Some of the food we import and their values

Home Business Some of the food we import and their values

In a recent article I spoke about the fact that Namibia continues to import most of what it consumes. Today I would like to provide you with information and statistics on some of the food we import and their values. We continue to import most of our food and the trend has been an upward one for some time. In this article I will look back at the past 10 years and compare statistics from the year 2004 until 2014.

Looking at the figures for the past ten years, in 2004 the value of our food imports was around N$1.8 billion. This rose to about N$4 billion in 2010 and in 2014 this had risen to around N$7.3 billion. The food we import includes various categories of vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, apples, tea, spices, seed of wheat, maize, roasted malt, sunflower seed and oil, margarine, prepared foods, bulgar wheat, sweet biscuits, all types of juices, water and other non-alcoholic beverages. It also includes alcoholic beverages such as wine, other fermented beverages, beer made from malt and spirits such as whiskeys and vodkas. This is just to mention a few of course.

In the year 2004 Namibia imported potatoes, categorized as fresh and chilled, to the value of N$36.4 million. In 2010 this figure rose to N$85.5 million and latest figure shows that it stood at N$125 million in 2014. Taking the last ten years into consideration Namibia imported potatoes, classified as fresh or chilled, to the value of about N$915 million. We also import fresh apples at an increasing rate. In 2004 the value of imported apples was N$24 million, in 2010 it was N$45 million and last year this figure rose to about N$71 million.

Maize, excluding seed, is also imported in large values. In 2004 we imported maize worth N$49 million. By 2010 this figure rose to N$110 million and N$360 million last year. Looking at the past ten years Namibia imported this type of maize to the value of N$1.75 billion. Imports of malt (roasted and non-roasted) was around N$50 million in 2004, then jumped to around N$148 million in 2010 and upwards to N$175 million in 2014.

Other significant imports include margarine, prepared foods obtained by the swelling or roasting of cereals, prepared cereals in grain form, more potatoes and juices.

Last year, margarine imports were to the value of N$90 million, sweet biscuits to the value of N$87 million and mixtures of juices and other juices to the value of N$283 million.

Of course Namibia also imports beverages. Top of the list, in value, are wines and other fermented beverages. Wine provides an interesting figure as the import value stood at N$98 million in 2004, rose dramatically to N$308 million in 2010 until it reached an amazing N$708 million last year. This is closely followed by other fermented beverages, which stood at N$624 million last year.

Whiskeys are also imported in great values, rising from N$37 million in 2004 to N$69 million in 2010. In 2014 this figure rose to N$216 million. At the NSA we have various, or rather a lot of trade data, and upon your interest and request, you are more than welcome to get any information so required.

• Iipumbu Sakaria is the Deputy Director for Strategic Communications at the NSA.