Last week, in Davos, at the World Economic Forum, manager for horticulture market development at the Namibian Agronomic Board, Emilie Abraham, stated: “The country is blessed with arable land. This is suitable land that is deep and good for crop production. All you need to do is to turn the land to be productive and grow your produce, then the return on investment is guaranteed.”
So land is no longer a problem for investment in the horticulture sector as the country is vast, spanning 823,000 square kilometres. But despite the vastness of the country, Namibia still remains a net importer of crops.
Abraham noted that about 60% of agronomic products come from outside Namibia, including wheat (96%) and maize (50%). Also, some 65% of horticulture products come from outside, comprising mainly fruits (97%) and potatoes (65%).
“The crop subsector is underdeveloped, and thus huge investments are required. We are looking for investors not only to produce potatoes, but also to produce seed potato. Seed potato is one of the challenges because small-scale producers want to produce, but there are bottlenecks to access or order potato seed from other countries,” she explained.
Abraham proclaimed that investment opportunities lie in the production and expansion of table grapes, dates, blueberries, potatoes, wheat and maize, with emerging opportunities in nuts and oilseed production.
Namibia’s recent exports (US $’000)
|All chapters||All products||5,183,908||7,488,296||6,439,325||5,424,088||4,138,774|
|Chapters 1-24||Agricultural products (incl. fish)||1,158,443||1,288,832||1,204,575||921,095||1,047,051|