AN INTERVIEW WITH PRODUHORT INVESTMENTS LTD

Produhort Investments is a family-owned agribusiness, primarily engaged in horticulture farming.

AN INTERVIEW WITH MAZAZA TOM NYIRENDA OF PRODUHORT INVESTMENTS LTD

Tell us a brief background about your business.

Produhort Investments is a family-owned agribusiness, primarily engaged in horticulture farming.

The business started in 2010 and registered as a sole trader in 2013. Later it was re-registered as a Ltd Co. in 2018.

It has three farms, two in Lilongwe, and another one in Dowa. Total land size is 14 Hectares. We employ fourteen permanent staff and at peak we engage over 20 casual workers.

The co-owners, Alice and Mazaza Nyirenda, are full time passionate farmers, who have business administration and finance management career backgrounds, respectively.

What do you love about your sector or industry?

Horticulture industry is a 365/ 7 days a week job. It accounts for over 50% of agriculture. I love being busy, so the industry provides the type of business that we loathe. This is unlike other seasonal types of agricultural industries.

Who inspires you in the industry?

Produhort would like to be an exporter of Fruit, Herbs and Veggies. We're thus inspired by SA and Kenyan horticulture farmers who are able to break into EU markets.

What are the three tools you couldn't do your business without and why?

In this sector, we can't do without peoper irrigation equipment because our crops demand water throughout the year.

Secondly, we need proper inputs for high yields and also for high quality produce. Inputs in this case refer to fertilisers, chemicals and seed.

Thirdly, we need mechanisation for efficiency in production. These include Protected Agriculture Infrastructure (Tunnels, Shadenet Houses, etc), requisite farm equipment and cold chain for post harvest handling and storage (fridge vans, cold rooms, packaging, etc)

Last but not least, you need to have staff that is in sync with what you envision.

What is the secret to success in your industry?

It can be summed up in one word "Passion"

What is the moment you are most proud of?

Our growth has been generic. It's been a long, hard journey, but there's lights the end of the tunnel.

Is there anyone you would like to say "Thank you" to?

Of course, yes, first to the Almighty God for every free provision, water, soils, air, you name it, and to Alice for steering the ship since day one, our workers and most importantly, our customers, for the support!

We've also had a number of foreign mentors, Kees van Paasen and Dr Bruce Williams and other Colleagues in the industry, too numerous to mention.

What are your future plans?

We're aiming to obtain relevant certification on Food Safety and Hygiene, Global GAP so that we should be able to export our products.

We are also on a drive to lead a group of smallholder Farmers surrounding our Mbwatalika farm into a Rice Cooperative. This co-op will cut across the whole Rice value chain.

We'd like to take horticulture and rice farming to a whole new level in Lilongwe.

How can people find you?

We can be accessed via mobile phone contacts 0994581339 or 0999919166, or our Facebook page.

We shall soon relaunch our website page where customers can also order and pay online.

Share