Jack Canfield’s book, “How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” outlines twenty five success principles, of which number thirteen is “Taking Action”. They say if you don’t take action, your dreams will be just that, dreams. There is one young man I know that has taken action taking to a phenomenal level. Twenty Seven year old Tiyese Malikebu, is a 2016 Agricultural Economics graduate from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He is the founder of Anameal Trade and Research; a dairy cattle farmer and owns a transport business. Currently he is doing his Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics.
Born 11th September 1992 and raised in Lilongwe, Tiyese attended Lilongwe Christian, Golden Gate Memorial and Good Hope primary schools, and later went to Bwaila and Malosa Secondary Schools. In 2011, he enrolled into the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources to pursue undergraduate studies in Agricultural Economics and graduated in 2016.
In September of 2015 Tiyese started a poultry production initiative, which lasted nine months. He then proceeded to join the Ministry of Information and Civic Education for a brief six-month internship period, which ended in April of 2016. In the same year he was joined by a colleague and started a business that focused on the legume value chain. They concentrated on providing high quality seeds and inputs to farmers, training them and connecting them to potential markets. This initiative grew in personnel as well as reach and was later named Anameal Trade and Research.
“A friend of mine and I won a contract to supply 2000 tonnes of groundnuts to Artiele Investments in Kanengo. And though we didn’t manage it all, it gave us a business idea. We now have farmer cooperatives that we support and provide them with inputs and expertise. We find the markets and share the proceeds”
Towards the end of 2016, Anameal, then a six-member team, was hired by Malawi Dairy Industries (MDI) to manage its livestock sector. After the contract with MDI was completed, Tiyese’s Anameal progressed to enroll students for project management courses; focusing on monitoring and evaluation, data analysis and reporting. This generated an overwhelming response from the public and Anameal never looked back!
“We started small and our project has been self-funded. Our first Anameal class had 27 people, which was great for a first try. By then we didn’t have authorization to give out certificates, so we asked another institution to offer certificates on our behalf.”
Since then Anameal has worked with Livingstonia Synod and Northern Region Police just to mention a few. They have trained about 700 individuals in project management, monitoring and evaluation. During the same period, our entrepreneur started a dairy enterprise.
“We noticed from our time with MDI that the dairy cattle venture was very profitable so we decided to start our own. I bought one dairy cow from a farmer and paid in installments, and kept buying more; now we have a number of them.”
Furthermore, Mr Malikebu also owns two passenger transport vehicles, which he has recently purchased. In his endeavors with Anameal Trade & Research, he outlined that poor standards by other training institutions in the industry undermine the services and abilities of other firms including his.
“The market has been flooded with low quality training institutions and it’s watering down the service quality and fuels loss of trust and faith from potential clients, as such we’ve asked TEVET to intervene.”
From his experience, Tiyese further stated that there is low support for Small and Medium Enterprises in Malawi.
“There are a lot of government requirements and costs that small businesses face. There are more factors that hinder business growth, than those that assist.”
After all they have accomplished, Anameal Trade & Research is still setting higher goals. They plan to advance their product in both quantity and quality of service.
“In the next five years, we will be among the largest milk and livestock producers in Malawi. Our project management, monitoring and evaluation section will be among the leading institutions in management trainings as we will keep offering certificates and external board diplomas”
To aspiring entrepreneurs:
“The key thing is to start, and when you do, be prepared to not give up, because there are a lot of challenges in business especially here in Malawi. I believe that if you set a goal, and you’re headed in the right direction, you will eventually get there regardless of your pace.”