The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi recently announced that rice distributed to people by the government will be fortified to address malnutrition across the country. The government aims to complete the fortification of rice distributed throughout the country under different schemes like public distribution scheme, mid-day meals, etc. by 2024.
According to the 2020 Global Hunger Index, India was ranked at 94th position far behind Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and others, out of the 107 countries in the world. As per the report, every third child and every second woman in the country is affected by malnutrition. As India faces the issue of malnutrition, the announcement is seen as an important step towards the physical development of children and women in the country.
As per the government the annual market for fortification of rice, wheat and milk during 2019-20 was Rs. 3,000 crore, out of which Rs. 1700 crore coming from fortified rice alone. The government’s decision to supply fortified rice to people across the country by 2024 will increase the demand for Fortified Rice Kernels.
What is Rice Fortification?
Rice fortification is the process of increasing the content of essential micronutrients in the rice to improve its nutritional quantity with minimal health risk. Rice fortification makes it more nutritious by the addition of essential nutrients. As per the FSSAI norms, 1 kg of rice contains 28 to 42.5 mg of iron, 75 to 125 microgram of folic acid and 0.75 to 1.25 microgram of Vitamin B-12. Apart from these, rice can also be fortified with 10 to 15 mg of zinc, 500 to 750 microgram of Vitamin A, 1 to 2.5 mg of Vitamin B1, 1.25 to 1.75 mg of Vitamin B2, 12.5 to 20 mg of Vitamin B3 and 1.5 to 2.5 mg of Vitamin B6 per kg. Fortification of rice is a very cost effective solution to address malnutrition among people who consume rice more often.
Pilot Project Under Implementation in 15 States
While the decision to supply fortified rice across the country was announced recently, the government is already implementing the pilot scheme on ‘Fortification of Rice & Its Distribution under Public Distribution System’ from 2019-20 for a period of 3 years with an outlay of Rs. 174 crore.
Fifteen states with one district from each state were selected by the government for the implementation of the pilot scheme. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are the states where the pilot scheme is under implementation.
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) is planning to procure 15.60 lakh metric tonnes of fortified rice from Andhra Pradesh. The FCI would supply the procured fortified rice to Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which will be distributed across these states by the respective state governments.
As a part of the longer strategy to move from food security to nutrition security, the government also plans to make fortified rice available in the open markets in the future in addition to supplying through government schemes.
The Need to Scale Up Production of Fortified Rice Kernels
The Government of India currently distributes over 300 lakh tonnes of rice across the country. The government allocated 328 lakh tonnes of rice for 2021-22 for various schemes such as Public Distribution Scheme, Mid-day Meal Scheme and Integrated Child Development Scheme.
As the government aims to distribute fortified rice, it is vital to ramp up the production of Fortified Rice Kernels in the country. The current availability of Fortified Rice Kernels in India is just 15,000 MT per annum, which is far below the requirement of more than 300 lakh tonnes if the fortified rice scheme is to be implemented across the country. So, there is a grave need to scale up the manufacturing of fortified rice in India, which can be possible only with the participation of MSMEs.
Fortified Pulses Project in Assam
In the similar lines of fortified rice, SolutionBuggy is working on an initiative in Assam. The project involves the fortification of pulses to increase their nutritional value. SB is helping the client to supply the fortified pulses to Anganwadis in the form of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products, from where they will be distributed to children of 0-5 years of age and un-pregnant women. SolutionBuggy is responsible for the end-to-end execution of the project right from product formulation, machinery design, procurement and installation of machines to industrial-scale production. The trail run and first production will be completed in a span of 3 months.
In addition to the demand from the government, there has been an increase in the demand from the consumer market for fortified foods like fortified puffed rice, fortified milk, fortified wheat, fortified salt, fortified oil, etc. If you are planning to start a fortified foods business, we can help you in setting up the fortified food manufacturing industry, guiding you right from market research, product identification, and formulation to plant setup, production, market and sales. To know more, kindly register with SolutionBuggy.
The fortification of rice adds essential nutrients required for the all-around growth of a human and thereby helps to address malnutrition.
Rice is fortified by adding essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-1, B-2, B-3, B-12, etc.
Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are the states where the pilot is under implementation.
Fortified wheat, fortified milk, fortified salt, fortified oil, etc. are different fortified food products with good demand in the market.
As the demand for fortified foods is increasing in the market in India, the fortified food industry is a profitable business to start.