All workers in the agricultural sector will be paid nothing less than N$1,653 per month starting from 1 January 2022.

This is the outcome of the negotiations between the Agricultural Employers’ Association, Namibia National Farmers’ Union, Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers’ Union and Namibia Farm Workers Union who collectively form the Namibia Agricultural Labour Forum (NALF).

Under an agreement signed on 9 November 2021 the current minimum wage of 2017 is to be increased by 18% taking effect on 1 January 2022. The basic wage of a farm worker consists of a cash wage as well as a rations component.

The minimum cash wage has increase to N$5.40 per hour for workers who work 45 hours per week.

“For those who do not receive the free rations portion, the ration allowance increases to N$600 per month. Thus the value of the minimum basic wage of farm workers will be N$1,653 per month as from 1 January 2022,” said a statement signed by Ms Christine Stoman of Agricultural Employers’ Association, Mr Amon Kapi of Namibia National Farmers’ Union, Dr. Ndahafa Nghifindaka of Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers’ Union, and Ms Gwyneth Philips of Namibia Farm Workers’ Union.

“The above parties once again want to emphasise that the minimum wage in the agricultural sector is just an entry level wage meant for young farmworkers without previous experience. The actual salaries paid to farmworkers with experience are much higher.

“We believe that most workers on farms are better off than general workers in other industries as farm workers usually get free housing, rations, water, electricity and firewood while workers in other industries have to utilise the bulk of their salaries for these commodities,” they said.

The agricultural stakeholders will now approach the Ministry of Labour to extend this collective agreement to the whole agricultural sector of Namibia by Gazetting it in terms of Section 71 of the Labour Act.

In the photo: A significantly higher number of workers in the Namibian agricultural sector is women. (image by sabela-africa)