Coarse cereals have been gradually edged out of the diet basket of Indian's. Critically examine the reasons. In your view, why coarse cereals should be promoted?

Hint: There are several reasons- firstly, despite their equivalent or better nutritional values, the coarse cereals are considered to be inferior grains in comparison to rice and wheat. Rising income of the people led to a change in the consumption pattern and people moved to rice, wheat, pulses and fruits in place of these cereals. Secondly, government support to wheat and rice in the form of MSP provided during green revolution era led these finer cereals to march ahead with more and more area under their cultivation.
But despite of policy neglect, the coarse cereals have developed niche for themselves as livestock and bird feed, and growing industrial uses.
They should be promoted because they need less water, can be grown in poor soils, are capable to deliver higher yield per hectare and are equivalent or better in nutrition in comparison to finer cereals. They should be promoted as neutri-cereals; and as gluten-free alternatives to finer cereals. They can help in proper implementation of the National Food Security Law.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Coarse cereals have been gradually edged out of the diet basket of Indian’s. Critically examine the reasons. In your view, why coarse cereals should be promoted?

Published: October 27, 2015 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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