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Centre increasing capacity for fortification of rice to address anaemia

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New Delhi, June 29, 2021 (Agency) The ministry of food and consumer affairs on Tuesday said that to address anaemia and micro-nutrient deficiency in the country, it is increasing the capacity for the fortification of rice from 15,000 MT to 3.5 lakh MT by incentivising and creating awareness among rice millers.

In India, 58.5 percent of children aged 6-59 months, 53 percent of women within the reproductive age group and 22.7 percent of men aged 15-49 years suffer from anaemia as per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) IV (2015-16).

Presently, there is no scheme available for connecting rice millers with banks. However, a letter was sent to the States to connect millers with banks in respect of various provisions of Atmanirbhar Bharat package of MSME. Also, the incremental cost of fortification of rice is fixed at Rs 0.73/kg which includes the components like FRK Procurement & transportation, Operational Cost, Depreciation, Annual interest cost on total investment, Interest on working capital, Quality Control (laboratory test, collection charges etc.)

The centrally sponsored pilot scheme on “Fortification of Rice & its Distribution under Public Distribution System” is currently implemented in 6 States — Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. They have started the distribution of fortified rice under the pilot scheme. Kerala and Odisha are likely to start the distribution shortly. Approximately 1.73 lakh MT of fortified rice was distributed till May, 2021 under the pilot scheme.

As per the latest information received from UN-WFP, the current FRK production stands at around 50,000 MT per annum.

States/development partners have been asked to conduct Baseline/Endline evaluation studies in the States to measure/compare the impact on consumption of fortified rice.

Fortification of rice is a cost-effective and complementary strategy to increase vitamin and mineral content in the diet and a step towards nutritional security and to fight anaemia and malnutrition in the country. This strategy has a proven track record across many geographies in the world.

The Department of Food & Public Distribution along with the Food Corporation of India planned to distribute Fortified Rice under ICDS/MDM from April, 2021. FCI has procured nearly 6.07 LMT of Fortified Rice (FCI & DCP) so far all over the country to distribute under ICDS/MDM in the States/UTs.

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