Namibia is an upper middle-income country with a population of 2.3 million. An estimated 42.3 percent of the population is undernourished due mainly to high rates of poverty (26.9 percent), unemployment (28 percent), HIV and AIDS (16 percent) and household income disparities. Seventy percent of the population depends on agriculture for all or part of their livelihoods, while 40 percent are smallholder farmers growing grain crops mainly for their own consumption.
Cropping conditions are generally poor and characterized by erratic rainfall and frequent floods and drought. Namibia imports an average of 60 percent of its food requirements and is thus vulnerable to external price increases. The poor are often unable to meet their own food requirements and the Namibian Government, on average, provides food assistance to 300,000 people annually and nearly double or more in times of severe drought, as in 2013 and 2015.