When we first walked into the Chitosa Trading grain warehouse, it was hard to envision just what this great big empty room could do to help improve the livelihoods and food security of Malawian farmers. But Mr. George Chitosa told us not to worry -– there are a few weeks to go before the harvest. In a month, this warehouse will be piled high with maize, and the farmers that sell to him will go home happy with a good price for their maize.
Grain bulked at Mr. Chitosa’s warehouse can be sold on the African Agricultural Commodity Exchange and purchased by buyers like the World Food Program. The bulking center creates such a reliable market for both sellers and buyers, that the Opportunity International Bank of Malawi, a commercial bank targeting the poor in under-served areas, will be providing first-time credit to 200 farmers selling to Chitosa Trading. I walked away this time with a smile on my face –- through a strong public-private partnership, a Feed the Future program was clearly making a difference in many people’s lives.
Photos by Morgana Wingard