Unprofessional land valuation causes price inconsistencies

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WINDHOEK – The lack of professional land valuators in the country is considered as a cause for inconsistencies in the prices of agricultural farmland.

The valuation profession is not well developed locally, with farmers particularly receiving little or no professional advice from land valuers, according to the report on Agricultural Land Prices in Namibia, released last week.

It states the “Directorate of Valuation and Estate Management within the Ministry of Lands is under strength and there is no uniform valuation methodology to which farmers, government and the Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank) subscribe when dealing with land issues.”

Both government and Agribank which offers the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS) for purchasing of land rely upon valuations of professionally challenged people.

Thus the report recommends urgent institutional capacity building for more accurate valuations, which have thus far caused problems of valuation inconsistencies and variations when tracking market transactions due to weak institutional capacity.

The report further states “the lack of inconsistency together with the dependency of the market upon government and Agribank valuations emphasizes the need for valuation and other land administration activities to be undertaken at an optimal level.”
The study found that the government and Agribank are operating sub-optimally.

It was further established that the prices of red meat such as beef and lamb which are among main products of farms have gone down over the years.

As meat prices are the main determinants of farm earnings, it translates into the failure of prices keeping up with inflation, which leads to higher farm prices.

“The government and other stakeholders need to ensure meat prices are optimized to subsequently make farm prices more sustainable,” the report recommends.

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