In 2002 the Namibian government -partnering with the Namibia Agronomic Board (NAB)- embarked on the National Horticulture Development Initiative. Its primary objective was to increase the local production of fruit and vegetables and to reduce Namibia’s dependence on imported horticultural fresh produce.
The aim is to substitute the import of fresh fruit and vegetables with locally cultivated produce that thrives in the Namibian climate. Namibia was divided into six horticulture producing areas and each area has its own Area Horticulture Committee.
In countries like South Africa, where climatic conditions and favorable temperatures for growing certain crops vary throughout the year by geographical location, the possibility of a continuous supply of certain commodities exists. This is particularly relevant, for example, to crops such as tomatoes. No such seasonal variance is experienced in Namibia, necessitating import of produce from a producing region in South Africa at a time when it cannot be cultivated in Namibia.
In 2011, the NAB initiated the development of a comprehensive database of what horticulture fresh produce is imported and what is produced locally. In the past, all imports were entered into the database by value and weight of crop while for locally produced crops, an unscientific estimate of crop was recorded with no pricing records.
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