Arieta Tuimua has been planning to plant vegetable seedlings on a dedicated plot of land outside her home for several months, which is a 30-minute walk from Cevai village in the district of Tavuki in Kadavu. However, there was an irrigation issue because her family of seven had recently relocated to an isolated farmhouse with no running water. They must walk for another 15 to 20 minutes to a nearby spring for water.
All of this changed when she received a new set of farming tools - a watering can, wheelbarrow, digging fork, shovel, square spade, cane knife, weeding knife, gap/hoe with handle, and two sets of raincoats, as well as a pack of nine varieties of vegetable seedlings and a crop calendar.
“I'd like to thank the UN Development Programme for supplying us with farming tools and vegetable seedlings, as I had just prayed about it and asked my husband to invest in some tools. I was so happy to see the watering cans because we had to walk quite a distance to get water,” she said.
“Just a few weeks ago, I managed to get some seedlings and wanted to plant it but my husband advised me against it because we couldn't water the seedlings and now that it's here, I know it's my answered prayer because I want to sell vegetables and root crops on the roadside because we live by the road," Ms. Tuimua added.
The handover of farming tools is part of the Markets for Change (M4C) project support for farmers and market vendors who attended trainings and workshops in Kadavu between 2020 and 2022 and demonstrated progress in their farming and market businesses as well as a strong desire to grow further. This support was also a component of Tropical Cyclone Harold, which ravaged Fiji in 2020, and the COVID-19 Livelihoods and Economic Recovery Efforts.