10 Dec 2013 08:40am
NAUTE DAM, 10 DEC (NAMPA) A bumper harvest of grapes are expected at the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) Naute grape and date project near Keetmanshoop this year.
The project is situated at the Naute Dam, 40 kilometres south of Keetmanshoop in the //Karas Region.
NDC Naute grape and date project manager Mous Boshoff told Nampa on enquiry Monday they expect to harvest about 115 000 cartons of grapes by the end of this month, and thus far they have harvested 51 000 cartons.
Harvesting started on 22 November this year, and so far 20 hectares have been harvested.
Boshoff explained that the extension of the table grape vineyards from 40 to 80 hectares over the past two years has contributed to increased production and employment.
Last years harvest recorded 67 000 cartons, because some of the varieties planted were not productive.
We replaced the least productive Regal Seedless and Victoria varieties with the productive Prime Seedless and Early Sweet a year ago. This enabled us to double the productivity this year, said Boshoff.
At the moment, 326 people are employed during the harvesting period, but usually only about 100 people work at the project.
On the production of dates, Boshoff said the harvest also looks promising, and harvesting will commence mid-February until the end of April next year.
He said conditions such as excessive rain could, however, spoil the dates.
The fruit produced are exported to Europe through Karsen Farming, a service provider from neighbouring South Africa.