Farm workers earn almost double minimum wage

25 January 2019
Farm workers get N$3,400 a month on average, according to a Wage Survey Report published by the Agricultural Employers’ Association (AEA) this week.
The survey represents data of 3,288 employees.
According to the report, whereas the current minimum wage agreement sets N$4,62 as the basic cash wage per hour for a general farm worker, unskilled farm workers received, on average, N$8,20 per hour in 2017/2018.
Every second year, the AEA, an affiliate of the Namibia Agricultural Union, conducts a survey to determine the average pay for farm workers on commercial farms.
The newly-released Wage Report focused on the income paid in the 2017/2018 financial year.
The biennial AEA Wage Survey deals with a different group of respondents every second year, as employers participate voluntarily.
The first survey was conducted in 1998.
Of those surveyed in 2018, the average basic monthly remuneration of permanent employees on commercial farms amounted to N$2,138, while the total remuneration package of permanent employees on commercial farms amounted to N$3,413 on average.
The AEA said for purposes of the research, a remuneration package is made up of a cash wage, a cash allowance, dry rations, wet rations, other farm produced foods, as well as housing, livestock and free transport.
The calculated total monthly pay package does not include bonuses, clothing, medicine, school- and hostel fees, social security contributions as well as water and wood or electricity costs.
“These mentioned items are a cost to employers and form part of the employees’ benefits. All these benefits count in favour of farm workers.
“In contrast to employees from other sectors who live in towns or cities, farm workers are fortunate in having nurturing and relatively quiet lifestyles.
“Their housing and food needs are also largely covered as agreed between the Namibia Agriculture Union, Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU), Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) and Namibia Farm Workers Union (NAFWU) in the minimum wage agreement.”
The AEA said the agreement makes provision for free housing, a cash wage plus food allowance/free rations or planted crops or livestock-keeping.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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