Grape season exceeds expectations

13 January 2021 | Agriculture



The 2020/2021 Namibian table grape season started about 10 days later than normal and is ending on a high note this week with Kobus Bothma, executive director of Capespan Namibia, calling it Namibia’s best ever grape season, ending around 12% above the initial estimate.

The delay in starting, coupled with ideal weather conditions during the packing period, produced grapes of excellent quality, he said.

“The area received only 10 mm of rain in the harvesting period, compared to some production areas in the northern parts of South Africa receiving 50 to 80 mm of rain.

“The season estimate for Namibia was 7.6 million 4.5 kg equivalent cartons, but it seems that 8.5 million 4.5 kg equivalent cartons may be reached by the end of week two.”

Last year’s Namibian export crop came to 6.1 million 4.5 kg cartons.

“This season seems to be the best ever for Namibia, with the highest season volume up until now, compared to just below seven million cartons in previous seasons.”

Favourable conditions

In mid-October, Bothma told FreshPlaza that cooler than usual conditions during September, the same conditions that delayed the start of the season, had been favourable for berry size and bunch development.

For Capespan Namibia, too, it is a record-breaking season with volumes far exceeding two million 4.5 kg equivalent cartons.

"We should exceed the crop estimate by around 35%, with 50% extra-large fruit packed by the end of week two."

He said all of their 18 varieties have exceeded their estimates.

“We are very pleased and grateful to end this season on a high note. Volumes and quality far exceeded our expectations.”