New grape varieties from Naute scheme
All five of the new varieties have been tested and will be planted on 25 hectares.
18 February 2020 | Business
These varieties will be available on the market between October and March next year. Izak van Zyl, Grape manager: Naute Irrigation Scheme
Van Zyl said this on Friday during a familiarisation visit of the minister of industrialisation, trade and SME development, Tjekero Tweya, to the project, following the appointment of the Namibia Industrial Development Agency (NIDA) in 2018 to manage it.
According to Van Zyl, planting the new varieties will allow the harvesting season to be longer than before. This will mean seasonal workers will be employed for up to six months a year.
“Currently seasonal workers are employed from the second week of November to the first week of January the following year, but with the new varieties they will be able to work as from October to March the next year,” he added.
The new proposed varieties of grapes are evans delight, sweet globe, sweet celebration, jack salute as well ivory. All of these varieties have already been tested and will be planted on 25 hectares, he said.
The project currently produces crimson, flame, melody and prime grapes planted on 54 hectares which are mostly exported to Europe and also supplied to retail shops in Namibia.
“Once it will yield fruits, these varieties will be available on the market between October and March next year,” said Van Zyl.
There are currently 64 permanent workers and 359 seasonally workers at the irrigation scheme, situated at Naute Dam, some 50 kilometres outside Keetmanshoop.
Van Zyl said in the last season they were able to pack 130 000 boxes of grapes, which could increase to close to 250 000 boxes per season if the right varieties are planted.
Tweya commended the NIDA for the decision to introduce new varieties, saying the agency continues to carry out its mandate which is to create jobs for young Namibians.
The project was established by the Namibia Development Corporation in 1990. - Nampa