The previous highest exports of Namibian grapes of 8.5 million 4.5kg cartons (in 2020/21) have been surpassed by this season’s 9 million cartons which came in higher than the initial expectation.
“In Namibia it was a very good season, ending at around 5% above our first estimate of 8.6 million cartons,” says Kobus Bothma, the vice-chairperson of the Namibian Grape Growers Association.
Grape markets in Europe and the UK are strong and prices are definitely above last year. About 2% of production are also allocated to the domestic market in Namibia. Good quality grapes are available in outlets all over Namibia throughout the grape season.
Logistics also improved a lot from the previous season with containers more available and the port of Cape Town is working more effectively.
“It should be a good season for Namibian growers. We’ve been very fortunate: not far from us, on the other side of the Orange River, growers have had a tough year, but here in Namibia we’re very happy with the season we had. We experienced good weather during flowering, with enough bunches on the vines and really very good quality grapes.”
Berry size and colour was very good, waste during packing also low which, he observes, resulted in very high packing speed in packhouses. It was a short and sharp season and the final cultivars ended very quickly, he notes.
“As a result of the inspections undertaken by the Namibian Agricultural Board (NAB) since 2015 Namibian export quality has improved to such an extent that receivers ask for Namibian product which has become very sought after. Our dry climate is excellent for good quality and shelf life.”
Vineyards in Namibia's Aussenkehr Valley (photos supplied by the Namibian Grape Growers Association)
At the moment growers are cleaning up the vineyards and the raisin-drying beds are full with the very last Namibian grapes to make equally excellent raisins.
“We’re already looking forward to next season and we’re very grateful for a good season.”
For more information:
Namibian Grape Growers Association
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