To address anemia and micro-nutrient deficiency in the country, the Department of Food & Public Distribution approved Centrally Sponsored Pilot Scheme on “Fortification of Rice & its Distribution under Public Distribution System” for a period of 3 years beginning in 2019-20 with total outlay of Rs 174.64 Crore.
NITI Aayog in its “Strategy for new INDIA @75” has put forward to consider mandatory fortification of staples and to incorporate fortified food-grains in Government programmes, TPDS (NFSA) ICDS, Mid-day Meal Scheme (MDM) etc. The CEO, FSSAI has proposed to the Secretary, Department of Expenditure that rice fortification should be made mandatory from 01st January, 2024.
The Department of Food & Public Distribution with along 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. A proposal of further scaling up of rice fortification is under process.
Expediting the fortification of rice to increase the capacity from 15,000 MT to 3.5 lakh MT by incentivizing and creating awareness among rice millers. Presently, there is no scheme available for connecting rice millers with banks. However, letter was sent to States to connect Millers with Banks in respect of various provisions of Atma Nirbhar 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 (laboratories test, collection charges etc.)
The Centrally Sponsored Pilot Scheme on “Fortification of Rice & its Distribution under Public Distribution System currently implemented in 6 States, – Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh have started the distribution of fortified rice under pilot scheme. The State of Kerala and Odisha are likely to start the distribution shortly. Approximately 1.73 Lakh MT of fortified rice is distributed till May, 2021 under the pilot scheme. As per latest information received from UN-WFP, 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 respective States to measure/compare the impacts on consumption of fortified rice.
Fortification of rice is a cost-effective and complementary strategy to increase vitamin and mineral content in diets and a step towards nutritional security and to fight anemia and malnutrition in the country. This strategy has a proven track record across many geographies in the world.
It may be noted that in India, 58.5% of young children aged 6-59 months, 53% of women within the reproductive age group and 22.7% of all men aged 15-49 years of age suffer from anemia (Source: National Family Health Survey (NFHS) – IV (2015-16).