Study reveals that high prices of pulses may affect nutrition security

Food habits during COVID-19 may have shifted from diverse and nutritive dieta to staple foods such as wheat and rice as the prices of vegetables, pulses and eggs rose sharpky after the lockdown while those of cereals remained relatively stable, according to the new survey of Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition in New York.

The study revealed that following the lockdown all food groups witnessed a rise in prices compared to 2019 but the rise in prices was higher for non-cereals compared to cereals. After the lockdown was lifted, prices of cereals, eggs, potatoes, onion and tomatoes stabilised quickly while those of protein rich pulses continued to remain high.

Prices of pulses rise and continues to remain higher than the pre-COVID-19 levels- Thur dal was up by upto 45%, red lentil(masur dhal) by 20-25%, moong dal by 20-80% gram dal by 10 to 40% and urad dal by 0-80%.

" The relative stability in cereal prices and enhanced prices of pulses will most likely distort spending and consumption decisions. This will perpetuate reliance on a staple based, protein

deficient diet. The government can ensure the provision of supplementary protein", the study group recommended.

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