The first large scale local commercial blueberry harvest produced by the Mashare Berries project, which forms part of the Spitz Capital Fund anchored in the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) unlisted investment programme, is set to produce a bumper crop.
The project is situated 50km's east of Rundu on the banks of the Kavango river and according to the GIPF, Mashare expects to harvest an estimated 150 tons of blueberries between July and October.
The blueberries support the investment strategy of selecting high value crops for export to earn foreign currency. The bulk of the harvest is for export with 5% reserved for local consumption. To date, 500 kg of blueberries are being sold in Checkers supermarkets nation-wide.
"GIPF is determined to fund agribusiness to achieve food security; import substitution and export gains of earning foreign currency, to help bolster national reserves. It is against this background that the Fund took a conscious and calculated decision to invest in agribusiness such as Mashare, to deliver returns for our members, while at the same time creating employment and empowering our rural communities. Mashare also produces cash crops such as maize, wheat, potatoes." said Sara Mezui-Engo; Manager: Alternative Investments.
Blue berries are an excellent source of vitamin C and soluble fibre which aids digestion, making it an ideal health product. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, improves vision and nurtures a glowing skin.
"Given the immune boosting properties that blueberries provide, it goes without saying that they should be a part of one's daily dietary consumption. Go out there and buy local produce," concluded Mezui-Engo.
Chief Executive of the Government Institutions Pension Fund, Mr David Nuyoma, with a packet of the first harvest of Namibian blue berries, currently on sale in Checkers supermarkets.