b'NO MOREPRAYING FOR RAINBY REGEENA REGMI, WORLD ARK CONTRIBUTORPHOTOGRAPHS BY NARENDRA SHRESTHAWHEN THE SOIL IN HER FIELDBut, like many other smallholder BEGINS TO DRY AND CRACK, Tarafarmers in this area, Tara depends Devi Mahato scans the skies, searchingon unreliable rainfall and the annual for signs of the precious commoditymonsoon season to irrigate her crops. that keeps her crops growing and herWhen monsoon season arrives in June, livelihood intact: rain. clouds swallow the mountain views, Tara lives in the village ofand rain blankets the land as humidity Pashupatinagar in Nepals Terai region,and temperatures shoot up. In just the countrys southern strip knownthree months, the season accounts for as the food basket75% of the countrys because of its fertileRain patterns annual rainfall.soil and productivecan either make orRain patterns plains well suited forbreak us. Water is socan either make or diverse agriculture.precious. I could notbreak us, Tara said, Here, she tends tomake a living if therecalling a recent seasonal vegetablesdry spell and the on her half-acre farm,rains were delayed.days shed spend a plot of land rimmedTARA DEVI MAHATO praying to rain gods, with luscioushopeful that divine shrubs and forests. intervention would Host of the Himalayas, andwarrant a cloud or two. Water is so landlocked between India on threeprecious. I could not make a living if sides and China to the North, Nepalthe rains were delayed.is home to almost 20 million peopleIts a frighteningly unpredictable making a living in agriculture. Farmersdance with enormous consequences. here grow staple food crops like riceDroughts or delayed rains deplete and maize alongside teas, spices, aproduction, driving food prices up variety of fruits and vegetables, andand crippling local farmers ability to livestock, like goats. earn a Sustainable Living Income. 20| SUMMER 2022'