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The VDSA Micro-level Data

The VDSA micro-level dataset include household-level survey data collected from:

  • Six villages of the Indian Semi-Arid Tropics under ICRISAT’s Village Level Studies (VLS) program for the period 1975 to 1984 and 1989;
  • Data collected by ICRISAT from the above-said six villages for the period 2001-2008; and
  • Data collected from 42 villages (including the above-said six villages) in India and Bangladesh for the period 2009 onwards.

Household surveys during First Generation VLS: 1975-1984 and 1989

ICRISAT’s Economics Program initiated the Village Level Studies (VLS) at six locations in Andhra Pradesh (Aurepalle and Dokur villages of Mahbubnagar district) and Maharashtra (Shirapur and Kalman under Solapur district, Kanzara and Kinkhed under Akola district) states in India in May 1975 (Table 1). It was later extended to two villages (Boria and Rampura under Sabarkantha district) in Gujarat in 1980 and two villages (Papda and Rampura Kalan under Raisen district) in Madhya Pradesh in 1981 in India . In the early 1980s, the VLS were also undertaken in six villages (Woure and Silgey in Djibo region; Kolbila and Ouonon in Yako region; and Koho and Sayero in Boromo region) of Burkina Faso and four villages (Fabidji, Gobcry, Sadiczc-Koira, and Samari in western Niger) in Niger in West Africa.

Table 1. Villages in which Village Level Studies were conducted from 1975-85 and 1989 in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

State District Village Study conducted
From To
Andhra Pradesh Mahbubnagar Aurepalle1 1975-76 1984-85
Andhra Pradesh Mahbubnagar Dokur1 1975-76 1984-85
Maharashtra Akola Kanzara1 1975-76 1984-85
Maharashtra Akola Kinkhed1 1975-76 1984-85
Maharashtra Solapur Shirapur1 1975-76 1984-85
Maharashtra Solapur Kalman11 1975-76 1984-85
Gujarat Sabarkantha Boriya1 1980-81 1984-85
Gujarat Sabarkantha Rampura1 1980-81 1984-85
Madhya Pradesh Raisen Papda1 1981-82 1984-85
Madhya Pradesh Raisen 1980-81 1984-85
1 - Resurveyed during 1989-90 cropping year.

During 1975-1984 and in 1989, twelve schedules were used in collecting the necessary information. A short description of the schedules is given below. Detailed discussions and documentation of the data for this period is reported in two VLS manuals:

  1. Manual of Instructions for Economic Investigators in ICRISAT’s Village Level Studies, by Hans P Binswanger and NS Jodha (published in 1978).
  2. Manual of Instructions for Economic Investigators in ICRISAT’s Village Level Studies (Revised), by RP Singh, Hans P Binswanger and NS Jodha (published in 1985).
Please Click on the links below to view the questionnaires
Questionnaires description
1. Household Census Schedule (VLS-A): This schedule contains family size, land holding details and sources of income
2. Household Member Schedule (VLS-C): This schedule contains all information about the family members like their age, sex, relationship with head, education, occupation, information about any attached laborers.
3. Plot and crop rotation schedule (VLS-D): This schedule contains all information about the all the individual plots such as plot code, total area, irrigated area, ownership status, source of irrigation, value, revenue and cropping pattern.
4. Animal Inventory Schedule (VLS-E): Contains information about the number and type of livestock and their value at the beginning of the cropping year.
5. Farm Implements and Machineries Schedule (VLS-F): In this schedule, major implements and machineries, their number and value are recorded and for minor ones, where several types of tools are involved, their total value is recorded and the details are given in the remarks column.
6. Farm Building Schedule (VLS-G): This contains information about farm buildings, ie. their area in square feet and values are coded.
7. Stock Inventory Schedule (VLS-N): The quantity, value of stocks of food grains, fodder, farm inputs, fuel, building material as well as durables on hand are given in this.
8. Debt and Credit Schedule (VLS-P): Details about indebtedness, credit, insurance policies, deposits etc. are given here.
9. Monthly Price Schedule (VLS-M): Average Prices of selected commodities and services for previous month as recalled by different persons.
10. Household Transaction Schedule (VLS-L): This schedule gives details on consumption quantities and expenditures, income by source, production expenditure, changes in the credit and debt position, capital gains and loss of household etc.
11. Labor, Draft Animal and Major Machinery Utilization Schedule (VLS-K): The purpose of this schedule is to record the utilization which the family makes of the resources under its control like labor of family members, labor servants, owned bullocks, owned tractors and power tillers.
12. Plot and Cultivation Schedule (VLS-Y): This schedule records operation wise input-output data for each plot constituting the operational holding of a farmer. It also includes the important characteristics of each plot, sub plot such as soil type, ownership, irrigation status, land value and revenue rate.

