The 28 youth of Kafawa and Kapazanja youth group have a joyous story to tell. These two youth groups boast of acquiring MWK1,000,000 (USD750) revenues in 6 months from button mushroom production since they started working with JAT Investments in April 2020. JAT Investments a horticultural business with a primary focus is production of button mushroom, embraced the out-grower scheme model as part of their growth plan supported by the Growth Accelerator Programme.

As part of the programme, JAT visualized growth as working with the talented youth that had little to no opportunities to create a sustainable livelihood. These young people would be trained and supported in the production of button mushroom and sell to the ready market of JAT Investments.

“We were jobless and had nothing to do. We were also struggling financially. JAT came in to support us with mushroom farming and helping us find customers. In a few months we have been able to acquire unimaginable revenues – so much that now we have a bank account. We have also shared a percentage of profits among ourselves that will go towards farm inputs for the upcoming maize growing season. We are very happy and look forward to the next round of mushroom production”

 – Timvere Chigogwa , Katayira mushroom Club

The venture intends to work with youth groups in rural and peri-urban areas in Lilongwe in the coming years – establishing itself as a social enterprise and the largest local distributor of quality button mushroom. Their vision is to reduce the quantity of imported button mushroom, promote the local industry and empower the local communities they work with.

With support from Growth Accelerator JAT Investments has constructed a mushroom house that will be operational in December 2020. The venture has also purchased additional accessories to ensure for a smooth production process. The venture has supported youth groups in the construction of low cost mushroom houses from locally available low-cost materials. Growth Accelerator is a business acceleration programme that supports high impact local ventures to grow and scale. In the past 2 years – the programme has supported a total of 42 ventures with cumulative value chain of over 4,000 people across Malawi.