Invasive pests, rocky soil, and the chore of gathering water makes farming difficult in the hills of rural Nepal. For young mother Kalasha, who belongs to a discriminated social group, her challenges were even greater. Her husband left home to earn money in India only 22 days after their daughter was born. “It was very difficult,” said Kalasha. “I had no money to buy vegetables. I bought very cheap greens and lentils.”
But now, Kalasha is on a journey of rapid growth. With support from local iDE-trained farm advisors, Kalasha switched to growing high value vegetables, increasing her annual income by US$700, enough that her husband was able to come back from India to help her run the farm business. When asked how her life has changed since moving from subsistence farming to a successful family business, Kalasha said, “I feel deeply grateful in my heart.” Kalasha is now an empathetic mentor to other women.
What's next for Kalasha
Kalasha plans to increase production during the dry season with the help of the local plant doctor, who is trained by iDE and the government to diagnose disease and pest problems and provide safe solutions.
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