Centre to launch fortified rations in 118 districts


The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has planned to introduce fortified rations (vitamin- and supplement-added wheat and rice) in 118 so-called ‘aspirational districts’ to improve nutrition outcomes among children and women in the first initiative under the National Nutrition Mission, designed by NITI Aayog.


Iron and folic acid have been identified as two main nutrients to be added to foodgrains supplied under the public distribution system.


The norms for fortification of wheat and rice with vitamins and minerals will be according to specifications laid down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI).


In these aspirational districts, wheat and rice will be replaced with fortified varieties. Currently, the food ministry-controlled by the Food Corporation of India, which runs the public distribution system (PDS), gets paddy milled by rice-mills before distributing them.


Now mills with fortification machines will be selected for supplying these nutrient-enhanced grains. In wheat, the process is simpler because nutrients can be plainly mixed. For paddy, rice has to be fortified into fortified rice pellets.

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