Smallholder farmers and their families constitute perhaps half of the world's people living with chronic hunger, and an even larger share in sub-Saharan Africa. These farmers often do not have access to soil nutrient replenishment, such as chemical fertilizers and agroforestry techniques. Their yields are therefore dramatically reduced.

In the MV Sim, you can choose to either farm maize or cotton. Maize is a subsistence crop, in that you can consume it directly to meet your family's nutritional requirements and sell the surplus. Maize production depends on individual productivity, effort (person-hours dedicated to maize production), soil health, whether a drought occurs during that season, whether irrigation is present (irrigation directly benefits production and also negates the effect of a drought). In addition, maize can boost production on a plot of land if high yield variety seeds or fertilizer are used.

Unlike maize, cotton is a cash crop: your family sells the whole harvest and uses the money to purchase other goods. Cotton production also depends on individual productivity, effort, soil health, whether a drought occurs, whether irrigation is present, and whether fertilizer is used. Note that high high yield variety seeds are not available for cotton.