Challenges Malawi was established in 2018, although Challenges has long been active in the south African country – we worked with the Malawi Ombudsman’s Office & Malawi Human Rights Commission in 2010.
Like Challenges’ other offices, Challenges Malawi approaches development through enterprising solutions to complex community challenges. This is achieved through the implementation of a portfolio of services such as access to finance, investment acceleration programmes, market access programmes, investment readiness, value chain strengthening, enterprise business models, business plan support, and enterprise diagnostics.
Currently, the Lilongwe office is focused on the delivery of the Creating Robust Opportunities for Crop Production and Sale (CROPS), in collaboration with Opportunity International and funded by the Scottish Government.
The five-year CROPS project, which launched in October 2018, aims at improving livelihoods of more than 6200 rural farmers in four districts, Nkhotakota, Salima, Machinga and Chikwawa. The project is working with four Value Addition Centres (VAC) to improve the value chains of a range of crops, and seeks to increase household incomes of more than 6000 participating rural farmers by 10% by 2023.
Challenges Malawi is supporting the four VACs in business and cooperative development through promotion of value addition and processing activities, access to finance, access to reliable markets, and institutional capacity building. Furthermore, the Lilongwe team are also working with farmers in 10 irrigation schemes to increase productivity of their crops and enhance aggregation of crops for value addition.