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Consumption Pattern Of Wheat Products Needs To Be Diversified: Niti Aayog Member Ramesh Chand

The Niti Aayog Member also highlighted that wheat is one of the most efficient crop and the rabi (winter sown) is a great gift of nature.

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Niti Aayog Member Ramesh Chand on Tuesday said there is a lot of scope for diversification of consumption pattern of wheat products and urged the industry to introduce new products, including bakery items for both domestic as well as export markets.

Addressing a webinar organised by Wheat Products Promotion Society, he said the three new laws for the agriculture sector, which were passed by the Parliament last year, are 'pro-farmer'.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at Delhi borders since late November last year against the laws. Farmer unions are seeking repeal of the three laws.

The Supreme Court has put on hold the implementation of the three laws till further orders and has set up a committee to find solutions.

'Our consumption of wheat products is less diversified. There is a lot of scope in diversification of consumption of wheat products,' Chand said.

Indians mostly consumes wheat in the form of atta (wheat flour), he said, adding that the expenditure on other wheat products are very low.

Chand said there is a need to introduce new products especially bakery items for both domestic as well as export markets.

The Niti Aayog Member also highlighted that wheat is one of the most efficient crop and the rabi (winter sown) is a great gift of nature.

The cost of production of wheat is also very low in India compared to other countries while the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of wheat crop at nearly Rs 2,000 per quintal is most remunerative compared to other crops, Chand noted.

He also made it clear that he was not against higher MSP for farmers.

However, he favoured higher MSP to be paid in some other form like price deficiency payment scheme being implemented by the Madhya Pradesh government to avoid price distortion in the market.

This will also make the industry competitive in wheat and wheat products, Chand said.

To address malnutrition in the country, he said wheat qualifies for providing nutrition to the people through fortification. 

(PTI)