What is the News?
The Prime Minister has announced that rice distributed under various government schemes such as the public distribution system (PDS) and mid-day meal (MDM) will be fortified by 2024.
|Read more: Food Fortification of India|
Why Rice Fortification?
- India is one of the largest producers of rice. India also accounts for 22 percent of the world’s rice production. Further, India is also a leading consumer, with a per capita rice consumption of 6.8 kg/month.
- However, in India. every second woman is anaemic, and every third child is stunted.
- India ranks 94 out of 107 countries and is in the ‘serious hunger’ category on the Global Hunger Index (GHI).
- Hence, rice fortification has been found as a cost-effective strategy to tackle the problem of micronutrient malnutrition (shortage of essential vitamins or minerals) especially among women and children.
Note: Seven countries have mandated rice fortification – USA, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Solomon Islands.
How will the rice be fortified?
- According to the norms of the Food and Safety Standards Authority of India, 1 kg of fortified rice must contain iron (28 mg-42.5 mg), folic acid (75-125 mg) and vitamin B-12 (0.75-1.25 mg). In addition, rice may also be fortified with micronutrients singly or in combination.
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