilitate the transition to climate-smart agriculture by farmers. New and emerging agricultural research partnerships will identify technological advances that respond to the impacts of climate change and climate variability. A major thrust will be the uptake of climate-smart agricultural practices, promoting improved land management and sustainable crop-livestock and fisheries intensification. This is in order to bolster farmers’ adaptive capacity and support the national vision of achieving food security.
Result Areas 5: Improving and sustaining agricultural Extension Services – Increase outreach of agricultural extension services to assist farmers to make informed decisions in the face of risks and uncertainties posed by Climate Change. These services will increase the preparedness of the farmers, well in advance, to cope with risks such as drought, floods and pests and diseases and capacitate farmers to be able to adapt and respond. Targeted dissemination of weather advisories and mechanisms for farmer adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices will be enhanced through Public Private Partnerships. Furthermore, robust agricultural extension services will catalyse private sector investment in priority areas such as weather-based index insurance and associated infrastructure.
Result Area 6: Improved policy and Institutional Coordination –
Improved institutional coordination and knowledge management is crucial for achieving uptake of CSA in Namibia. This requires targeted high level guidance to improve inter-Ministerial coordination and management. The proposed coordination framework will improve communication and knowledge management at both inter-ministerial and regional level.