Jagat Basnet

Ashoka Fellow
Kathmandu, Nepal
Fellow Since 2007


This profile was prepared when Jagat Basnet was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
In a nation where land rights are tantamount to citizenship and landlessness begets poverty, Jagat is leading a movement that helps landless and tenant farmers to gain legal entitlement to the land they and their families have tilled for generations. 
While many development agencies work for rural poverty alleviation, Jagat works at the crux of the problem, supporting famers in their applications for land rights and empowering them to become not just skilled farmers, but skilled negotiators and leaders with landlords, government officials, and the general public. Through his organization, the Community Self-Reliance Center (CSRC), Jagat enables farmers to help themselves and each other as they learn how to file or fight for land rights, read, adopt new agricultural practices, and support one another as a unified group in society. 
As he partners with Nepali and international citizen organizations (COs) and facilitates the formation of tiller’s organizations or people's organizations, on a regional and national level, Jagat is helping farmers not only to negotiate their right to land access with their landlords, but with the larger society as well. In the process, Jagat and his organizations are changing the way the government and the people think about and support land reform in Nepal while also securing land rights for thousands of Nepali famers.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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