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Picture of Chipunga Farm Board Members
Chipunga Farm Limited Board Holds First Meeting

By Stephano Nkhata

The Board of Directors for Chipunga Farm Limited held their first meeting on 14th January where among other things, they elected office bearers. This meeting followed the official handover of the farm earlier this month.

Bishop Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the Diocese of Karonga appointed the Board of Directors to play an advisory role in the management of the farm.

Picture of Chipunga Farm Board Members
Chipunga Farm Board Members

Mr Bob Jere, a lecture in Aquaculture at Mzuzu University, who had earlier been appointed Interim Chairperson chaired the meeting. During the meeting, the Board members confirmed Mr Bob Jere as Chairperson of the Board.

In the absence of the Executive Director, Mr Stephano Nkhata, Resource Mobilisation Officer, was confirmed as Secretary of the Board. The allocation of Board members into different positions was based on experience and field of specialization.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Jere expressed gratitude to the board members for entrusting him with the task. He promised to together with the members and Diocese as a whole to achieve the mission of the Diocese of Karonga.

The chairperson also thanked Bishop Mtumbuka for the best composition of the Board.

“The Board members are people of dynamic skills and expertise which is very advantageous to the smooth running of the farm,” He said.

Other members to the Board include: Mr Paul Guta, Business Administrator for Nedbank Malawi; Mr John Gift Mwakhwawa, Lawyer; Mr Ben Longwe and Mr Clement Mwale, Engineers; Mr Alfred Longwe and Stephano Nkhata, Marketers; Madam Kefasi Chawinga, Land Management specialist.

The board has also ex officials who will help a lot in the development of the farm. Among the ex-official members is Mr Daniel Zimba who has a vast experience in the growing and production of Coffee. Other ex-official members are Father Cecilio Silwamba, Director of Finance, Investment and Administration; Mr Mwawi Shaba, Caritas Secretary; Mr Franklin Msiska, Development Desk Officer.


Karonga Diocese Takes Over Chipunga Farm Limited

By Stephen Nkhata (Resource Mobilisation Officer)

Karonga Diocese continues to expand its income generating base and  has recently acquired  Chipunga Farm Limited with a financial loan from American Conference of Catholic Bishops. The previous owner of the company was Mr Bernard Shwarz.

The official handovers took place on 4th January, 2018 at Chipunga Farm in Chikwina, Nkhata Bay.  During the handover ceremony, delegation from Karonga Diocese was led by the Director of Finance, Investment and Administration, Fr. Cecilio Silwamba. Others included;  Mwawi Shaba, the Caritas Secretary; Stephen Nkhata, Resource and Mobilization Officer; Memory Dzodzi, Human Resource Officer; Franklin Msiska, Development Desk Officer; James Kasambala, the newly appointed Farm Manager and Mr. Osward Mtupila, Diocesan Lawyer. The  team of  the previous owner was composed of Mr. Bernard Shwarz, his wife and  Mr. Sam Kasambiza, an agent from Knight Frank ; a company that brokered the sale. The ceremony went on very well to the satisfaction of both parties.

Signing ceremony: Fr Cecilio Silwamba signs documents as Karonga Diocese takes over Chipunga Farm

Chipunga Farm covers 286.46 hectares of mountainous land of which approximately 40% is cleared, the remainder being woodland and built up area.

The estate is engaged in crop production with existing major crops being Macadamia which covers a position of about 20.9 hectares and coffee 3.6 hectares. The farm also possesses facilities for livestock farming.

The built up area comprises dwelling houses, offices. Store rooms, ablution block, water reservoirs, coffee drying tables, papery, receiving and fermentation tanks. However their conditions vary from good to dilapidated, typical for agricultural properties.

Karonga Diocese intends to plant the majority of the hectares with coffee and also expand macadamia hectares . Karonga Diocese has taken a path towards self-sustenance through investments such as Chitipa Filling Station, which serves the whole district of Chitipa and surrounding areas. The Diocese also has Misuku Coffee Farm which covers 15 hectares, out of which 3.2 hectares have been developed. The other project in the pipeline is the  Uzumala Farm in Rumphi District.