Approval for distribution of fortified rice across Government Schemes
Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the distribution of fortified rice in government schemes.
- The Cabinet Committee (CCEA) has approved the supply of fortified rice in government-run food schemes in a phased manner till the year 2024.
- The move is targeted at tackling the problem of nutritional deficiency in all states and union territories.
Fortified rice will be supplied through Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) under the following schemes:
- National Food Security Act (NFSA)
- Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)
- Pradhan Mantri Poshan Scheme, and
- Other Welfare Schemes (OWS)
The entire cost of fortification of rice will be borne by the Central Government.
The complete implementation of this scheme will be done in the following three phases-
- Phase- 1: Covering ICDS and Pradhan Mantri Poshan Yojana all over India by March, 2022. It is already being implemented.
- Phase-2: This phase is to be completed by March 2023, under which the Phase-I schemes as well as TPDS, and OWS will be implemented in all aspirational and highly stunted districts (total 291 districts).
- Phase-3: In addition to the above Phase-2, the remaining districts of the country will be covered by March 2024.
The fortification of rice is aimed at improving the nutritional requirements of the diet. It is a process of mixing micronutrients into edible ordinary rice. Nutrients such as iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid are usually included.
Benefits of Rice Fortification:
- It will help in raising the nutritional level of the undernourished and vulnerable population.
- Anemia can be dealt with.
- It is cost effective also.
- Helps in the development of the baby during pregnancy.
- In India, rice is fortified using extrusion technology.
- In this technique the ground rice is pulverized, and mixed with a pre-mix containing vitamins and minerals.
- Fortified rice – kernels: FRK is prepared from this mixture using an extruder machine.
- Fortified rice grains are mixed with traditional rice in a ratio of 1:50 to 1:200. This results in fortified rice almost identical to traditional rice in aroma, taste and texture.
Source – The Hindu