Household surveys during the Second Generation VLS: 2001-2008

The ICRISAT second generation Village Level Studies in India resurveyed the six villages in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra that were first studied in the first generation of VLS (1975-1985). During the initial years from 2001 to 2004, the frequency of the household surveys was limited based on the availability of funds. Detailed discussions and documentation of the data for this period are reported in two VLS manuals:

  1. Documentation of Second-Generation Village Level Studies (VLS) in India: 2001/02-2004/05, by Y Mohan Rao, K Ravi Chand, VR Kiresur and MCS Bantilan (published in 2011).
  2. Documentation of Second Generation Village Level Studies (VLS) in India: 2005-06 to 2008-09, by Y Mohan Rao, K Ravi Chand, V R Kiresur and MCS Bantilan (to be published).

Household surveys during the Second Generation VLS: 2009 onwards

In 2009, ICRISAT received support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the Village Dynamics in South Asia (VDSA) project. ICRISAT, the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NCAP) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in partnership with national research institutes has been conducting household surveys in 42 villages in India and Bangladesh. Seven modules have been developed for the household surveys. A short description of the schedules is given below.

Household Census Schedule (HCS): This schedule is collected in the beginning of the studies in the selected village. The main purpose is to select sample farmers. It deals with household information including land holding, ownership of land, resource endowments (livestock and farm machinery)and family composition (name, relation with head, sex, age, marital status, education, occupation, migration and purpose of migration are recorded.

General Endowment Schedule (GES): The General Endowment Schedule deals with information on resource endowments (family composition, land, livestock, farm implements, residential building, consumer durables, stock inventory, debt and credit) of the household; role of gender in ownership and decision making; coping mechanisms adopted by the household during drought years. This module is collected once in a year in the month of July.

Plot list and cropping pattern (VDSA–D): Household-wise plot lists are prepared by season. Crops grown by the household in each main and sub-plot are recorded by season wise in order to get input and output information by crop, variety and season. Information about leased/shared in and leased/shared out area and amount/output received/paid as land rent is recorded.

Employment Schedule (VDSA–K): This module provides information about the participation of family members in the village labor market and members of the household who migrated out for daily wage employment and part/full time monthly salaried jobs during the survey year. Information are collected about the nature of work (farm and non-farm), place of work, distance from village if migrated, total employment days, average working hours, involuntary unemployment days, wages received in cash and kind, and received by each individual member of the household. Information about the own work (farm/livestock/domestic/others) performed by the family members was also recorded.

Transaction Schedule (VDSA–L): This module is split into four parts. First part provides the information about the expenditure on broad categories of food and non-food items. Second part provides information on income from sale of crop and livestock outputs. Third part provides information regarding financial transactions and benefits received by the household through Government welfare and development programs. Fourth part provides information about the sale, and purchase of capital assets (land, house, plots, consumer durables and farm implements).

Monthly Price Schedule (VDSA–M): This schedule is designed to collect information about the average prices of selected commodities and services as recalled by a group of five persons for the previous month.

Cultivation Schedule (VDSA–Y): Information on operation-wise input-output data are recorded for each plot by crop/season to compute the costs and returns of different crop enterprises during the cropping year.

Livestock Economics Schedule (VDSA–Z): This module gives information about the maintenance of livestock and small ruminants owned by the household and total expenditure and returns from this livestock rearing during the survey year. Information about the purchase of fodder and feeds was also recorded.

 Manuals and concept map
Generation I manual 1 Generation I manual 2 Generation II (2001-2004) Generation II (2005-2009) NCAP VDSA documentation 2010-11 Concept map
Master list linking households Guide to Study Social and Economic Groups on VLS Social Analysis using Qualitative tools traininig manual