Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken the initiative of fortified rice to make the country free from malnutrition. Malnutrition has become a serious problem after covid 19. This project is being brought after the success of the pilot project run in 15 states. Also, this project will be implemented across the country. Till the year 2024, only fortified rice will be distributed under the Central Public Welfare including the ration system.
What is fortified rice?
Iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12 are added to rice to make up for the micronutrient deficiency. In addition, this rice can be stored for 1.5 years.
According to the survey report of NSSO, rice is the staple food of 65% of the population in India. Through the Public Distribution System, 3.50 crore tonnes of rice are distributed to a total of 81 crore people every year. Also, rice is distributed to 8.5 crore children of aanganwadi and pregnant women. Similarly, rice is supplied to 10. 4 crore school students every year in the mid-day meal.
Report of World Health Organisation
According to the WHO report, despite filling the stomach in India, there is a very bad condition of Nutrition. Every second woman is a victim of anemia. And every fourth child is malnourished. 70 percent of the population gets only 50 percent of the nutrients. Malnutrition is the cause of death for children under the age of five years of 68% of total deaths. It is believed that one rupee spent on malnutrition in India can earn more than Rs 34.
Fortified rice is used in seven major countries including the US, Philippines that too compulsively. Also, it has been partially launched in all the countries. Integrated Child Development Service and Mid Day Meal use 100% fortified rice has been started from 1st April 2021 in the country. All the aspirational districts will be brought under its ambit from 1st April 2022. Then, after the prime minister’s announcement, it will be implemented in all the districts of the country by 2024.