Historical socio-economic data critical for research and policy making, say agricultural economists

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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.

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