FCI DGM (General) Jayaprasad addresses the media at Tadepalli in Guntur district on Monday. | Photo credit: special arrangement
Urging people not to believe the widespread ‘misinformation’ about fortified rice, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) explained that the welfare scheme was introduced by the Union government to check the incidence of nutritional deficiencies in children.
On Monday, FCI DGM Ashish Tak, DGM (General) Jayaprasad, AGA (Quality Control) Manoj Kumar, FCI Manager B. Ragal Kiran and others spoke at a press conference at the FCI office in Tadepalli in the district of Guntur. They observed that there are misconceptions and misinformation about fortified rice, which is provided under the PM Poshan program.
Mr. Manoj Kumar said the rice was enriched using extrusion technology. “In this technology, milled rice is pulverized and mixed with a premix containing iron, folic acid and vitamin B12. Rice is simple and economical. The culturally appropriate strategy makes rice more nutritious to fight anemia and micronutrient deficiencies. The Union Ministry of Food has launched fortified rice distribution for 11.80 million children under Midday Meals (MDM) scheme and 13.97 lakh anganwadi centers under Midday Meal Scheme (MDM) Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) for FY 2021-22 across the country. ,” he said.
In Andhra Pradesh, fortified rice was distributed to 17 lakh children under the MDM program and 55,607 Anganwadi centers under the ICDS program during the period.
Mr. Jayaprasad said the distribution of fortified rice started in the second quarter of FY 2021-22 on a pilot basis and efforts were made for the allocation of fortified rice to all states and UTs to meet the Targeted Public Delivery System (TPDS) conditions.
He said campaigns were being held at different levels especially in ICDS centers, educational institutions in all districts of the state to raise awareness about the use of fortified rice.
FIC Andhra Pradesh region has transported food grains from Kakinada and Vizag ports to Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Port Blair through Multi-Modal Transport Contract (MMTC) to meet the requirements of various welfare schemes.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme, the overall foodgrain allocation is about 1121 lakh metric ton, Mr. Jayaprasad said. So far, the PMGKAY has completed six phases between April 2020 and September 2022 and the seventh phase is being implemented from October 2022 to December 2022. Under this program, 5 kg of food grains per person per month are provided free of charge to beneficiaries under the National Food Safety Act (NFSA).