Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economies rendering millions without employment. A number of countries have turned to labour market interventions to protect workers. India leverages on a workfare programme, the MGNREGA, to provide a fallback option for workers in rural areas.

This paper examines the relationship between per capita cereal consumption and per capita income in India using the India Human Development Survey 2004-05. It turns out that per capita cereal consumption remains much the same at different levels of per capita income, though it does vary substantially with education levels, household size, occupation patterns and urbanisation. The recent decline of cereal consumption over time may reflect changes in these non-income factors. While cereal consumption seems unrelated to per capita income, it is positively related to per capita expenditure.