Experts at a workshop on Monday called for rice fortification with essential vitamins and minerals
as it would provide health benefits to people.
Though the price of fortified rice would be slightly higher
than normal rice, people can
get a healthy nation through fortified rice. Scaling up rice
fortification would alleviate micronutrient deficiencies among vulnerable people in the country, they said.
They came up with the observations while addressing the workshop titled ‘Scaling up Rice Fortification: Regulations and Monitoring’ at CIRDAP auditorium in the capital. World Food Programme and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) jointly organised the programmme.
Additional Secretary of Food Ministry Sarder Abul Kalam Azad addressed the meeting as the chief guest with Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) Chairman Mahfuzul Hoque in the chair.
Embassy of the Netherlands Development Cooperation Head Jaroen Steeghs and WFP Deputy Country Director Dipayan Bhattacharyya attended the function as special guests.
GAIN Country Director Dr Rudaba Khondker, International Expert on Fortification Philip Randall, GAIN consultant Mohsin Ali, Food Fortification and Value Chain of GAIN Portfolio Lead Dr Debashish Chanda, Regional Bureau Bangkok- WFP Senior Advisor Mohamed Mansour and Social Safety Net Policies and Programmes Head of WFP Rezaul Karim spoke on the occasion.
They said Bengali culture is characterized by consumption of rice, and 70 percent of the energy requirement of Bangladeshis comes from rice. However, current milling process of rice destroy all the micronutrient that is present in the unpolished rice, they added.
The speakers said the traditional rice mills have become almost obsolete, hence the poorest of the poor are only consuming carbohydrate through rice and the rest of essential micronutrient remains deficient.