ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Review of Data Relevant to Agriculture in India

Summarising the data relevant to the understanding of food production across the country unearths the lack of coordination between the ministries. This has resulted in the replication of efforts and inconsistencies in reported values for key indicators. Various other factors, including, for example, reporting in PDF format, frequent changes in district boundaries, missing data, and time lags in reporting, further hinder their utilisation. A standardised data collection protocol could be developed and overseen by a central, inter-ministerial Agri-Food System Data Governance Steering Committee. The establishment of such a committee would help ensure data-driven, evidence-based policymaking towards a nutrition-secure India. 

The authors extend our deepest gratitude to the reviewer for their detailed and insightful feedback that helped to revise this paper. 

The work has been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

A lack of access to data has been highlighted as one of the major barriers to evidence-based policymaking to improve agri-food systems (Fanzo et al 2020). While several efforts exist at the global level to compile data on agri-food systems, such as the Food Systems Dashboard (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition [GAIN] and Johns Hopkins University 2020) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Hunger Analytics Hub (WFP 2020), these portals are limited in that they do not have disaggregated data at the geographic scale needed to inform policy. The aim of this review is to summarise the availability of subnational data for India. We focus primarily on agriculture within the agri-food system because recent reports (Rathi et al 2018) have covered diet and nutrition data in India. However, we note that two new studies have come out since then—the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey-5 (2016–18), and the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5 [2019–21]). One other report, a working paper by the International Food Policy Research Institute, also reviewed some of these data sources, but was limited in scope and is over 10 years old (Gillespie 2012).

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Published On : 15th Mar, 2024

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