The produce from her farm is more than enough for her family and there is even surplus to sell in the market. Says Mahato: “My husband and I take the vegetables in an auto and sell them in the market in Lalbandi, the nearest city from our village.”
In the training, Mahato also learned to make organic fertilisers at home using vegetable and other kitchen waste. “This is the best way to save the quality of the soil. I only buy it from the market when I am running short of it,” she adds.
At present 38-year-old Mahato has leased 1.33-hectare land for commercial vegetable farming. But she had observed a sharp increase in her income from a mere Rs30,000 a year to Ts750,000 after she started implementing climate-resilient farming.
Read more: Women and water, Editorial
Rachana Bhattarai, Programme Analyst at UN Women says, “Women and girls are taking climate and environment action at all levels, but their voice, agency, and participation are under-supported, under-resourced, under-valued and under-recognized. Within women, it is also important to ensure how this is impacting women based on their caste, ethnicity, class, and geographical location.”
Outmigration of working-age men from Nepal’s villages has added to the burden of women but it has also allowed them to step into more meaningful leadership roles in their families and communities. They also play an important but often unrecognised role in agriculture that sustains nearly 80% of Nepalis.