GIPF reaps fruits of its investment

Determined to achieve food security

27 July 2020 | Business

The bulk of the harvest is for export, with 5 per cent reserved for local consumption.Sara Mezui-Engo, head of alternative investments unit: GIPF

The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) announced the first large-scale Namibian commercial blueberry harvest, produced by the Mashare Berries project.

The project forms part of the Spitz Capital Fund which is anchored in the GIPF unlisted investment programme.

In a statement, GIPF's head of the alternative investments unit, Sara Mezui-Engo, said GIPF is determined to fund agribusiness to achieve food security, import substitution and export gains of earning foreign currency, to help bolster national reserves. “It is against this background that the fund took a conscious and calculated decision to invest in agribusiness such as Mashare to deliver returns for our members, while at the same time creating employment and empowering our rural communities,” she said.

The project is situated 50 kilometres east of Rundu on the banks of the Okavango River. Mezui-Engo said Mashare aims to harvest an estimated 150 tonnes of blueberries between July and October 2020. The blueberries support the investment strategy of selecting high-value crops for export to earn foreign currency.

The bulk of the harvest is for export, with 5% reserved for local consumption. To date, 500 kilogrammes of blueberries are being sold in Checkers shops nationwide, she added.

Mashare also produces cash crops such as maize, wheat, potatoes. - Nampa