Centre to boost supply of fortified rice

What is the News?

The Department of Food and Public Distribution has started the Second Phase of the Rice Fortification programme.

What is the Rice Fortification Programme?

On August 15, 2021, the Prime Minister announced the Rice Fortification Programme.

Under this programme, the government aims to distribute fortified rice under various government schemes including the PDS, Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), PM POSHAN, and other welfare schemes (OWS).

Phase-1: It was completed in 2021-22. Under this, nearly 17 LMT fortified rice had been distributed under ICDS and PM-POSHAN. 

Phase-2: It began on April 1, 2022. Under this, 291 aspirational and high burden districts are to be covered for fortified rice distribution under the PDS by March 31, 2023.

Independent Evaluation: An independent evaluation would be carried out by the Development Monitoring & Evaluation Office (DMEO) under NITI Aayog of the rice fortification to assess the outcomes and impact of the programme.

Must read: Rice Fortification: Benefits, Concerns and Guidelines – Explained, pointwise
Why is the Rice Fortification programme important?

The Rice Fortification programme is important to address very high levels of malnutrition among women and children

For instance, malnutrition costs the country ₹77,000 crores annually in terms of lost productivity, illness and death. India lost about 1% of its GDP from anaemia.

Moreover, one rupee spent on nutritional interventions in India could generate ₹34.1-₹38.6 in public economic returns.

Read more: Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued to maintain desired quality standards for implementation of ‘Rice Fortification’

Source: The post is based on the article Centre to boost supply of fortified ricepublished in The Hindu on 14th June 2022.

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