Demystifying Non-Tariff Barriers to India-Bangladesh Trade in Agricultural Products and their Linkages with Food Security and Livelihood


To pursue the objectives, the study will use the primary data collected from the selected number of stakeholders by using semi-structured interviews. The main respondents would be those Indian exporters and importers who are involved in trading with Bangladesh in selected agricultural products through selected ports only. Other respondents’ categories include: government officials, transporters, Customs House Agents (CHAs), Farmers, and their Associations from India only. In addition to this, the study will use the secondary data on prices of selected food products, their volume of domestic production, exports, and imports to know the implications of removing NTBs to food security issue in India and Bangladesh.

For the analysis purpose, the study aims to use the qualitative research tools to analyze the primary information received from the field survey. The qualitative research analysis will provide the results on the basis of experiences and views of the concerned stakeholders. The study will use the ‘Framework Analysis’ to analyze the information collected from the field survey. The study will mainly focus on the explanation of existing system in place and the problems within that system. Port-wise case studies will be developed, one for each port, on the basis of qualitative research analysis. Each case study will provide the procedural hurdles, if any, affecting bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh.

To understand the impact of increase in volume of trade on the livelihood of the producers, the study will try to find out the linkage of the producer’s income with the exports of produced output. The study will try to target only those Indian farmers/farm laborers who are involved in producing that product of which supply goes to the Bangladesh. Through the interviews of selected number of respondents, the study will record their perceptions about the trade process and the impact of fluctuations in trade on their livelihood. The study will adapt the Household Livelihood Approach (HLA) developed by the USAID to study the impact of change in volume of trade/fluctuations in trade activities/trade policies on producers’ livelihood. This framework includes the detailed investigation of the living standards/conditions of the target respondents.

Further, to understand the linkage between bilateral trade of agricultural food products and the food security challenges of India and Bangladesh, the study will rely on two main indices: Bilateral Import Penetration Index (BIPI) and Total Import Penetration Index (TIPI), given in one of the study by Asian Development Bank (2013) on Bilateral Trade and Food Security. The study will take inputs from various experts time to time and adopt their suggestions as per the requirements.