Namibia: Massive production increase at ZZ2’s date orchards

The Medjool date harvest of ZZ2 at their Haakiesdoorn farm in the Karas region -Southern Namibia- has increased with 87%.

According to Francois Schwalb of ZZ2, production went from 232 tons in 2020 to 489 tons this year. This constitutes around 15% of Southern Africa’s total production of Medjool dates. The dates are marketed under brand name ‘ZZ2 Karas Medjool Dates’. According to Schwalb, the age of the date palm trees and unusually high rainfall in the normally arid desert like habitat contributed to the higher volumes. “Like last year’s crop, the fruit sizes peaked between large and jumbo with great quality.”

Prices for this year’s harvest are slightly lower than they were last year due to the increase in international carry-over of fruit from last year, Schwalbtold

“About 80% of this year’s packed Karas Medjool dates will be exported through the export agency, CoreFruit to clients in Africa, the UAE, Asia, Europe and the UK. The first export shipments left via Cape Town and Durban in early March. The remaining 20% is sold in South Africa through retail programmes and at the national fresh produce markets in 150g, 300g, 400g, 1kg and 5kg packaging. “In South Africa all of last year’s (2020) harvest was sold by March this year. We are thankful that the local demand was so strong.”

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