Seal processing factory to produce olive oil

HENTIES BAY: The seal-processing factory in Henties Bay has expanded to planting Olive trees and producing oil.

Factory manager, Gys Cilliers, told Nampa during a visit to the factory on Friday that the last 1 000 Olive plants arrived here in November last year from South Africa.

Henties Bay is located 70 kilometres northwest of Swakopmund.

“What is exciting is that we are going to produce our own oil from here and just sell it. We will not sell the fruits to other companies for processing at all,” Cilliers told Nampa.

He said the aim of the olive plantation is to create permanent employment for Namibians as the seal processing business is seasonal.

The olive project started with 1 000 in 2013 and most of the plants have already started bearing fruits.

“By the end of this year we will employ 40 extra people to permanently work for the Olive project. Most of them will be women,” said Cilliers.

Olive is harvested mostly for oil production, which helps fight high levels of cholesterol, treats sunburns and reduces strokes, especially amongst elderly people

The factory opens from July to November every year when the seal harvest start.

There are 96 people permanently employed at the seal factory but works only during the months of July to November.

Last year August, another N.dollars 1 million olive plantation was launched 10 kilometres west of the Okombahe settlement.

This plantation is expected to provide employment to more than 300 people from Okombahe and other settlements such as Otjimbingwe, Namanpost and the rest of the Erongo Region.

Other olive farms include Swakop River Olives near Swakopmund, and the Heiser’s Olivenhain at Farm Hartebeestteich-Sud, situated seven kilometres north of Hochfeld.