BUOYED by excellent weather conditions and a larger crop, all the growers in the Aussenkehr Valley in southern Namibia started harvesting and packing table grapes for the European market recently.
The increased activity on the banks of the Orange River means that the Namibian table grape export season is in full swing. Trucks heavily laden with containers have been moving between Aussenkher and Cape Town.
According to the producers of grapes in the valley around 60 containers have already left for Cape Town where it will be loaded in ships bound for the northern hemisphere. The first consignment is already underway and could reach markets in the United Kingdom and other European countries next week.
The Namibian grape growers are confident that they will reach a target of around 7.5 million cartons packed for the export markets this season.
In recent years export volumes have been holding around the 6.5 million cartons mark, after initial predictions that the industry would reach 10 million cartons by 2020.
During these years there has been a major transformation in the cultivar profile in Namibia, with leading new varieties in the world replacing some of the older ones. It seems that these varieties are now making their mark and Namibia is set for growth of around 7% every year for the next five years.