Open-access agrifood system data from 4,000 households across Bangladesh, India, and Nepal

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South Asia, home to one quarter of the global population, faces issues such as poverty, malnutrition, and unsustainable food production systems despite being a major producer of food. The region faces escalating levels of unhealthy food consumption, unsustainable farming practices, and the adverse impacts of climate change. TAFSSA (Transforming Agrifood Systems in South Asia), a CGIAR Regional Integrated Initiative, seeks to deliver actionable evidence and scalable innovations in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal

To address the critical gap of data to inform effective food systems transformations, TAFSSA rolled out comprehensive agrifood systems assessments in early 2023 in rural areas of five districts across Bangladesh (Rangpur and Rajshahi), India (Nalanda), and Nepal (Banke and Surkhet). These diverse locations are “hot spots” of poverty, malnutrition, social inequity, environmental degradation, and climate risks where significant development impact is possible and scalable.

The survey instruments were designed based on major food systems conceptual frameworks including the following:

A review of the domains and indicators linked to these frameworks informed the initial design of the TAFSSA assessment. Targeted field visits to survey districts and stakeholder meetings were used to co-design a multi-component agrifood systems survey that can be fielded in different contexts. The survey was rolled out at individual, household (n=4000), and community levels. The primary respondents for the individual and household survey included adults aged 20+ years (n=2045 men and n=3962 women), and adolescents aged 10-19 years (n=3997). Community level information such as infrastructure, wage rates, and land use was collected from ward members, Anganwadi workers, school teachers, and village leaders.

The main objectives of the agrifood system assessment were:

  • Demonstrating the feasibility and the value of creating locally relevant agrifood system datasets.

  • Collect high-resolution data that connects production systems, markets, diets, and the environment to understand linkages between different components of food systems.

  • Develop and showcase methods for collecting gender-disaggregated data from farms, markets, and households.

The broad domains for which TAFSSA collected data include diets, food sources, drivers of food choice, exposure to advertisements, household food and water insecurity experiences, home food observations, food shopping habits and preferences, gender, agriculture, production sales, climate related shocks, farming futures, asset ownership, social safety nets and memberships, access to credit, and adolescent aspirations.

The open-access dataset resulting from this assessment is now available for download. Interested parties can access the dataset through country-specific links provided below.

Bangladesh (Rajshahi and Rangpur)

India (Nalanda)

Nepal (Surkhet and Banke)

Using data collected, TAFSSA produced a set of nine Data Notes for each district. These data notes, together, provide a holistic picture of the agrifood system in the district.

1. Agricultural production and use: Crop, homestead, livestock, and fish cultivation and use

2. Food markets: Retail shop characteristics

3. Food purchasing behavior: Shopping practices, food perceptions, and aspirations

4. What are people eating: Food consumption, food security, food sources, and food perceptions

5. Unhealthy foods: Consumption, perceptions, and exposure to advertisements

6. Adolescents’ diets and aspirations: Food consumption, task allocation, and future aspirations

7. How do household members share tasks across the agrifood system

8. What decisions can women make: Women’s agency and perceptions of domestic violence

    9. Climate adaptation: Climate shocks, impacts, responses, and adaptive capacity of local food systems

    To know more about the district agrifood systems assessment, click HERE.

    To know about TAFSSA, click HERE.

    For any questions regarding the dataset, please write to with the subject line ‘Query_TAFSSA Integrated Survey Data’.

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