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Re-Searching Agriculture in South Asia: The law and policy context for agricultural research and development and its impact on smallholder farmers

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Drawing on evidence and new data accessed under the Indian Right to Information Act, this report shows how an emerging web of powerful actors and processes is now redefining public agricultural research in South Asia. It analyses the forces and factors that are re-shaping and privatising research, resulting in rapid change under the influence of global economic forces such as the new rules of global finance, free trade, intellectual property rights, new laws, as well as consolidations and strategic alliances in the agricultural input industry and the structural power of multinational food corporations.

The report is part of an international initiative called Democratising Food and Agricultural Research, launched in 2007 by partners in South and West Asia, the Andean region of Latin America, West Africa, and Europe (including IIED), this multi-regional initiative uses a decentralised and bottom-up process to enable small-scale farmers and other citizens to (a) decide what type of agricultural research needs to be done to ensure peoples’ right to food; and (b) influence and transform agricultural research policies and practices for food sovereignty ( The South Asian component of this international initiative is known as the Alliance for Democratising Agricultural Research in South Asia (ADARSA) (

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