Distribution of Fortified Rice

The supply of fortified rice through the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), by 2024 has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs that is chaired by PM Modi.

Overview:

  • As part of the food subsidy, the Central Government will be bearing the entire cost of Rs. 2,700 crore per annum for rice fortification till its full implementation up to June 2024.
  • 88.65 LMT of fortified rice has already been procured by the Food Corporation of India and other state agencies for distribution and supply.
  • The government has plans to make the availability of fortified rice at ration shops.

Under which schemes will fortified rice be distributed?

The distribution of fortified rice will be provided through the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) which falls under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), PM POSHAN, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), and Other Government Welfare Schemes.

Phases for full implementation

The government has envisaged three phases for the full implementation of this initiative which are:

Phase-I

By March 2022, the covering of PM POSHAN and ICDS in the whole of India.

Phase-II

By March 2023, Phase I coverage along with Other Government Welfare Schemes and TPDS in all High Burden Districts of the country on stunting (a total of 291 districts).

Phase-Ill

By March 2024, Phase II along with the remaining districts of the country will be covered.

Earlier implementation

From 2019-20, the Centrally Sponsored Pilot Scheme on Rice Fortification and Distribution through the Public Distribution System was implemented for a three-year term. Under the pilot scheme the states of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand had successfully distributed fortified rice in one district per State.

About Rice Fortification

When the content of essential micronutrients in rice is increased through various methods like dusting, coating, and extrusion with the aim of improving the nutritional quality of rice so as to provide public health benefits is known as rice fortification.

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