•      Mon Jun 17 2024

FMTCL starts manufacturing and supplies of ‘fortified rice’

Ramesh Rijal (file)

Kathmandu, Jan 11: The Food Management and Trading Company Limited (FMTCL) has started the manufacturing and supplies of ‘fortified rice’ beginning from Wednesday.

While launching the distribution of the rice, Minister for Industry, Commerce, and Supplies, Ramesh Rijal said the entire Nepali citizens will have access to the rice enriched with nutritional values with the aim of realising the sustainable development goals- 2030 by addressing the issue of malnutrition in the country.

As he said, the adding of nutritional values in food and the priority to the locally available foods are the concerns of the government in view of the implementation of the Right relating to food (Article 36) recognised by the Constitution as the fundamental right of the citizens.

It is said the Ministry of Health and Population is set to promote public awareness on the benefits from the consumption of the ‘fortified rice’. The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies shall come up with policy arrangements for the manufacturing and supplies of this rice. It will be made available at a subsidized price.

The criteria for rice production and the regulation of food purity and quality are to be handled by the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control. The government will have technical support from the World Food Programme for the manufacturing and supplies of rice with increased nutritional values.

It is worth noting that despite improvements in the status of nutrition in Nepal lately, the rate of malnutrition to be caused by the deficiency of micronutrients still remains high. According to the Nepal Demographic and Health Survey-2022, 43% of children under five still suffer from anaemia.

Similarly, the survey shows that 34% of women of reproductive age and 39% of adolescent girls are affected by severe anaemic health complications. The study highlights that 25% of children under five experience stunted growth and 19% have low weight issues. Deficiencies of essential micronutrients such as iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid are prevalent among the population of various age groups. Nepal has expressed commitments to minimizing all forms of malnutrition and achieving the SDGs by 2030. #Nepal