Thriving in Cassava Business: A story of Fannie Gondwe of Perisha Agro and Packaging Enterprise

Fannie Gondwe is a one of the budding women entrepreneurs in Malawi. She is the founder and Executive Director of Perisha Agro and Packaging Enterprise. She started her business in 2015 with a focus on seed production and multiplication of cassava, orange fleshed sweet potato, orange maize and soya beans.

Over the years, Fannie has been working with Malawi Investment and Trade (MITC) to find markets for her products. She has been attending trade fairs organized by the Centre both local and international ones.

In 2018, Fannie was identified as one of the beneficiaries for the FAPA-Nacala Corridor Technical Assistance project on cassava value chain, which is being implemented by MITC with funding from the African Development Bank.

Fannie Gondwe

Since then, Fannie has undergone various trainings and coaching exercises under the project that has helped to build her capacity as an entrepreneur. She has received trainings on business plan development and financial management; access to markets and access to finance.

She has also undergone intensive one-to-one business coaching and monitoring visitations at her business premises on quality management, requirements for Malawi Bureau of Standards certification, business management, labelling, branding and packaging, networking, farmer to farmer linkages and supply chain management.

MITC’s investment in Fannie has started bearing fruits. Her business is now growing. She has now expanded to include value addition for her cassava business following acquisition of a cassava processing equipment. This has necessitated her to increase the hectarage of production from 7 to 25 hectares. As a result, she has managed to create employment opportunities to more than 300 women and the youth who work on part time basis at her farms in Kanyerere-Lilongwe and Santhe-Kasungu. In addition Fannie, has also employed five permanent workers for her processing factory.

I am thankful to MITC for identifying my business to be part of this project. With the trainings that I have received I am now able to add value to the cassava that I produce. We are now processing cassava flour and cassava starch. In addition we are also producing orange fleshed sweet potatoes and orange maize flour. Our packaging has improved to match requirements on the international market.

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