‘Study needed on millet inclusion under PDS’
Moving from food security to nutritional security: Civil Supplies Commissioner
Commissioner of Civil Supplies Akun Sabharwal has underscored the need for a study on introduction of millets into the public distribution system (PDS), stating that it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that no citizen is forced to go to bed on an empty stomach.
Addressing a gathering of farmers here on Monday before inaugurating the month-long biodiversity festival in this village under Zaheerabad mandal, Mr. Sabharwal said the Deccan Development Society (DDS), which is organising the festival, is moving from food security to nutritional security, and millet farmers will play a key role in this process.
“Marginalised sections of women are inching towards social and economic autonomy by cultivating millets. Millets in PDS needs a distinctive approach. We are conducting a study on the supply of bajra,” he said adding that the government cannot force the farmer what to cultivate and that it is the prerogative of the farmer.
Later speaking to reporters, Mr Sabharwal said other States such as Odisha have evinced interest in studying Telangana government’s Rythu Bandhu scheme. Responding to a question, he said there was bumper harvest of paddy in the State and so far, 36 lakh metric tonnes of paddy has been procured and it was expected to reach 39 lakh metric tonnes. He attributed the increase in procurement to enhancement of minimum support price and heavy rains.
DDS director P.V. Satheesh expressed serious concern over increasing cultivation of cotton at the cost of millets in this region. He said the cotton cultivation will not benefit the farmer, the women or the soil. He also stressed the need for procurement of millets from the farmers.
Two women farmers, Chandi Bai and Anjamma, explained the advantages of cultivating multiple crops.
Prof. S Galab, director of Centre for Economic and Social Studies and Dr. V. Rukmini Rao, director, Gramya Resource Centre for Women, were present.
First published by The Hindu on 15 Jan. 2019