Founder & Executive Director, Perisha Agro and Packaging Enterprise
Fannie is the Founder and Executive Director of Perisha Agro and Packaging Enterprise, an eco-inclusive business enterprise that focuses on seed multiplication of root and tuber crops and value addition in Lilongwe, Malawi. They multiply orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) vines and cassava cuttings and process orange-fleshed sweet potato flour, cassava starch, high quality cassava flour, orange maize flour, garri and kondowole. Perisha is fighting malnutrition, promoting food security and addressing post-harvest loss challenges and aims to improve the nutritional status of women and children in Malawi by promoting the growing consumption of nutritious foods. They have a 120 hectares farm and work with smallholder farmers on an out-grower farming system, purchasing the raw materials from farmers and then processing them into various products. Perisha also provides both permanent and seasonal employment for farmers, supporting families and communities and enabling value chain addition for farmers. The company also provides access to affordable seed multiplication and root vines and supports a group of about 20 women that are not be able to participate in the traditional pricing structure due to financial or social circumstances. They do this by providing them with free orange fleshed sweet potato vines to multiply as seed that Parisha buys back. Since Perisha started operations in 2015, their business has benefitted 24,000 households and they have worked with clients including GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), Feed the Future, Food and Argicultural Orgnaization, Havest Plus, and the International Potato Center of Malawi who buy seeds to distribute to rural populations to grow the roots for their nutrition, food security and income on an annual basis. Processed products are then sold to industries, supermarkets and wholesalers. Perisha has strong technichal and financial partnership with KFW/GIZ through their cassava value chain, UNDP/Growth Africa through processing poultry feed from cassava and sweet potato waste/peels, and CIP through processing orange fleshed sweet potato puree. It also works with academic institutions including Cornell University-USA and LUANAR in Malawi. Fannie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Cyprus University and a MBA from Eastern and Southern Africa Institute of Management. She has won several awards in agribusiness including the Female Biosciences Business Acceleration Program and Hivos Most Impactful Business award and has participated in four women acceleration programs including VV GROW.
What Fannie hopes to gain from the VV GROW Fellowship:
Fannie is looking forward to building her network and getting support with strengthening her strategic planning process. She is interested in learning and sharing knowledge in agribusiness and connecting with fellow entrepreneurs in the same field.
What Fannie can offer other fellows:
Fannie can share her experience with managing issues and problems and her problem solving and planning processes when faced with the question of which direction to take the business.
Connect with Fannie on Social Media:
Facebook Page (business): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008780735634
Facebook Page (personal): https://www.facebook.com/fannie.gondwe
LinkedIn (personal): https://www.linkedin.com/in/fannie-gondwe-37671936/
Twitter (personal): @fannie_gondwe