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Case Study: Environment

Yovita Kawage

Farming First Farming First

Yovita’s story:

Farming the Way Out of Hunger and Poverty



Yovita Kawage, 33


Iringa, Tanzania

Farm Type


I hope the SDGS will improve my access to market opportunities.

I have such limited access to market opportunities, it is always difficult with these poor roads.

My improved yields allow me to pay for my daughter’s school tuition, and to provide for my niece and younger sister.

Yovita is the head of her household, and provides for her daughter, younger sister, and niece. But her dependence on rain-fed agriculture means she has struggled to produce enough maize on her farm to eat and sell.

Since I cannot control the rain, my harvests are fluctuating as they solely depend on rain. That means, if there is not enough rain, I am likely to harvest little or harvest nothing,” she says. “There is nothing that I can do to desist from rain-fed agriculture unless my government intervenes with an irrigation system.

But thanks to One Acre Fund’s agricultural programmes, that gives farmers access to financing and training, Yovita is farming her way out of hunger and poverty. Farmers are supplied with hybrid maize seed and fertilizer, agricultural training on the best farming techniques, and market facilitation on credit to help them maximize their crop yields and increase their farm income.

Access to market, to sell her increased amounts of maize, is the top of Yovita’s wish list of things the Sustainable Development Goals could provide. “I have such limited access to market opportunities,” she says. “It is always difficult with these poor roads; infrastructure in my village and transport is so scarce and expensive, so I only sell my crop yields here in my village at the available market.”

“The only choice I have is to sell my harvests at any price in favour of the buyers since they are the ones who set the price.”

Poor access to improved seed and fertilizer were also major problems for Yovita. Most farming inputs that are sold in towns and cities were expensive and did not help her yields. Now, through One Acre Fund, she can apply for loans and buy seed and fertilizer.

With her boosted maize yields and subsequent income, Yovita has been able to send her daughter to school, and build a house for her family to live in.

Yovita’s calls to action:


I hope irrigation systems are introduced, so that I do not depend on the rain-fed agriculture, which makes returns unreliable.


I hope my access to market opportunities improves, so that I am able to make high profits from my agriculture. If I increase my crop yields and I don’t know where I can sell them, I will not be able to make high profits from my products, and thus I will still be a victim of poverty my entire life.


I want to access modern farming technology. This includes access to improved seed and fertilizer, and tractors or power tillers to help me maximize my crop yields and increase my farm income.



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