About the Project

With an objective to understand the dynamics of informal trade in agricultural inputs across the border of India-Bangladesh and India-Nepal, and its impact on livelihoods of farmers, including the gender dimension of those impacts, CUTS International has undertaken a project titled “Linkages and Impacts of Cross-Border Informal Trade in Agricultural Inputs in Eastern South Asia”, with support from Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

Eastern South Asia shares deep-rooted history, culture and economic ties, but the political boundaries between India, Bangladesh and Nepal, have divided the region into different countries. Though, these political boundaries have created hurdles to transact, they, don’t not affect the flow of resources and people across the borders. Due to these hurdles, for easy flow of resources, informal channels to trade are adopted. This informal sector or grey economy is that part of economy that is neither taxed, nor monitored by the government. Thus, it is important to understand the informal nature of cross-border trade, its extent and its impact on the local economy of the region.


In the past studies undertaken to quantify informal trade along India-Bangladesh and India-Nepal borders, it has been claimed that either through formal channel or informal channel, trade in food/agricultural products constitute a major proportion. Also because agriculture is a major source of livelihood in Eastern South Asia region, CUTS study will focus mainly on informal trade in agricultural input commodities, at specific locations between India-Bangladesh and India-Nepal.


This project will be implemented by CUTS, with assistance from project partners, Unnayan Shamannay (UnSn), Bangladesh, and South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), Nepal. Duration of this project is of 12 months, from July 2016 – June 2017.





Stakeholder Consultation on
Understanding the Dynamics of Informal Cross-border Trade in Agricultural Products in Eastern South Asia'

August 4, 2017, New Delhi, India
Agenda    Background





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Last updated: May 10, 2016

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