Providing high quality local horticultural produce to urban markets
2015 SEED Africa Award; Government of Flanders
Sustainable Agriculture

Hortinet cultivates horticultural produce and provides training in organic agronomic techniques and skills to smallholder farms in Malawi. The produce collected from the Hortinet farm and outsourced ones are then processed and packaged to be sold to urban markets through the enterprise’s network of distribution, substituting imported produce.

The company involves young entrepreneurs in organising produce collection from outsourced farms. Hortinet’s low-cost and sustainable irrigation technologies and conservation agriculture are saving input resources and increasing productivity.

The enterprise is building a more sustainable agricultural value chain from improved water usage and lower fuel use through gravity-fed irrigation systems to avoid commonly high post-harvest losses and offers local fresh produce to a market relying on imports.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts
Hortinet is creating market opportunities for smallholder horticulture farmers in Malawi and works to reach 5,000 farmers, 70% of which will be women, and improve their incomes by 75%. This builds a sustainable agricultural value chain from improved water usage and lowers fuel use.
  • Creating new market opportunities and increased income for mainly female smallholder horticulture farmers.
  • Supporting young entrepreneurs involved in the collection process.


  • Increasing sustainable water usage.
  • Reducing fuel use and carbon emissions through gravity-fed irrigation systems.
  • Mitigating the effects of climate change by sharing conservation agriculture practices.
  • Creating more employment opportunities for youth and women.
  • Stimulating the local economy with agricultural products to substitute imported fresh produce.
  • Reducing consumer expenditures on fruit and vegetables by up to 30%.


Hortinet is building a more inclusive and sustainable agricultural value chain in Malawi: In its supply chain, the enterprise supports local, mainly female smallholder farmers and young entrepreneurs. In cultivation, it reduces water usage and fuel consumption through gravity-fed irrigation systems; and up the value chain, it avoids high post-harvest losses and offers local fresh produce to a market relying on imports

The African Agri-business Academy (AAA) is a pan-African business platform for small and medium-sized agrifood enterprises, which offers Hortinet with access to agribusiness expertise. 

The Shoprite supermarket chain provides a marketplace for the fruit and vegetables sourced from contracted farmers and Hortinet’s farms.