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CAT takes agri-entrepreneurs into business clinic

CAT Executive Director Nkhoma

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Center for Agricultural Transformation (CAT) has emphasized the need for local agricultural entrepreneurs to be skillful in their business avenues for scaling up operations in alternative value chains.

This therefore is attained through vigorous and tailor-made trainings for enhancing access to external opportunities for formal financing, investment, and strategic partnerships.

This is the reason CAT with financial support from Foundation for a Smoke Free World’s (FSFW) Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI) has organised a three-day training dubbed as Business Clinic for agricultural entrepreneurs in the capital Lilongwe.

CAT Executive Director Macleod Nkhoma told The Maravi Post on Wednesday, December 7, 2022 after official opening of training that workshop is tailor-made for participants that it has taken on board important topics such as Business Plan Development, Competitive Business Pitching, Business Financing, and Investment Deal Structuring. 

Nkhoma expects participants to have skills in developing bankable business plans, effectively engage and work with the TASPs to structure relevant investment deals and pitch effectively to investors and strategic partners during agribusiness deal room sessions and other relevant platforms.

“At the end of the training, we expect diversification of value chains, adopting new technologies and commercializing new innovations will be key in addressing some if not all these farmer challenges.

“We have targeted 35 local agriculture focused enterprises under the CAT business Incubation and commercialization program and including start-ups under the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) Entrepreneurship Academy. We hope everyone is here to benefit from this important source of knowledge,” says Nkhoma.

One of training beneficiaries, Madalitso Chipekwe, ACADES Microfinance Executive Director was over the moon to be part of the workshop saying business modeling will be her focus.

Chitekwe therefore lauded CAT for timely capacity building to enhance business operation for effective output.

ATI Agriculture and Economic Programs manager Rizvaan Khan expressed satisfactory over CAT’s funds utilization towards agriculture transformation and diversification.

Khan therefore assured of continued financial support towards the five year-project and beyond.

The training that started on December 6 to 8 has featured 35 enterprises businesses that have been supported by CAT over the past two years.

Its also platform for interaction and establishment of rapport for establishing strategic partnerships and businesses and players in different agricultural value chains.

The Center for Agricultural Transformation (CAT) is a solution center for farmers and tobacco diversification partners in Malawi, established with support from Foundation for a Smoke Free World’s (FSFW) Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI).

The CAT’s Smart Farm, Data Solutions and Business Incubation services come together to serve the farmers and agribusinesses with the knowledge, insights, services, technologies, and real-time support that they need.

The CAT is implemented by a consortium of four leading agricultural development and academic institutions; Land O’Lakes Venture37, the University of Minnesota, Stellenbosch University and the Malawi University of Science and Technology.

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