December 10, 2023


While addressing the nation on 75th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to provide fortified rice to the poor under various schemes.


  • This decision was taken in order to address the problem of malnutrition in India.
  • Providing nutrition to every poor person in India is a priority of the government.
  • This decision was taken in the view that malnutrition and lack of essential nutrients among poor women and poor children is a major hurdle in their development. This, the government will provide fortified rice with nutrition.
  • Child Malnutrition is a major threat to the growth and development of children.
  • Micronutrient deficiencies or ‘hidden hunger’ also continue to pose significant public health problems in Indian populations.

Significance of the announcement

This announcement is significant because, the government distributes more than 300 lakh tonnes of rice under schemes covered under National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.

What is food fortification?

Food fortification is the simplest and sustainable public health strategy that address the challenge of micronutrient deficiencies. It is a cost-effective, scientifically proven, and globally recognised approach. It also helps in easily reaching wider & vulnerable populations by means of existing food delivery systems.

Why Rice will be fortified?

Because, rice has the highest uptake in government food safety net programmes like public distribution systems, integrated child development services, mid-day meal schemes etc. Further, rice has the potential to reach more than a million people, especially women and children.

NFHS 4 report

According to National Family Health Survey report, India has the largest burden of iron deficiency and anaemia worldwide. About 59% of children and 50% of pregnant women are anaemic in India. Child and maternal malnutrition accounts for 15% of India’s total disease burden.

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