Desert Fruit Namibia, one of only a limited number of date producers in the Southern Hemisphere, has begun to harvest Khalas – a new product line and staple for Date Growers in the Middle East.

Seth Holmes, Managing Director of DFN explains: “Traditionally, Khalas is a staple in the date markets as a naturally dried date. We have been able to develop this date as a fresh and Ruthab variant. The intense heat, dry conditions and granite soils of Southern Namibia have allowed the fruit to develop high sugars and a caramel flavour. This has proven a winning recipe as we are getting orders from the fresh date markets as an alternative to the traditional fresh varietal, Barhi which is set to come off the trees in the next three weeks.”

The Khalas date has been described as one of the favourites on the farm to eat fresh and half Ruthab The beginning of February will see the first exports via airfreight delivered to the customers in the Far East and Middle East with expectations that the season would last for another six to eight weeks.

“We are confident that the date will make an impact in the market. The technical team has been concentrating on size, quality and taste over the last couple of years and has been working with some of the best minds in the date growers’ world and the collaboration has been excellent. Desert Fruit is known for high quality Dates and the fresh Khalas is a great example of this,” added farm technical manager Charles Edmonds.