Global recognition for Desert Fruit

15 May 2019 | Agriculture

Local date producer and exporter, Desert Fruit Namibia, was last week awarded its certificate for winning a category in the Khalifa Date Palm Awards.

Agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb presented the certificate to the company. This is an important award for Desert Fruit and Namibia as a whole, as the Khalifa Awards are effectively the highest international date agricultural accreditation and acknowledgement.

Speaking at the handover event, !Naruseb said Desert Fruit is the joint winner in the category of pioneering development and production, together with one of the largest date farms in the world, SAHAM Agricultural Project from Morocco.

“This is a great reflection on Namibia, as Desert Fruit is a business progeny of Namibia, built on the achievements and inspiration of the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) green scheme project at Naute Dam in Keetmanshoop, //Karas Region,” the minister said. Initiated by the government through the agriculture ministry and the NDC, this has paved the way for the success of Desert Fruit.

According to !Naruseb, Desert Fruit is being recognised for building and elevating their product, farming methods and business to the highest international standard.

“Besides this award, which is being shared with us here today and bestowed on Desert Fruit, the greater lesson is that, as a country, we must pride ourselves as we compete in the global economic amphitheatre.”

He said the agricultural industry is capable of leading the country in terms of producing jobs, bringing valuable GDP growth and assisting in the growth of the economy.

He said Desert Fruit will deliver over 16 containers of quality dates this year to lucrative markets in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.

“While at the same time, Desert Fruit employs 300 people on a permanent basis.”

He said Desert Fruit and others that continue to strive for growth and agricultural excellence, “are the institutions that contribute to our economy”. According to !Naruseb the date industry has a number of farms, which contribute to the socio-economic sphere in Namibia.

“We are perfectly set in Namibia to take advantage of the good soils, sunshine and the available water, through our irrigation schemes, amongst others, to push people in the agricultural sector further.”

He said Namibia, being located in the southern hemisphere, is able to supply the large markets in the northern hemisphere with what would normally be out-of-season fruits, such as dates, and present a competitive market that must be taken further advantage of.

ELLANIE SMIT

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