WINDHOEK, Sept. 22 – The Bank of Namibia (BoN) held its 18th symposium yesterday under the theme ‘Feeding Namibia: Agricultural Productivity and Industrialisation.’
Technological advancement has allowed productivity growth to keep pace with population growth and similarly, demographic transition has moderated the population tendency towards geometric growth the Governor of BoN Iipumbu Shiimi said in his welcoming remarks.
“The potential for ‘the Malthus trap’ still remains, especially at the individual country level. Therefore, we need to continue probing and inquiring this issue in order to avoid the “Malthus trap,” he said.
He added that the population growth represents an opportunity for increase in the production of goods and services to meet the growing demand that accompanies such growth, and that small economies such as Namibia need to exploit opportunities presented through such demand.
Speaking at the event, Minster of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa reiterated that Namibia is characterized by certain levels of poverty, high unemployment rate, low economic growth and increased population.
“Economic prosperity is something that we all desire and collective efforts from all sectors of the economy is no longer a choice but necessity as we strive to enhance the living standards of our people. Although the country is comprised of abundant land, water resources and access to international markets, it remains with untapped potential in areas such as Agro processing which can create new pathways towards greater economic development,” Mutorwa said.
He added that in an effort to tap on existing opportunities, Industrialisation and value addition is most certainly on top of the development agenda of the state.
Agriculture plays a crucial role in alleviating poverty and ensuring food security both at household and national level.
About 70 percent of Namibia’s population is depended directly or indirectly on agriculture in terms of food, income and livelihood.
It is for this reason that at national level, the agriculture sector has been singled out as one of the priority sectors which should be harnessed. – Jonsey Douglas