Historical socio-economic data critical for research and policy making, say agricultural economists
ICRISAT’s socio-economic data sets for India at the district and village levels, collated over several decades, are vital for researchers, institutions and policy makers, agreed experts in a recent conference. These data sets continue to have great potential to support research and policy making, they said, and made recommendations on further use of the data.
At the conference, Dr Shalander Kumar, Principal Scientist, Agriculture Economist, ICRISAT, presented the Rural Households Panel Data (1975-2014) which has provided insights from the grassroots for informed, need-based and science-led policy making. Due to its open access nature, it is a great boon for students and young researchers; in fact, over 2,800 users (including 576 students) from more than 45 countries have already downloaded the Village Dynamics in South Asia (VDSA) data sets. These data sets have resulted in very highly cited articles in high-impact journals.
Dr S Nedumaran, Senior Economist, ICRISAT, discussed the District-Level Database (DLD) for India, and explained the features and the working of the web tool for the same. Urging all participants to share their own data for their respective states, Dr Nedumaran emphasized the importance of keeping the database up to date.
The comprehensive data gathered by ICRISAT over the years was greatly appreciated by participants, especially the fact that it was easy to access and understand.
Some of the recommendations received in response to the presentations were:
- The data could be used to support a district (or a cluster of districts) and one agricultural product.
- The data could help identify development gaps and, by comparison with other districts, help find ways to close the gaps.
- The data sets could be used to identify development drivers in certain lagging districts.
- For locations where district-level data was unavailable, state-level data could be incorporated, with appropriate notifications.
The above presentations were part of a symposium ‘ICRISAT- District level time series and household panel data for agricultural research and development planning’ as part of 28th Annual Conference of Agricultural Economics Research Association (AERA) India on 15 December 2020. Dr PK Joshi, President, AERA, greatly appreciated the quality and scope of data collected by ICRISAT.
This symposium was sponsored by CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals.
For more on ICRISAT’s work in this area, click here: Poverty Dynamics| EXPLOREit@ICRISAT