Diversification of the Public Distribution System in India

TitleDiversification of the Public Distribution System in India
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsKing E.DIsrael Oli, Padulosi S, Balam D, Vaibhav S, Meldrum G
Book TitlePUBLIC FOOD PROCUREMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS AND HEALTHY DIETS
Volume2
ChapterPart D-31
Pagination12
PublisherFAO and Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
CityRome
KeywordsHealthy Diets, PDS, small millets, Sustainable Food
Abstract

In 2013, the Indian Government approved the National Food Security Act, which included small millets in the country’s Public Distribution System (PDS). This represents a major policy change for the world’s largest procurement system, which since its establishment in 1939 has focused largely on rice and wheat. This chapter offers reflections on challenges, needs and opportunities linked to this important policy, with a view to contributing to its sustainable and socially equitable implementation. The decision to include small millets was made based on the multiple strategic benefits that these underutilized species can offer in terms of resilience, nutrition, income generation and empowerment of smallholder farmers. However, seven years after the approval of this policy, its effective implementation is slow and challenged by several issues. Several recommendations are made to help realize the societal benefits of the distribution of millets through the PDS.

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