Innovative and sustainable horticulture with a feminine touch
Thanthwe Farms is an up-and-coming horticultural company in Lilongwe (Malawi). As Thanthwe Farms is close to the city, it is focusing more on the urban markets.
The horticultural company wants to make a name for itself as a producer of quality fruit and vegetables. Just like Tradeline, they want to strengthen the market in Malawi so that it will be less dependent on South African agricultural produce.
Thanthwe stands for sustainability and innovation. The company shares its knowledge of cultivation techniques and market access to the best extent possible with local farming communities via a community outreach programme.
Ngaba Chatata, the owner and manager, is a born entrepreneur. She is determined, and passionate about making a difference for rural communities in Malawi. Her efforts as a successful young entrepreneur have been acknowledged repeatedly, resulting in the 2017 Malawian Best SME award and Elite Farmer Award 2017.
Dynamic, entrepreneurial spirit and realism
An early feasibility study clearly exposed the strengths and opportunities for Thanthwe Farms. There was no lack of dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit! The reality forced us to look at the challenges and threats for sustainable growth.
Over the coming months, Exchange is drafting a realistic growth programme with Thanthwe. The growth of Thanthwe as a commercial player will be the most important goal of the programme. Growth will require the production, processing and marketing of fruit and vegetables to be improved.
Beyond this, attention must go to the involvement of small producers across the entire process. Thanthwe Farms will need to serve as an example.
A female tandem-team
Exchange and Thanthwe have entered into a long-term collaboration. The improvement of the production quality and the marketing policy are priorities. Exchange will also be responsible for bringing in the necessary expertise. Expert Jen Nold from CSA de Witte Beek is a dream partner for Thanthwe. In January 2019, she headed to Malawi with extensive—and necessary—cultivation technology and knowledge. She knows how to crack the whip over the management team and is also a pioneer in the Belgian CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) network. She knows all there is to know about short chains and alternative marketing. Which means Ngaba Chatata from Thanthwe Farms soon will too!