Rural consumers depend on market and PDS for cereals and pulses

Dependence on one’s own fields for wheat has reduced with rural households consuming only 29 per cent of total cereals from home-grown stocks

By Jitendra
Published: Friday 03 July 2015

New data released by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) shows that rural India buys more than 70 per cent of its total cereal requirement directly from the open market and public distribution system (PDS) shops. The numbers have not changed since the last survey in 2009-10.

The survey also revealed that the share of home-produced milk from rural India has declined to 57 per cent, indicative of the condition of livestock and dependence on the market.

The NSSO conducted the 68th round of survey on PDS and other sources of household consumption between July 2011 and June 2012. 

Data shows that rural India consumes only 10 per cent of total pulses and 29 per cent of total cereals from home-grown stocks. The share of rice from home-grown fields has increased, whereas the share of wheat has decreased.

Consumption patterns

Forty-six per cent of rural households consume rice from PDS in comparison to 23 per cent of urban Indian households. Tamil Nadu topped the consumption and purchase of rice from PDS in both rural and urban areas.

Only 34 per cent of rural India and 19 per cent of urban India depend on PDS for wheat. Maharashtra, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, reports the maximum consumption of wheat from PDS.

Tamil Nadu again leads states in the purchase of sugar from PDS in both rural and urban areas, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Kerala.

States like Punjab, Jharkhand, Bihar, Rajasthan and urban areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat have low dependency on PDS for sugar.


Data shows that 76 per cent of rural households and 30 per cent of urban households depend on PDS shops for kerosene. West Bengal topped the list of states sourcing kerosene from PDS, followed by Bihar and Chhattisgarh. Only Punjab and Haryana showed less dependence on PDS for kerosene. 


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