NAMIBIA – Namibia imported 889 tons of avocados worth over NAD 16.4 million in the final quarter of last year due to low domestic production and lack of access to lucrative markets.

This import represents an increase from the 756 tons valued at NAD 14.5 million imported in 2022. The Namibia Agronomic Board’s (NAB) latest market intelligence report suggests the fruit is a high-value crop and essential to the Namibian diet.

The NAB report also indicates that commercial avocado production is almost non-existent in the country.

During the 2021/22 production year, Namibia produced just 0.87 tons of avocados, even less than the previous year.

Namibia has at least 201 avocado trees, mainly in the Kavango and Karst production zones. Karst regions are known for their fertile soil and quality underground water. However, production remains low due to farmers struggling to break even on a national scale.

Annually, Namibia imports approximately 1,200 avocado seedlings, yet domestic production continues to fall short of meeting demand.

Consumption is largely reliant on imports as local production accounts for less than one tons per financial year, which typically runs from April to March.

Potential for Growth

Despite the challenges, the NAB’s report highlights Namibia’s untapped potential to produce avocados for the local market.

This potential includes the capability to replace imports of over NAB 16 million observed last year by producing over 800 tons domestically.

The fresh produce sector in Namibia has seen some growth, with 53,006 tons harvested between April and December last year.

This increase reflects a positive trend in production value, and a significant portion of fresh produce is being exported.

However, during the fourth quarter of 2023, Namibia’s agronomic imports exceeded exports, underscoring the importance of strategic planning and market intelligence.

In recent years, there has been a shift towards sustainable practices such as organic farming and efficient water management.

The NAB works with stakeholders to promote best practices, improve yields, and enhance farmers’ livelihoods. These efforts aim to boost local production and reduce the country’s reliance on imports.

For all the latest fresh produce industry news updates from Africa, the Middle East, and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.