Botswana’s climate has been changing rapidly in recent years and has become more and more unpredictable.
However, this has not deterred Mavis Nduchwa, the owner and founder of Chabana Farms, from making headway in agriculture.
Chabana supplies honey and its by-products such as honey wine, which they recently introduced. The company also trains and supplies aspiring beekeepers with equipment, and assist them with finding clients.
In an interview Nduchwa said her passion drove her to take the route less travelled in agriculture, and decided to turn challenges into success.
“The idea was to empower communities using agriculture as a tool, especially the two demographics – women and youth,” Nduchwa told Business Monitor.
With the company having captured 10% of the local market in the past 12 months and exporting to Lesotho and Namibia with a recent addition of the United States of America to their list, Nduchwa said she can confidently say that their company has been well received.
Chabana Farms is a business-to-business company with its target market being supermarkets, hotels, pharmacies and wholesalers.
According to Nduchwa, their immediate competitors are South African companies, but have managed to beat them, as theirs is a rare Kalahari honey, which is very high in antioxidants,
“We have recently introduced Botswana’s first local wine made from honey. We want the world to know about the rare desert honey from Botswana. Kalahari Honey is to Botswana what Munuka Honey is to New Zealand,” she said.
She further advised startups to seek mentorship, incubation and acceleration, as it is not always about lack of startup capital.
Nduchwa highlighted that one can have all the money but without the right guidance, startups do collapse. She also encourages them to put value into their business networks, as they are the main key to success.
The company took the first position in the women-owned business and pride mark user category at the recent Grand Thornton Private Business Growth Awards.
Nduchwa said the award reflects the recognition of Chabana Farms from the business landscape adding that it means a lot for her and other female entrepreneurs in the country.
Nduchwa won the Most Outstanding African Entrepreneur award last year at the Tony Elumelu foundation and recently featured as a judge on the 2019 BBC Food Chain Global Champion Award.