Wessie van der Westhuizen, NBL’s Managing Director said that the signing of an MOU with Government to avail 500 ha of land under the Green Schemes for the production of barley is a major milestone.
“Following extensive trials in at least four regions of the country, we have proven that barley can be grown on Namibian soil for commercial purposes, and we are now ready to develop a large scale barley industry that will further complement government’s Vision 2030 and ‘Growth at Home’ Strategy.
This initiative and partnership which is aimed at adding value to Namibia in support of the ‘Growth at Home’ strategy in particular will create a local barley supply chain in Namibia that benefits each member of the chain, as well as the government and the community as a whole,” said Van der Westhuizen.
Van der Westhuizen, “Inspired by the O&L Group’s purpose of ‘Creating a future, enhancing life’ for all Namibians, NBL initiated barley trials in 2010 with the intent of establishing a local barley industry that would create jobs, develop the much needed agricultural sector and support local business.”
“We believe that a Namibian Dollar spent in Namibia rather than elsewhere is a dollar spent towards bettering the lives of Namibians. It is one of our strategic focus areas to achieve a certain percentage of local procurement by 2019 and we remain relentless in exploring further opportunities at home. I sincerely want to thank Government for supporting us in bringing this dream to life.
“The establishment of Namibia’s own barley industry will create jobs and support our local agricultural sector and economy which is something we are just as passionate about as brewing good beer,” he added.
He said that the locally grown barley was of excellent quality and matches the high standards of the barley that Namibia Breweries imports from its international suppliers.
“I am very excited to announce that we have developed an exciting new brand which includes Namibia’s home grown barley as a key ingredient. This new brand which is about to be launched will contain some imported malt barley as well as unmalted barley grown in Namibia by our people,” added Van der Westhuizen.
Meanwhile, since commencement of the barley trials almost 5 years ago, NBL has so far invested more than N$ 5 million in the barley project for trial planning, execution, seeds, laboratory and brewing trials, as well as shipments / logistics. This excludes the product innovation work that has gone into developing the new brand which will be available as of the 19 October.