The Potential for Social Protection in Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Empowering Women Farmers in Namibia




agriculture, women, social protection, Namibia, farming


Agriculture is the highest employment sector in Namibia, yet evidence of social protection measures specifically for those involved in farming in Namibia is lacking despite recurring drought events that affect more women than men. Existing studies with a focus on gender participation and social protection in agriculture do not focus on Namibia. Further, extant research also underlines the importance of collecting data beyond time-use surveys with heads of household and rather asking women farmers specific questions about their needs to help tailor policy measures accordingly, hence a qualitative methodology is employed. The article focuses on the role and challenges of obtaining social assistance or agriculture insurance for women to encourage agricultural production. Twenty-one (21) women farmers interviewed assert that the role of social protection as insurance protection is to cover for any losses in farming. However, many participants perceive social farming protection to be unaffordable due to poor access to markets and subsequently low income from farming or were unaware of its availability. Furthermore, many participants do not own the land they farm as it is either leased or inherited from elders by men and therefore they are not encouraged to take out social protection for farming. The article recommends providing accessible information on the availability of agricultural insurance and how women could access it, but also ensuring that issues such as access to land and markets are dealt with. Lastly, the involvement in high value agricultural value chains is encouraged for better income prospects and to possibly make insurance more affordable. 


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How to Cite

Amadhila, Elina M. 2023. “The Potential for Social Protection in Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Empowering Women Farmers in Namibia”. Gender Questions 11 (2):25 pages .



Received 2023-01-12
Accepted 2023-07-24
Published 2023-12-01