The Eastern Gangetic Plains connecting Nepal’s Terai, eastern India and Bangladesh, a region known as south Asia’s poverty square, is home to around 600 million of the world’s poorest. Research conducted by the International Water Management Institute shows that poverty here is accentuated by equalities by caste, ethnicity and gender.

Nepalese landless tenant farmer Janaki Devi Chaudary struggled to get by growing staple crops on rented land in the monsoon season. Half of her harvest went to the landlord, giving her little reason or money to improve production by investing in better seeds, fertilizer and irrigation equipment. Many men from her community have left to find work in cities, leaving Janaki and others to farm on their own.


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