Grape industry advised to move to solar energy

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The Namibian grape industry has been advised to invest in solar energy instead of depending on external partners to supply electricity to the sector. Guest speaker at this year’s table grape vineyard block competition, Marc de Naeyer, gave the advice last Saturday when he addressed managers from different companies in the industry.

“I do not believe that a country with so much sunshine still depends on NamPower. We got to be independent, we need to push for solar energy now,” he stated. He also urged grape companies to work together towards the common
goal of creating a Namibian brand and emphasised the need for companies to produce grapes of the same high quality, saying this would help in fending off competition.

“We are Namibia – we need uniformity, quality, and you need to have a product that consumers want,” he commented on the standard grape growers should aim for. At the event six managers from different grape companies were rewarded for their determination and hard work to produce the best possible grapes.

This year’s table grape vineyard block competition saw the highest number of entries at 18 compared to 13 last year, and the winners had much more to smile about. Senior production manager Kamati Jeremiah and production
manager Dimunga Ludwig from Namibia Grape Company scooped the first prize. An all-expenses paid trip to California awaits Jeremiah, while Ludwig received N$10 000 as prize money.

Willem Haak and his production manager at Cape Orchard Company came second and will receive N$5 000 and N$2 500 respectively, while the third prize of N$4 500 went to Jan Mostert and his production manager from Silverlands. A happy Jeremiah thanked everyone that has contributed to the success of his block. “I want
to thank my seniors and everyone who has contributed to this.” He also shared his formula for success, noting that sticking to the basics and following instructions did the trick for him.

The four judges of the competition expressed overall satisfaction with the blocks that took part, stressing that the overall high standard was up to 83 percent and picking a winner was no easy task.