13 Nov 2014 14:40pm
By Paulus Shiku
HENTIES BAY, 13 NOV (NAMPA) Efforts to create permanent employment for Namibians have seen the seal-processing factory here diversifying into olive farming.
The olive farm, called the Olive Project, started in this coastal town during 2013, and it first harvest is expected around June 2015.
Olives are harvested mostly for their healthy oil, which helps fight high levels of cholesterol, which subsequently reduces strokes amongst people.
Olive oil also treats sunburn.
The factory manager of Seal Products, Gys Cilliers told Nampa during a visit to the factory on Thursday that the idea to branch into olive farming is to ensure permanent employment for Namibians living in the area because the seal-processing business is seasonal.
There are 96 people permanently employed at the seal meat factory, but they work only during the months of July to November when the seal harvest is in full swing.
Henties Bay is located some 70 kilometres northwest of Swakopmund.
By next year, we will employ 40 extra people to permanently work for the Olive Project, and I assure you most of them will be women, said Cilliers.
There are 1 000 olive plants at the farm currently, and most olive trees are starting to bear fruit.
We are expecting another 1 000 trees to arrive from South Africa next week. After that, we are ready to continue irrigating and wait for the harvest, he continued.
Meanwhile, another N.dollars 1 million olive plantation was launched 10 kilometres west of the Okombahe settlement in August this year.
This plantation is expected to provide employment to more than 300 people from Okombahe and other settlements such as Otjimbingwe, Namanpost and the rest of the Erongo Region.
Other olive farms include Swakop River Olives near Swakopmund, and the Heiser's Olivenhain at Farm Hartebeestteich-Süd, situated seven kilometres north of Hochfeld.