The objective of undertaking field work as a part of the project is to analyse the perception of relevant stakeholders regarding the impact of globalisation (in particular, increasing openness where WTO is a key factor) on the sectors of agriculture and textiles in India.
Thus, it will focus on two sectors, agriculture and textiles & clothing, and in two states (Rajasthan and West Bengal). The following are some reasons for identifying these sectors.

  1. Agriculture and textiles provide huge employment, particularly to the marginalised sections of the society.
  2. State governments and grassroots NGOs are more concerned about the impact of globalisation and the WTO on these sectors. This is because they are dealing with these issues relating to these sectors as day-to-day concerns. Yet many of them are not in a position to comprehend the implications of policy changes at the national and international levels on the livelihoods of farmers and workers.
  3. Agriculture is a major component of the Doha Round of negotiations of the WTO and project outputs will be distilled to provide negotiating inputs to Indian negotiators. On the other hand, trade in textiles is expected to undergo a major change after the dismantling of the quota-regime in January 2005. The impact of such changes on the livelihoods of textiles workers is not clear. Project outputs will help in deriving measures to formulate and negotiate special and differential treatments for developing countries with respect to trade in textiles.
  4. It is an imperative to get people’s perceptions on globalisation and the WTO before doing any advocacy for policy changes. Thus, other than conducting a perception survey in all states in which the project will be implemented, an intensive fieldwork will be conducted in two of the states so as to have a better understanding on the impact of recent policy changes on these sectors. Partner organisations will conduct the perception survey and the fieldwork and for them to do it better, they will be linked with state-level research institutes (such as Institute for Development Studies, Jaipur, Rajasthan).

Field data will analysed to produce a study document, which will highlight the issues of globalisation and the WTO and their implications on the Indian economy and peoples’ livelihoods. This will have a section on institutional arrangements required to be in place in order to face opportunities and challenges on globalisation (particularly in the WTO regime of international trading system) in a situation of policy ineffectiveness due to underdeveloped structure of economic governance in India.

This document will be used by CUTS-CITEE and partner organisations to conduct advocacy at different levels, in particular in the run-up to and during the WTO ministerial meeting to be held in Hong Kong in December 2005. Furthermore, they will be disseminated to developmental agencies working at the international level, and thus will act as a tool of information dissemination and will manifest grassroots concerns from India at the international level.

Current Status

Field work in both the states has been completed and reports have been prepared.

Proposed Activities

Based on the field research reports, a study document is being prepared. This document will be used to conduct advocacy at different levels in particular in the run-up to and during the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Hong Kong in December, 2005.