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Cornell University

Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition

Op-Ed Makes the Case for Millets in the PDS

Pearl millet

The Indian government can help to ensure that nutritious millets are accessible for all Indians by promoting their inclusion in the Public Distribution System (PDS), researchers from the Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition (TCI) argue in a new op-ed published in the Hindustan Times.

In the op-ed, TCI Director Prabhu Pingali and Research Associate Raghav Puri, point to TCI research on the true cost of the PDS, which shows that replacing some of rice with millets would make the food security program more environmentally sustainable. Millets’ inclusion in the PDS food basket would also improve the livelihoods of farmers in millet-producing states that do not currently benefit from government procurement.

“As the price and popularity of millets continue to rise, it will be pivotal to ensure that millet farmers and low-income households are not left behind,” Pingali and Puri write. “Promoting the inclusion of millets in the PDS can help alleviate these concerns and save millets from becoming the next quinoa or avocado—crops that have the potential to benefit all but have become boutique foods.”

Read the full article in the Hindustan Times: “Including millets in the Public Distribution System”

Featured image: Pearl millet plants. (Photo by Couleur, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)