AFMAK Limited: Improving the living standards of women aggregators

AFMAK Limited is a Malawian based company that sells various agricultural products in Malawi and other regional and international markets. The company was founded in 2015 with an aim of maximizing Malawi’s export potential in the agriculture sector. AFMAK uses the aggregation method as the most effective means of reducing risk in agriculture and strengthening the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers in Malawi.  

Currently, the company has well established markets in the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe where it is supplying rice, beans, chillies and other commodities. Since establishment, AFMAK has managed to export various commodities worth USD 500,000.00.

Like many Malawian companies aspiring to excel in international trade, AFMAK has been facing challenges in penetrating some regional and international markets. In 2017, the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC), under the EIF project organized a trade mission in South Africa with an aim of identifying possible markets for Malawian products. One of the companies that were part of the mission was AFMAK. Through the B2B meetings on that mission AFMAK was able to secure trade deals with some South African buyers and at the moment the company has already managed to export about 240,000 tonnes of beans.
Pilira Matondo
Pilira Matondo

Pilira Matondo-Managing Director-AFMAK 

From the mission we had with MITC under the EIF project in South Africa, we have managed to establish market linkages with some buyers in South Africa. Previously we would go to countries like South Africa to look for markets but without any success, but after going there under MITC through the EIF project we have managed to make headway in penetrating the South African market.’


To cope with the increased orders for its products, AFMAK currently recruits about 35 women who are involved in grading and sorting of the farm produce before they are exported to various markets. AFMAK has built relationships with these women whose livelihoods have improved through the proceeds they get after sorting the produce.
The following two stories are representative of many stories about the women aggregators under AFMAK whose living standards have improved due to more income from sorting and grading of the farm produce


Ms. Dalesi Zalewa, 50, is a widow who lives in Ntchisi she has seven children. Her main businesses are farming. In 2016, she joined a group of women who are involved in sorting and grading of farm produce for AFMAK Company on a part-time basis. Before Dalesi joined this group of women, it was difficult for her to support her family. Through this part-time employment she is now able to provide for her household and has since become successful in her farming and animal husbandry.

Dalesi Zalewa
Dalesi Zalewa

Dalesi Zalewa-Beneficiary

Through my earnings from the part-time employment at AFMAK I am now able to provide food for my home as well as expand my farming business. I have ventured into pig production and currently I own 8 pigs.’



Ellen Biston, 39 years old, and a single mother of four. Her main source of income is through small scale business. She joined AFMAK in 2015 to be part of the women who grades and sorts farm produce for the company. Since then she has been able to support her family, she is able to buy basic necessities for her home.

Ellen Biston
Ellen Biston

Ellen Biston-Beneficiary

‘It was really hard for me to support my family before joining this group. But now I am able to take care of my kids with the little that I get from this job. I am really grateful for this opportunity.’


It is apparent by the two stories from these women aggregators that AFMAK, who have benefited from EIF project, has really assisted these women, for they are now independent and able to take care of their families.

Women grading and sorting beans

Women grading and sorting beans

Women grading and sorting beans

Offloading at AFMAK's warehouse
Truck being loaded at one of AFMAK's warehouse

AFMAK continues to work with MITC under the EIF project to identify more international markets for its produce.

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