Over India as a whole, between 1972–1973 and 2004–2005, the annual per capita consumption of sorghum declined from 8.5 to 2.7 kg (68 %) in urban areas and from 19.1 to 5.2 kg (73 %) in rural areas. However, in inland regions of Central, Eastern and Western Maharashtra and Northern Karnataka sorghum is still an important crop with annual per capita consumption in rural areas ranging from 31.8 to 54.2 kg and in urban areas from 9.9 to 34.0 kg. Moreover, in the rural parts of these areas as well as Northern Maharashtra, the inverse relationship between sorghum consumption and income is less apparent than elsewhere. Both states grow a large proportion of the Indian crop – Maharashtra 47 % and Karnataka 20 % with lesser amounts being grown in Andhra Pradesh 9 %. There is variation within regions of the three states with respect to the total amounts grown and the proportions of the two sorghum types, rabi and kharif. The former is preferred as food as the latter tends to be of poorer quality and subject to grain moulds: it is consequently mostly used as a feed ingredient in the poultry and livestock industries and as raw material for the alcohol industry. However, there are considerable shortfalls of rabi sorghum in most of the regions of the three states, the deficit for human consumption being made up from better quality samples of kharif sorghum, which is less expensive than the rabi type. It is suggested that sorghum should be included in the Public Distribution System (PDS) in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and that research should be devoted to increasing the productivity of the rabi type, in order to make it affordable for the poorer sections of communities.
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The NSSO household consumption data on sorghum is not separated into kharif and rabi sorghum and hence the sorghum production data for the two seasons has been combined for the purpose of comparison.
The classification of households into low, middle and high income is based on distribution of households in each expenditure class. For urban areas, household expenditure (in Indian Rupees) is classified according to the following criteria: <580 = low, between 580 and 1,880 = middle and >1,880 = high. For rural areas, the criteria are <432 = low, between 432 and 632 = middle and >632 = high.
Alternatively food stamps could be issued enabling consumers to buy the grain of their choice.
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Gali, B., Rao, P.P. Regional analysis of household consumption of sorghum in major sorghum-producing and sorghum-consuming states in India. Food Sec. 4, 209–217 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-012-0189-9
- Regional consumption
- Demand and supply