The World Food Program (WFP), a U.N. agency and our host in Malawi, created Purchase 4 Progress (P4P) to help small farmers struggling to sell their crops. The pilot program gives farmers market access to boost their profits, and feed hungry Malawians by distributing the food the farmers grow to other WFP initiatives.
We went out to meet some of the beneficiaries of P4P at a farming organization in the rural village of Mwandama, located in the Zomba district. As producer of this story, I thoroughly researched and prepared for this shoot, but no amount of homework could have prepared me for what we saw.
As we began our drive through the village, we saw acres upon acres of beautifully cultivated land and crops, juxtaposed by small huts with no roofs, children running barefoot, and an overflowing health clinic where many of the children had a prominent cough.
We met with local farmers who told us about how being in partnership with P4P has changed their lives, not only professionally but also personally. Almost every farmer we spoke to said that being involved with P4P has given them the opportunity to pay their children’s primary school fees and provide a better life for their families. One partner with P4P said she was able to afford to send herself to school to finish her education as an adult. Incredible!
The effects of P4P have spread throughout communities in some unexpected ways. What started off as an initiative to help provide food for those in need, ended up becoming a regenerative program which helps to fight food insecurity, encourage economic growth, and educational advancement.
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