Yogi Govt Soon Distribute Fortified Rice Through PDS To Tackle Malnutrition

Yogi Govt Soon Distribute Fortified Rice Through PDS To Tackle Malnutrition

Govt to ensure ‘nutritional food grains’ to 15 crore people

Lucknow, May 13 (TNA) Aimed at providing nutritional security to every person in the state, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to start the distribution of fortified rice all over the state in the next one year through the Public Distribution System.

The scheme is intended to address anaemia and micro-nutrient deficiency in women and children. As per the information given by Sorabh Babu, Commissioner, Food and Civil Supplies, “Fortified rice is being distributed in Chandauli district and Sewapuri block of Varanasi district. In other districts of the state, the fortified rice is being distributed in the Mid-Day Meals and ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme).

Taking it to a larger population and to tackle malnutrition, the state government, as per the directions issued by the Central government, will start the distribution through TPDS in 60 high burden and aspirational districts of the state, he added.

The benefits of fortified rice include reduction in anaemia, increased Hemoglobin levels, improved Iron, vitamin B12, Zinc and multiple micronutrients.

The state government is preparing an action plan in this regard. By April 2023, the government plans to cover the entire TPDS scheme and start distribution to 15 crore beneficiaries of the state. The GOI’s scheme of distribution of fortified rice with three nutrients (iron, folate and vitamin B12) has been started in Chandauli district on pilot basis and was launched by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on January 9, 2021.

Malnutrition and lack of essential nutrients in poor women and poor children pose major obstacles in their development. In view of this, it has been decided that the government will fortify the rice given to the poor under its various schemes.

What is Rice Fortification?

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) defines fortification as “deliberately increasing the content of essential micronutrients in a food so as to improve the nutritional quality of food and to provide public health benefits with minimal risk to health”.

Rice fortification is a process of adding micronutrients to regular rice using extrusion technology. This involves the production of fortified rice kernels (FRK) from a mixture using an extruder machine. The fortified rice kernels were then blended with regular rice or non-fortified rice, typically at a ratio of 1:100 (optimum) to produce fortified rice. The micronutrients that were used to blend included iron, folic acid and Vitamin `D’ B 12.

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