Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) intends to build a malting plant in order to source all of its raw material for the beer from local sources. The plant, which would use only domistically produced barley, could be operational by 2022. Six years ago, NBL started the home-grown barley project in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water & Forestry (MAWF) and government’s Agricultural Business Development Agency (AgriBusDev), which shows already good results.
Last year, 377 hectares of barley have been planted, with 1426 tons of barley harvested while 1,250 tons were of good quality. When the goal of 12,000 hectares barley growing area in Namibia is achieved and a malting plant has been established, the company can substitute all of the 36,000 tons of malt, which is currently being imported. Namibia has so far no own malting industry.
““We would like to establish a sustainable barley industry by further implementing the Barley Industry Development Plan over the next ten years. The reason for this is simple. When viable we would install a malting plant, which means we could use the home-grown barley for our other beer brands as well and thereby increase local value-addition. Barley is a high-in-demand raw material that is not only used in beer but many other products as well. NBL is committed to creating value locally that would lead to more jobs and also a sustainable home-grown barley industry,” said Hendrik (Wessie) van der Westhuizen, Managing Director of NBL at a press conference held on 6 March 2017. And he continued: “This is a fundamental choice we have made and the responsibility that we have accepted. Together with the government we try and develop the barley industry. Because when and if we achieve 12,000 hectares, as much as 2,000 jobs could be established.”