• The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution informed the Rajya Sabha that the government approved the 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 Cr.
  • To address anemia and micro-nutrient deficiency in the country, the Government of India approved this scheme for a period of 3 years in 2019-20.
  • Under the Scheme, FCI (Food Corporation of India) has been asked to come up with a comprehensive plan for procurement and distribution of fortified rice in all the Districts of the country under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) & Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Scheme from 2021-2022.
  • The mid-day meal scheme is now known as PM POSHAN.
  • Special focus remains on supplying fortified rice to the 112 specially identified Aspirational Districts of the country.
  • Distribution of Fortified Rice through Public Distribution System, to cater 15 Districts in the country – preferably one district per State in the initial phase of Implementation.
  • Coverage of NFSA (National Food Security Act) beneficiaries under PDS with Fortified Rice in the selected Districts.
  • Facilitate cross learning and sharing of best practices among States/UTs and DoF&PD (Department of Food and Public Distribution).
  • To evaluate the provision, coverage and Utilization of Fortified Rice by the target population as well as the efficiency/effectiveness of the consumption of fortified rice in reducing the targeted micronutrient deficiencies in different age and gender groups.

Need of Fortification:

  • India has very high levels of malnutrition among women and children. According to the Food Ministry, every second woman in the country is anemic and every third child is stunted.
  • India has slipped to 101st position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 of 116 countries, from its 2020 position of 94th.
  • The deficiency of micronutrients or micronutrient malnutrition, also known as “hidden hunger”, is a serious health risk.
  • Rice is one of India’s staple foods, consumed by about two-thirds of the population. Per capita rice consumption in India is 6.8 kg per month. Therefore, fortifying rice with micronutrients is an option to supplement the diet of the poor.


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