17 lakh to get fortified rice through PDS in two Tamil Nadu districts

"There is no maximum cap for purchasing fortified rice. An AAY card holder, eligible for 20 kgs of rice a month, can opt for nutritional rice for this entire allocation (20 kgs),” said an official. 

Published: 19th September 2022 03:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th September 2022 03:50 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  To bring down malnutrition and chronic anaemia, about 5.5 lakh ration cards of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Household (PHH) categories will be supplied fortified rice through public distribution system (PDS) in Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram districts. The State has 1.02 crore such cards, given to the poorest. 

A total of 17.66 lakh beneficiaries of 5.51 lakh ration cards, covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in the two districts, will be supplied fortified rice that contains iron, folic acid, and vitamin B-12. The scheme is expected to be rolled out by October.

“There is no maximum cap for purchasing fortified rice. An AAY card holder, eligible for 20 kgs of rice a month, can opt for nutritional rice for this entire allocation (20 kgs),” said a top officer of Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC).

The Union government, in 2020, included staple food fortification (including rice fortification) under the National Nutrition Mission (Poshan Abhiyan) as a complementary intervention to reduce anaemia and malnutrition. 

Accordingly, the pilot scheme of supplying fortified rice through PDS was launched in October 2020 in Tiruchy district and funded by the Union government in a ratio of 75: 25. The scheme was planned to be implemented for three years. The scheme will now be extended to Madurai, Virudhunagar, and Ramanathapuram districts and the project cost of Rs 17.36 crore a month will be borne by the Centre, said officials. 

The TNCSC will procure 200 tonnes of fortified rice kernels a month. “Fortified kernels will be mixed with rice during milling itself. Initially, Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram districts would be covered under this scheme. Madurai will be included later” an official said.

Beneficiary districts are identified as per national health survey and performance of PDS system. “There are improvements in several health indicators in the districts where the scheme had been implemented,” added the official.

What is fortified rice?
The process of fortifying rice begins with grinding broken rice into powder. After adding artificial nutrients, it is shaped into rice-like kernels through extrusion. These fortified kernels are then mixed with normal rice in a 1:100 ratio, and distributed for consumption

BENEFITS MANY

Pilot of this scheme was launched in Tiruchy in October ’20

Madurai
 4,52,415
 13,79,241

Ramanathapuram
 2,45,560
 8,19,326

Virudhunagar
 3,06,181
 9,41,894



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