Suggestion of use of millets in the mid day meal scheme
Recently the government has suggested the use of millets in the mid day meal scheme.
The central government has called upon the states to consider the possibility of introducing coarse cereals in the mid day meal scheme. It is now known as PM Poshan (Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman) Yojana.
- Under PM Poshan, the Center bears the cost of food grains and their transportation. While the food list varies from state to state, rice and wheat based dishes are served on a large scale to children.
- Under this scheme, provision has also been made for supplementary nutrition in aspirational districts and high anaemia districts.
- Millets or nutritious cereals, including jowar, bajra and ragi, are rich in minerals and B-complex vitamins as well as protein and anti-oxidants. These nutrients make them an ideal choice for improving children’s nutritional outcomes.
- The production of coarse cereals in India has declined by 60% since the 1960s. However, the productivity (in kg/ha) of these crops has increased due to adoption of higher yielding varieties and better production techniques.
- The main reasons for the decline include low wages, lack of input subsidies and price incentives, subsidized supply of food grains through the Public Distribution System (PDS) and changes in consumer preferences.
Source – The Hindu