Namibia records surge in commercial agricultural land prices

SPONSORSHIP … Letshego Holdings Namibia sponsored the Swakopmund International Trade Expo (Swaitex) with a contribution of N$100 000, supporting the theme ‘Promoting Efficient Connectivity and Resource Beneficiation for Sustainable Growth in Africa’. Letshego says it is dedicated to improving the livelihoods of Namibians, and is committed to investing in initiatives that foster connections, drive economic development and promote sustainable growth in Namibia and across the African region. Left to right: Botswana president Mokgweetsi Masisi, Letshego chief executive Ester Kali and Namibian president Nangolo Mbumba.

Namibia’s commercial agricultural land market has witnessed a 21,1% surge in prices over the past eight years, the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) reveals

This translates to a national index of 121,1 basis points in 2023, signifying a steady upward trend.

According to the NSA’s Agricultural Land Price Index Bulletin of 2015 to 2023, the average price for commercial agricultural land was N$1 376,50 in 2015 and showed a steady rise over the years, reaching N$1 667,55 in 2023.

The latest NSA report highlighted an ‘all period average price’, which represents the average price per hectare for commercial agricultural land across all eight years (from 2015 to 2023).

This average price stood at N$1 528,85.

“Generally, there are several factors that could have pushed up the price for agricultural land, but in the context of the Namibian commercial land market, the price increment is largely attributed to an increase in demand, matched with limited supply of land.

“Factors such as increased demand for agricultural products, government interventions such as buyers through resettlement programmes and investments in agriculture infrastructure may have contributed to this trend,” says NSA chief statistician Alex Shimuafeni.

Furthermore, the commercial agricultural land market has seen a surge in prices over the past eight years, but the boom hasn’t been uniform across all regions, the NSA says.

The Oshikoto region emerged as the region seeing the biggest increase in land prices, with a 139,2% increase from N$1 130,33 per hectare in 2015 to N$2 704,17 per hectare in 2023, the report shows.

Following closely is the Omaheke region at N$2 213,04 per hectare in 2023, having recorded a slight decrease in average land prices, dropping by 6% from N$2 354,65 per hectare in 2015.

Land prices in the Hardap region, which stood at N$1 440,18 in 2015, increased to N$2 116,51 per hectare in 2023, while in the Otjozondjupa region, land which averaged N$1 837,62 per hectare in 2015 peaked at N$2 363,96 per hectare last year.

The Khomas region recorded an 85,8% increase, according to the NSA, from N$999,81 per hectare in 2015, peaking at N$2 008,10 per hectare in 2021 and then slightly dropping to N$1 857,39 per hectare in 2023.

Meanwhile, the Erongo region exhibited the slowest growth in price overall.

Despite a rebound in the last two years, Erongo’s land prices only increased by 2,6%, from N$1 795,91 per hectare in 2015, dropping to a record low of N$1 128,37 per hectare in 2021 and then rebounding to N$1 842,62 per hectare in 2023.

The //Kharas region’s average prices stood at N$804 per hectare in 2023 from N$651,77 in 2015.

“In conclusion, the data illustrates dynamic trends in regional average prices per hectare across Namibia from 2015 to 2023. While some regions experienced significant growth in land prices, others faced fluctuations and occasional deflations,” the report reads.

The report further reveals that Namibia’s commercial marketable agricultural land size totalled 24,9 million hectares, with the //Kharas region holding the lion’s share, accounting for 27,4% or 6,8 million hectares of the total agricultural land.

This is followed by the Hardap region, with 19,4% or 4,8 million hectares and the Otjozondjupa region, with 16,1% or 4 million hectares.

Regions like the Oshikoto possess a considerably smaller portion, with 1,3% or 0,3 million hectares and the Kunene region, with 1,2 million hectares, representing 4,7%.

“The distribution of marketable commercial agricultural land in Namibia in 2023 highlights the diverse landscape and agricultural potential across the country’s eight regions.

“With a total commercial agriculture land size of 24,9 million hectares, each region plays a crucial role in contributing to the nation’s agricultural sector,” the report reads.

The Agricultural Land Price Index only covers land that is commercially used for agricultural purposes, hence only data from eight regions that house commercial farms in Namibia was included, the NSA says. – The Brief

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