Authors : Minocha S, Makkar S, Swaminathan S, Thomas T, Webb P, Kurpad AV
Publication Year : 2019
Indian diets and national subsidy programmes are biased towards cereals, offering only limited quality protein. Promoting appropriate levels of production and consumption of high quality foods rich in protein is critical in India's attempts to enhance diet quality and resolve stubbornly high levels of undernutrition. Using nationally representative datasets, simulations were performed to assess the likely additional requirements of quality protein sources in the context of environmental stressors in India. Results suggest that policymakers need to pay much more attention to the drivers of protein supply via pulses and milk, whose demand is expected to rise sharply. For eggs, fish and meat, demand is not expected to increase significantly, thus efforts are needed to encourage consumer demand growth. Overall, to achieve enhanced dietary quality in coming decades agricultural and other food policies need to shift from a cereals only focus, to stronger investment in pulses, dairy and egg production.