Livelihoods after land reform
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In 1990, Namibia emerged from colonial rule with a skewed distribution of agricultural land and high levels of poverty. The new government led by SWAPO Party initiated a process to address the land question within the first few months of Independence. A National Conference on Land Reform and the Land Question in 1991 was the foundation on which the Namibian government developed its land reform programme. The Ministry of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation started in 1990 to acquire freehold farmland for subdivision and allocation to previously disadvantaged Namibians. This component of redistributive land reform was complemented by the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS) established in 1992. The AALS provided subsidised loans to previously disadvantaged Namibians to acquire large-scale commercial farms under freehold title. The primary objectives of land reform in Namibia were to address injustices which largescale land dispossession had brought about, and to reduce poverty and inequality. However, little empirical work has been done to assess the impact of land redistribution on poverty levels and the livelihoods of beneficiaries. The most comprehensive survey on the impact of land redistribution was conducted by the Permanent Technical Team on Land Reform (PTT) in 2003/04. The primary objective of this survey on “livelihoods after land reform” is to add to the existing body of knowledge on land redistribution. Through case studies in Hardap and Omaheke Regions, the survey explored the extent to which land redistribution is reducing poverty and meeting livelihood improvement objectives.