Clara Kamlomo, a vibrant young farmer from Lilongwe, was awarded Best Business Personality of 2023 by the Business in Detail Magazine (BIM).
The award was presented on February 11 2023 during a business seminar organised by BIM.
Other individuals who are excelling in their industries were also recognised.
“I was awarded for thriving in Agribusiness alongside Napoleon Dzombe and Ngabaghila Chatata who are big names in the agribusiness industry.
“The award meant great recognition for the work and I felt honoured and appreciated,” she said.
Clara said through the award, she has realised that people and different stakeholders pay attention to what farmers and entrepreneurs are doing.
She added that she is inspired when she sees her influence impacting the community, society and Malawi as a whole.
She said:”This award is for every woman who is trying her best or is geared to do great things in this year because we all can do whatever we want and change the world.”
Clara is a horticulturalist trained at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar).
She started farming in 2016 soon after school and she has never looked back.
She is also the founder for Amazing B Projects, a company that was established to give solutions to agricultural issues such as equipping farmers with improved horticultural skills.
Through the projects, Clara has been using social media to influence young people and change people’s mindset about agriculture through trainings.
“We also do consultancy and production of farm produce such as honey processing, legumes, horticultural crops, fish farming focusing on fingerings multiplication, mushroom production and piggery.
“Growing up, I wanted to become a journalist or a soldier, but it was not approved by my guardian when I passed the Malawi School Certificate of Education,” she said.
The farmer was later encouraged to choose another course and she joined Luanar to pursue horticulture.
“I never knew about the passion I had for farming as a child. I remember removing tomato seeds each time I was asked to cook when I was young and I could plant behind the house as I always had a tiny garden of my own,” she narrated.
Clara added that the inspiration of her agribusiness came from the challenges she faced in her life back then.
She said:”I needed my independence and focus on my life. Since I was an agriculture graduate, I thought of using my skills rather than just staying home.
“The other inspiration was the supply and demand. Up to now, I don’t understand why we import some vegetables while we have water, good soils and am here to show Malawians that we can.”
The horticulturalist is based in Mitundu where she has a big farm.
Because of her remarkable works, in 2022 she was appointed Sadc youth ambassador for Malawi in 2022.
She explained:”This was one of the greatest achievements in my career where I travelled to Botswana to represent all the youths in Malawi at a Sadc youth meeting.
“A lot has happened in my life and I cannot forget to mention International Labour Organisation [ILO] for granting me a borehole, solar driven irrigation system, water tanks, tower and pipes at my farm because of the impact to my community.
Clara has created job opportunities in her community and taught many farmers new skills in agriculture and changed individuals’ mindset toward agriculture through her consultancies.
The famer has trained over 10 000 farmers.
She is now happy to see many people venturing into agriculture for a living, which is also good for the country.
The award winner is inspired every time people appreciate her work. That’s why she is determined to do more.
Dreaming big is part of her life.
Looking back, Clara believes she is the person she is because of the dream she had back when she was younger.
She wants everyone to always visualise their dream for their future.
In five years, her goal is to be the best producer of button mushrooms, become the biggest producer of horticultural crops and the biggest supplier in Lilongwe.
“My journey hasn’t been easy at all because I have been investing all my business money and it’s tough.
“I don’t have sponsors so I make sure I manage my money well and re-invest when I get profits for me grow. My helper is ILO,” she said.
Even though she has reached this far, the farmer looks up to Dzombe who is doing well in agribusiness.
Every time she looks at a helpless woman, she sees lack of empowerment, but she believes every woman can become great if empowered.
She observed that some just lack confidence because many doubt they are capable of doing something big; adding that everyone can do even more than she has accomplished.
She beamed:”I would love to take this opportunity to encourage fellow women who are being abused and can’t speak for themselves.
“You cannot be in that space forever; rescue yourself, seek help, be creative and don’t forget to be prayerful. It’s not bad to speak out and please talk to someone.”
Clara always plans ahead to balance her career and family for better results.
If she had a chance to start all over in life, she would use social media more and opened a business page from the beginning to promote her work.
“I wouldn’t have gotten married soon after school. Instead, I would have given myself space to do what I am currently doing now,” she confessed.
During her free time, she embraces beauty by going for professional makeup, hanging out, eating, listening to music and singing along with friends.