By Franco Mwachande Jnr

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

CAT Executive Director Macleod Nkhoma made the remarks on Monday at Ufulu gardens in Lilongwe during the opening of a two-days business clinic workshop for local agriculture-focused enterprises.

The workshop was aimed at preparing participants to develop bankable business plans and pitch them effectively to investors and strategic partners.

Speaking in an interview, Nkhoma urged participants to use the knowledge gained to help solve challenges smallholder farmers face. 

 "The workshop was designed to empower emerging and established agricultural entrepreneurs and enterprises with necessary knowledge and skills for scaling their operations in alternative value chains, and enhancing access to external opportunities for formal financing, investment, and strategic partnerships.

Nkhoma addressing the participants 

He adds: “Today 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 who attended the workshop will benefit from this important source of knowledge,” said Nkhoma.

CAT organized the workshop with financial support from Foundation for a Smoke Free World’s (FSFW) and Agricultural Transformation initiative (ATI).

ATI programs manager, Rizvaan Khan said they will continue supporting CAT with more funds so that they can reach many farmers as possible.

After the workshop, participants received the certificate of an attendance.

One of the participants, ACADES Microfinance Executive director, Madalitso Chipekwe, thanked CAT for the initiative.

“Youths in Malawi lack several opportunities such as trainings, because a lot of organizations are not engaging them to enhance their business operation for effective output.

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