In an initiative to facilitate distribution of ‘fortified rice’ to 15.05 crore beneficiaries of the Centre’s Rice Fortification Scheme, covered under the National Food Security Act across Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government has started allotting paddy to only those rice mills in the state which have blenders installed.
Notably, in the second phase of the scheme, 64,365 ration shops have been selected in 60 districts of the state for distribution of fortified rice to 12 crore beneficiaries covered under NFSA with an annual allocation of 46.10 lakh metric tonnes.
Rice is the staple food of 65 per cent of the cpuntry’s population and India is also the largest producer and consumer of rice, contributing 22 per cent of world’s total production of rice.
Fortified rice is richer than normal rice in terms of nutrition because milling and processing typically removes the fat and micronutrient from normal rice, whereas fortified rice retains all of these properties.
Vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin E, Niacin, Iron, Zinc, Folic Acid, Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin A are preserved and enriched with micronutrients through the blending process in fortified rice and it can help solve many health-related problems in people, including anaemia, in the country.
The process of its distribution is being promoted in the country through the Rice Fortification Scheme of NFSA.
The state government is gearing up to provide the benefit of fortified rice to 15.05 NFSL beneficiaries of the state.
According to the government statistics, 12 crore people have already started getting benefits of Rice Fortification Scheme through annual allocation of 46.10 lakh metric tonnes to 64,365 ration shops in 60 districts under NFSA.
The Uttar Pradesh government has also taken steps to achieve the target of providing fortified rice to 3.61 crore ration card holders through 79,365 ration shops by March 2024. The fortified rice will be produced in 1718 rice mills.
According to a state government spokesman, the work of providing fortified rice to people in Uttar Pradesh has been divided into three phases.
In the first phase, held till March 2022, the ICDS and PM Nutrition Scheme were effectively implemented across the country.
Similarly, in the second phase, steps are being taken for effective implementation of the scheme in high burden districts.
In the third phase, by March 2024, priority is being given to deliver the benefits of fortified rice to the people smoothly in all the districts. The focus of the state government is also on fulfilling these goals. The allotment process has started in 73 districts in the state.
This article has been republished from The Statesman