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Namibia Agriculture and Renewables / CAPARO farming project in Caprivini, Namibia


Description:

Namibia Agriculture and Renewables (NAR) is a subsidiary of Caparo Renewable Agriculture Developments Ltd (CRAD-L), founded with backing from UK-based Caparo Group (owned by Baron Swraj Paul, an Indian-born, British-based business magnate and Labour politician close to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. NAR originally planned to grow jatropha on 100,000 ha in the Caprivi Region of Namibia (of the developable 150,000), but in 2010 decided it was not viable. It then pursued a US$250-million deal to produce grains, pastures, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and herbs on 30,000 ha of irrigated lands in the same area. In October 2010, NAR project manager François Waal told Insight Magazine that his company had been waiting for over a year for the final go-ahead from the Ministry of Lands, and in June of 2010, Reuters reported NAR 'recently backed out of a 100,000-hectare jatropha development in Namibias Caprivi region'. The company also owns 46,000 ha in Sierra Leone where it farms palm oil (this land is also under dispute because of a lack of transparency and documentation).

It was reported in 2011, that the national Namibian Government has banned jatropha biofuel projects in the north east area of the country in both the Caprivia and Kavango regions until such time as a study on its viability can be completed.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Namibia Agriculture and Renewables / CAPARO farming project in Caprivini, Namibia
Country:Namibia
State or province:Caprivini Province
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict: 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Land acquisition conflicts
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Specific commodities:Herbs, Nuts
Land
Jatropha
Water
Wheat

Project Details and Actors

Project details:

Details are unclear.

Project area:150 000
Level of Investment:250,000,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2010
Company names or state enterprises:CAPARO Group
CAPARO Renewable Agriculture Developments Ltd (CRAD-L)
Namibia Agriculture and Renewables from Namibia
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Oakland Institute, oaklandinstitute.org

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityUnknown
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Pastoralists
Women
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Media based activism/alternative media

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Other Environmental impactsThe large scale plantations analysed would lead to widespread loss of biodiversity and carbon sink through debushing activities and monocropping. Although the investors promise to make provisions for intercropping and maintain natural vegetation and wildlife corridors in their plans, these efforts only reduce the negative ecological impacts of a plantation. Furthermore, space for some herders during the rainy season would be reduced leading to more pressure on land from grazing elsewhere. Also, irrigation changes the natural water cycle, and fertilizers and pesticides may pollute water and soils.
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession

Outcome

Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:New legislation
Moratoria
Project cancelled
Project suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The project is stopped. In May of 2011 Namibia instituted a moratorium on large-scale jatropha.

Sources and Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Bio-Energy In Namibia: Opportunities, Threats And Institutional Challenges For Rural Development And Food Security
http://www.economia.uniroma2.it/icabr/Public/5/Paper/526.pdf

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

CRAD-L, 'Projects' (archived, copyright 2009)
http://archive.is/elGal

Reuters, 'Jatropha: From buzz to bust in Namibia'
http://www.trust.org/item/20100601124300-xiwue/

Oakland Institute, 'Meet the Millionaires and Billionaries Suddenly Buying Tons of Land in Africa'
http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/meet-millionaires-and-billionaires-suddenly-buying-tons-land-africa-0

Other comments:The websites for CRAD-L and NAD were archived in 2011. Only one reference was found pertaining to the case, dating to 2010. In May of 2011 Namibia instituted a moratorium on large-scale jatropha plantations.

Meta information

Contributor:Aliza Tuttle
Last update08/04/2014