Bihar government has roped in Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) and Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) to provide ready-to-eat food through anganwadis, to fight diseases caused by acute malnutrition.
The project will be executed through sakhi mandals (women’s self-help groups) across the state, which in turn will also generate employment, for rural women in particular.
Initially, 12 food processing machines will be installed across the state – one machine for two districts. The machines will be handled by the sakhi mandals, who will also be responsible for transporting the packaged food to anganwadis. Some of the women will also be trained to become master trainers to mentor other women.
According to the state government, since most of the malnutrition-triggered diseases were mainly caused by deficiency of protein, iron and fat, these factors should adequately be taken care of while preparing the ready-to-eat food.