Namibia: Strong table grape season wrapping up with high volumes
Namibian table grapes are expected to bring about N$1 billion (USD$67 million) in export revenue after a season with high volumes, according to local news site The Namibian.
Despite starting 10 days later than normal, the 2020-21 table grape season ended with volumes 12 percent higher than what was initially estimated.
Namibia's grape season normally lasts from November to January, but this year cooler conditions in August and September delayed the season. However, the Vice-chairman of the Namibian Grape Growers Association, Kobus Bothma, told the publication that this was ultimately beneficial.
“The delay in starting, coupled with ideal weather conditions during the packing period, have in fact produced grapes of excellent quality,” he is quoted to have said.
The initial season estimate for volume was 34,200 metric tons (MT), but final volumes reached 38,700MT.
Namibia's main export destinations are reportedly Europe, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Africa, and North America. A major challenge for the industry, as Bothma told the Namibian, is market access
“More markets like China will ensure sustainability. Infrastructure also needs to be addressed, like the upgrade of the Lüderitz harbor and tarring of the road from Aussenkehr to Rosh Pinah so that Namibian ports can be used for exports,” he was quoted as saying.
However, he also reportedly expressed optimism and said that the association hopes to grow through the development of new markets and varieties.