The Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition (TCI) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) will expand and improve the district-level database for the agriculture and allied sectors in the country.

The open-access platform database will be updated with additional variables related to the nutrition, food security and sustainable agriculture in the different districts.

The database currently features socioeconomic, environmental, nutrition, and health-related data for 571 districts in 20 States from 1966-2017.

The database includes 74 datasets, 1,030 variables and more than 11 million data points.

“For the next iteration of the database, TCI and ICRISAT researchers will update its data through 2019-20 and create national and State-level datasets,” an ICRISAT official said.

The new variables that will be considered for inclusion include information on fisheries, plantation crops, social safety net programmes and agro-processing industries.

“Researchers will also explore the potential use of the remote sensing and high-resolution satellite imagery to collect data related to irrigation and other variables,” he said.

“The District-Level Database has empowered researchers to perform vital studies of India’s food and agricultural systems,” Prabhu Pingali, founding director of TCI and Chair of ICRISAT’s Governing Board, said.

As part of the partnership, TCI and ICRISAT will promote the database through a series of user engagement workshops, webinars, and other events highlighting the data platform’s features and capabilities.

Arvind Kumar, Deputy Director General-Research, ICRISAT

Arvind Kumar, Deputy Director General-Research, ICRISAT

“We have been collating this database since the 1990s for internal use and shared data with funders like the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) over various time periods,” Arvind Kumar, Deputy Director General-Research, ICRISAT, said.

“Now with support from TCI, we have made the data available on an open access platform,” he said.

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