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Business Scout Christina Pfandl on "underestimated sourcing market" Namibia:

"Our blueberry harvest season precedes the South African one, so Namibia has an advantage"

Business Scout for Development Christina Pfandl spoke at the event on "New Sourcing Markets" about Namibia, a possibly underestimated sourcing market in southern Africa, as she noted at the beginning of her presentation. "Namibia is very large and very sparsely populated - almost half of the country is arable land, but much of the land is not ideal for growing agricultural products, due to the lack of water and also the nature of the soil," she began. "Namibia produces fruit and more vegetables in addition to cereals, but is itself a net importer of fruit and potatoes, for example, mainly from neighbouring South Africa. But there are interesting niche products here."

"What I can say in general: Logistics are very good here. We have the best road network in Africa, which makes transport in the country easier. There is a deep-sea harbour on the Atlantic coast and currently there are 10 direct flights a week to Frankfurt am Main, which will be supplemented by three more direct flights to Munich from April next year," she said, explaining one of the country's advantages.

Communication is also easy. "English is the official language here, but you will still find some German speakers, especially in the corporate context. And we don't have a time difference." Organic farming is also on the increase, "but still on a small scale. Drought is also an issue here in Namibia." Scrub encroachment and access to financing also play a role, says Pfandl.

Agricultural products with high potential
One product that is perhaps not associated with Namibia is blueberries. "Currently, 45 tonnes are produced here every year. Some 99 per cent will be exported, mainly to the EU. The farms are certified according to the GlobalGAP standard. Wherever water is available, along the rivers, it is possible to grow blueberries. The aim is to further expand cultivation from the current 20 to 300 hectares, which could of course increase the harvest considerably. Our blueberry harvest season precedes the South African one, so Namibia has an advantage of about four weeks," she emphasised.

Dates as a product are also becoming increasingly popular on the European and German markets, she said. "They are produced here in the country - 1.6 tonnes a year. Including different varieties from different suppliers. Here, too, 99 per cent are exported. The market is relatively small, and it is mainly the dried product that is exported, but some fresh dates are also exported. They are harvested between March and June."

"Another interesting product is pomegranates," continued Pfandl. Production amounts to around 40 tonnes per year. "The harvest period is December to March. There are also different varieties here, which would also be ideal for export to Europe." In addition, further processing is a "very interesting area".

Another product is the prickly pear. "Seven tonnes per year and different varieties are produced in the country." The fruit is particularly interesting for export. "But also the processing of these products. The harvest period is in December and January."

In the case of table grapes, "40,000 tonnes are harvested each year between November and January. Here, too, Namibia generally has a certain time advantage over producers in South Africa." There are white seedless, red and black seedless grapes of different varieties on offer. "Here, too, 99 per cent of these grapes are exported."

Namibia is trying to position itself more broadly
Finally, Pfandl went on to discuss "other possibilities that might give you an insight into products that are not yet well-developed. Namibia is trying to position itself more broadly and has carried out various test runs, for example in banana cultivation. There is also potential in the mango and citrus fruit sector, which has not yet been fully utilised. Partners are of course also welcome here," she emphasised.


For more information:
Christina Pfandl
Agency for Business and Development
Tel.: +264 81 4678294
[email protected]

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