1. Agriculture World

Madhya Pradesh Government Launches Pilot Programme of Rice Fortification in India

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

India has a substantial percentage of poor population who do not get adequate nutrition in the early years of childhood and they remain mentally and physically stunted for life.

Micronutrients like Vitamin A, zinc and iron are lacking within the diets of the poor within the developing world.

Providing such nutrients through biofortified crops is the Government’s vision to impart health to the poor. 

Biofortification is one among the agenda of the present government and the Prime Minister’s vision of malnutrition less India. The idea is to provide fortified Rice that provides minerals and vitamins in sufficient quantities at affordable prices. Distribution will be linked with government programmes like mid day meals, Anganwadi etc to make India Kuposhan Mukta.

ICAR has already started Nutri sensitive Programmes for promoting family farming and has developed 53 such varieties during the last five years. ICAR is taking efforts to revive the nutrition garden models in the rural areas and are at present being promoted by KVKs to make sure access to locally available, healthy and diversified diet with adequate macro and micronutrients. 

The Rice fortification Pilot programme has been started by Government of Madhya Pradesh in Singrauli District. The vision is to fortify rice and supply it through ration shops, mid day meals etc by 2024.Bisahulal Singh, Food and Civil Supplies Consumer Protection Minister, launched the pilot programme in Singrauli. The idea is to supply rice at the lowest rate possible to the beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System. 

Anemia Mukt Programme and Poshan Abhiyan are programmes launched to make India Kuposhan Mukt. Rice is considered to be the staple food as 65 % Indians consume Rice and as per reports the per capita rice consumption in India is 6.8 kilogram per month (as per National Sample Survey Office, NSSO 2015). So Fortified Rice will reach maximum population. 

Tarun Pithore, managing director, Madhya Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation, Mansi Shekhar, state program representative, Nutrition International Madhya Pradesh reiterates the importance of Rice as the perfect vehicle to reach masses. Global Organization called Nutrition  International is working with the Government of Madhya Pradesh since 2006, to extend its technical expertise to ensure the successful implementation of this programme

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