Malawi: Perisha Agro and Packaging Enterprise

Overall Goal

The SMART project working with Perisha Agro will focus on strategy and business planning to facilitate market growth of orange-fleshed sweet potato and cassava seed.

Company/Business and Location

Perisha Agro and Packaging Enterprise is a private limited company based in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Company Profile

Perisha Agro was established in Lilongwe, Malawi, in 2012 by Fannie Perisha Gondwe. The company now has nine full-time employees and more than 100 seasonal workers. With 120 hectares of land across two sites, this innovative agribusiness focuses on seed multiplication of orange-fleshed sweet potato vines and cassava cuttings, and growing high-value crops including groundnuts, soya bean, and beans. Thanks to partnerships with FAO, CGIAR, NGOs, and the private sector, Perisha Agro is implementing expansion plans and contracting farmers to grow cassava roots and orange-fleshed sweet potato roots that they will buy and process. They recently also started rabbit farming and hope to produce value-added rabbit meat products (sausages/biltong) in 2019.

Proposed Team Tasks

Perisha Agro would like the Cornell SMART team to help them develop a three-year strategy for scaling up their orange-fleshed sweet potato and cassava seed multiplication. This will involve: analyzing the existing operations (business, financial, management) and supply chain management procedures, designing mechanisms and procedures, and providing recommendations to aid the company’s growth.

Skill Requirements

The preferred skills and background that would add value to this project include:

  • Good understanding of business (e.g. market analysis, value chains, etc) and development frameworks;
  • Research, analytical and writing skills (e.g. publishable case study);
  • Knowledge in fields such as marketing, food science, economics and management, plant science and horticulture; and
  • General interest in agriculture/seed sector.

Suggested Timeline

Tentative dates are January 6-16, 2019

Team Leader

Project Advisor: Mainza Mugoya, Regional Coordinator, The African Seed Access Index (TASAI)

Team Leader: Tara Hammonds – tkh25@cornell.edu

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