India was the second leading rice producer followed by Indonesia and Bangladesh in 2015-16. Even then, more than one-third of the world’s malnourished children live in India. India is home 46.6 million stunted children, a third of worlds’ total as per Global Nutrition Report 2018. It is a matter of great shame for our nation that despite 50% increase in GDP since 2013, we have not been able to serve our children better.
Rice fortification is a cost effective, culturally appropriate strategy to address micro nutrient deficiency. Fortifying rice makes it more nutritious by adding vitamins and minerals in the post – harvest phase; many of which are lost during the milling and polishing process. Rice fortification may be considered as having the highest potential to fill the gap in current staple food fortification programs as it is the staple food of 65 percent of the Indian population and reaches the most vulnerable and poorer section – with the highest uptake in the government safety net programmed.