Sustainable agriculture and nutritional security: emerging policy options with production choices.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with SDGs at its core, has focus much beyond the current generation and lays the foundation to protect hopes and aspirations of the future generations. In this endeavour to bring sustainable agriculture at the centre stage, inclusion of millets and pulses can pave a way. These crops can provide solution through localisation of SDGs towards sustainable agriculture by virtue of their reduced requirement of irrigation, chemical fertilizers etc. Moreover, these can help marginal and small farmers better leading to reduced inequalities and a pathway towards Green Revolution II, having a darker shade of green compared to the Green Revolution I. Besides being sustainable, millets prove to be finest of the fine cereals, and in a way shake off the tag of 'coarse' by providing better quality nutrition. Similarly, pulses are like a super food, even though they witness periodic price volatility. Unfortunately, area and production share of millets in the cereal basket is on the declining trend that certainly needs reversal. The Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Public Distribution System (PDS) have very small components of millets and pulses in spite of high market surplus ratios of these items. A way forward for the new framework for millets and pulses should internalise sustainable interconnects on pre-farm action, on-farm interventions, post-harvest management, marketing reforms, procurement and PDS reforms all interwoven around better awareness.