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CABINET APPROVES DISTRIBUTION OF FORTIFIED RICE, COST ESTIMATED AT RS 2700 CRORE PER YEAR

by Juhi Tripathi

Date & Time: Apr 12, 2022 9:00 AM

Read Time: 2 minute


HIGHLIGHTS:

• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, has approved the provision of fortified rice
• Government will bear the entire cost of Rs. 2,700 crore per annum for rice fortification
• The government intends to make fortified rice available at ration shops

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Modi, has approved the provision of fortified rice through the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) by 2024.

Overview:

The Central Government would cover the entire cost of Rs. 2,700 crore per year for rice fortification as part of the food subsidy until June 2024, when it will be fully implemented. The Food Corporation of India and other state agencies have already purchased 88.65 LMT of fortified rice for distribution and supply. Soon make fortified rice available at ration shops.

Under which schemes will fortified rice be distributed?

The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), which falls under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), PM POSHAN, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), and Other Government Welfare Schemes, would distribute fortified rice.

Stages in the implementation process

For the full implementation of this effort, the government has planned three phases:

Phase-I

By March 2022, the entire country would be covered by PM POSHAN and ICDS.

Phase-II

By March 2023, all High Burden Districts in the country would have received Phase I coverage, as well as other government welfare schemes and TPDS (a total of 291 districts).

Phase-Ill

Phase II, as well as the other districts of the country, will be completed by March 2024.

What is Rice fortification?

Rice fortification is the process of increasing the content of critical micronutrients in rice using various methods such as dusting, coating, and extrusion with the goal of improving the nutritional quality of rice in order to give public health advantages.

But why it was necessary to fortify rice in the first place?

Malnutrition among mothers and children in India is extremely high. Every second woman in the country is anaemic, and every third child is stunted, according to the Food Ministry.

Food fortification is thought to be one of the most effective ways to prevent malnutrition. Rice is a staple food in India, consumed by almost two-thirds of the population. In India, per capita rice consumption is 6.8 kilogramme per month. As a result, fortifying rice with vitamins is a viable alternative for supplementing the poor's diet.

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