Dr Romie Nghitevelekwa

UK Host Institution: Cardiff University
Project status

Commercialisation of Smallholder Agriculture in Rural Northern-Namibia

In recent decades, rural areas in Namibia have been undergoing transformation, whereby the social character of peasantry is changing. Using Henry Bernstein’s words, smallholders are no longer outside the realms and dynamics of capitalism but are actively integrated into commodity relations.

The proposed research is a historical and contemporary analysis of the extent and nature of the commercialisation of subsistence agriculture. Focusing on the rural areas of northern-Namibia, the research traces the beginnings of smallholder agriculture commercialisation back to the 19th century and show how it has gradually shifted over the course of different colonial contexts from the German to the South African regimes and evolved in independent Namibia. We need to understand these transformations because of their importance within the agricultural system and highlight the agency of the smallholders in participating in cash economy, while holding on to their communal land as safety net.

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