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Namibia imports avocados worth N$16.4m

2024-04-23  Otniel Hembapu

Namibia imports avocados worth N$16.4m

Low levels of production and lack of access to lucrative markets saw Namibia importing 889 tonnes of avocados worth over N$16.4 million in the final quarter of last year, which represents an increase from the 756 tonnes valued at N$14.5 million imported in 2022. 

According to the Namibia Agronomic Board’s (NAB) latest market intelligence report, commercial avocado production in the country is almost non-existent and during the 2021/22 production year, the country only managed to produce 0.87 tonnes of avocado fruits and even less last year.  The growing import of avocados indicates that the fruit is a high-value crop, and therefore vital to the Namibian fruit consumption catalogue. The NAB report also revealed that Namibia has at least 201 avocado trees located mostly in the Kavango and Karst production zones.  Karst regions or areas are those with deeply fertile, shallow soil and quality underground water. In our case, it is those areas of the maize triangle heading northeastwards.

A total of 1 200 avocado seedlings are being imported into the country every year, the report further reveals. Production levels however remain low as local farmers continue to struggle to break even at the national scale. 

Namibia’s consumption is mostly dominated by imports, as local production accounts for less than one tonne for each financial year, which usually runs from April to March each year.



The NAB’s market intelligence report further demonstrates the country’s untapped potential to produce avocados for the local market, and produce over 800 tonnes to eventually replace the imports of over N$16 million witnessed last year. 

“This can be the green skin varieties such as Hass and Fuerte, which are currently the most common varieties imported. Alternatively, other varieties such as Pinkerton, Lamb Hass and Reed can also be explored as they are less vulnerable to heat. Avocados mostly prefer a sub-tropical climate which may be the climatic condition that is rarely experienced in Namibia. This is usually a zone of climate characterised by hot and humid summers, and cool to mild winters,” reads the report.

This type of climate in Namibia mostly lies along the Kavango and Zambezi production zones and these zones can potentially be ideal for commercial avocado production in Namibia. 

The fruit study also revealed that the majority of the avocado trees found in Namibia are located in the Kavango production zone, therefore, proving suitability and potential for commercial expansion.

“Local farmers are, therefore, encouraged to tap into avocado production to supply the local market and counter the current high avocado import, especially those in areas suitable for avocado production. They are further encouraged to work closely with government institutions for support such as the NAB, which continues to monitor the fruit industry and is committed to developing the fruit industry through strategies that are of benefit to all key value chain actors. There are many existing trade agreements and established export channels through which avocados can be added and explored for export.”

2024-04-23  Otniel Hembapu

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