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Introduction of Millets in PDS Lessons from Karnataka

Publisher: LANSA

How can South Asian agriculture and related food policies and interventions be designed and implemented to increase their impacts on nutrition, especially the nutritional status of children and adolescent girls?” is the core question addressed by the research programme on Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA). A research theme under this is: How do policies and strategies influence poverty and the nutrition impact of agriculture? South Asia including India houses a large population of malnourished people. Apart from hunger, micronutrient malnutrition, especially among pregnant and lactating women, children and adolescent girls is widespread in India, as reiterated by the latest report of the National Family Health Survey. The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) seeks to: “provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices....”. The Act sought to bring nearly 75 per cent of rural and 50 per cent of urban population under the public distribution system (PDS). Public distribution of foodgrains began in India in 1942 and was institutionalized in the 1960’s with the establishment of the Food Corporation of India in 1965. Currently, India runs the world’s largest public food distribution system that delivers largely rice and wheat through designated Fair Price Shops (FPS) throughout the country. However, it is well established that rice and wheat alone are not adequate to meet the nutritional requirements of these segments. The NFSA provided for the distribution of millets, referred to as ‘coarse grains’ in the PDS. Given that millet is a naturally nutrient dense agricultural produce, making it available through the PDS will enable poor and vulnerable populations access the cereal and could help address the problem of hidden hunger.

Author(s): S.C. Rajshekar, S Raju | Views(136) | Download (42)

  
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