The University of Newcastle, Australia

Food security and the governance of local knowledge in India and Indonesia

795 million people are undernourished, and they mostly rely on small farmers for food. To protect these farmers from the twin challenges of multinational agribusiness and climate change, this interdisciplinary project aims to:

  • examine the ways small farmers identify, conserve and exchange useful plant material and incorporate it into cultivated crops through plant selection and breeding under conditions of climate change;
  • identify the ways regulatory structures in India and Indonesia help or hinder this process; and
  • identify opportunities for the application of such local knowledge and its regulatory framework in Australia.

Lessons from these countries will help farmers, governments and businesses to develop supportive policies and identify new plant varieties for challenging conditions.

The project will also build collaborative international networks of researchers. It will combine socio-legal analysis of cases and legislation and ethnographic approaches of lawyers, anthropologists, agricultural and rural development experts to provide an innovative, integrative approach to deal with food insecurity.