NGABAGHILA CHATATA (Mrs) – The Beacon for Modern Farming

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By The Inspired Agriculturist

She advocates for a modern look at agriculture by the young an upcoming generations. Where as most people look at farming as a career for the rural illiterate people, Ngabaghila Chatata, a university graduate took the challenge to do the unthinkable in a society where blue collar jobs are looked down upon. She now owns and runs a successful enterprise in the food industry, Thanthwe Farms.

Mrs Ngabaghila Chatata with her family and some of the farm enterprise workers

Thanthwe is an innovative Agribusiness venture specializing in Horticulture, agri-tourist, Livestock and Knowledge Management (Research, Trainings and consulting). As a center for excellence the farm hosts students for practical/Internships to make them employable. It employs climate smart drip irrigation and mulching to maximize productivity per unit area of land. With greenhouse area of 1700 square meters and 5 acres open field irrigated, the enterprise produces 50 tonnes of high value vegetables annually, targeting five-star hotels and super markets and soon for export markets, according to a recent report by the Graca Machel Trust.

This rare phenomenon for most Malawian educated elites more especially women. Most do not want to give up their desks where most often they do nothing as a contribution to society except to appear to look busy or in the extreme important. It is with this that Mrs Chatata’s efforts and success is something worthy celebrating.

Ngabaghila is a social scientist by training and an entrepreneur who is very passionate about farming. Mrs Chatata completed her Bachelors of Social Science Degree at University of Malawi, Chancellor College in 2002. After this she woeked for several organisation at the top management level namely; ActionAid, WaterAid and was Chief Excutive at the Research Institute in Lilongwe, Malawi before she left.

She started her entrepreneurship journey in farming in 2012 and registered Thanthwe Enterprises in 2013, making her one of the leading horticulturists in Malawi. She made a decision to leave full-time employment in 2015 to follow her passion, and her business has grown since, registering growth each year. She currently focuses on farming and plans to go into agricultural processing and manufacturing.

Chatata said her enterprise currently supplies vegetables and livestock products to supermarkets, hotels and individual homes in Lilongwe, adding the farm also provides training to farmers from the surrounding communities.