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    Date submitted
  • 29-Aug-2017

Hortech

Abstract

Founded with the pure aim of reducing the cost and hassles importing processed horticultural products in Malawi but also in the southern Africa. And thus taking the market by storm is what benchmarks Hortech in a highly importing segment of the continent.

With the correct and deep understanding of the horticultural products and markets in Africa, Hortech has been successful in adopting new horticultural technologies, piloting the technologies and mentor and training the out-growers for a stable collective bumper yield which will be used as cost-effective raw materials for processing.

Tomatoes are Africa’s most consumed fruit/vegetable yet every African country produces less than what it produces. With that understanding, Hortech has taken the first step, using the emerging technologies, of bulk production, then processing into final products such as tomato paste, to reduce the cost of importing tomatoes.

Hortech is now looking at partnering with an investor in implementing a tomato paste processing machine.

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Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

80% of our current customer base is made up of local re-sellers, 90 of which are female, who go sell the produce door to door or in residential markets. 20% ranges from super-markets, and restaurants. With the good quality of tomatoes and other vegetables produced right within the city outskirts of Lilongwe city, many jobless women find it very rewarding to buy the vegetables from Hortech farm and sell it in residential areas without incurring must transport cost.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Unemployment rate. We have over 330 return walking customers, 97 of them have never sold tomatoes before, but because the tomatoes are being produced close to the population, they found it beneficial to venture this business as re-sellers.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

SUSTAINABILITY: The adoption of the new technologies such as renewable energy, such as using solar energy, NEW TECHNOLOGIES: Extensive use of drip system for highest efficiency and water conservation. OUT-GROWER INITIATIVE With this initiative, we hope to support over 500 small to medium scale farmers who will be able to produce mainly tomatoes and over vegetables for processing into tomato source, and other by-products.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

Our team has been greatly trained and is constantly being updated and trained on the new and emerging horticulture technologies by a lot of partners such as CNFA, a USAID farmer-2-farmer project, Malawi Farmers Organization, and many other partners in the business. With out out-grower initiative, we are constantly sharing the knowledge with the new and upcoming farmers and mentor them to adopt the new technologies. While our competitors charge for the training of the new farmers, we believe in mentor-ship for a collective bumper yield which is very necessary in achieving our ultimate goal of processing tomatoes into tomato source without uninterrupted supply of the raw materials. .