Investing in multi-sectoral interventions to reduce Vitamin A and D deficiencies through edible oil fortification
Fortification can play an important role to meet a demonstrable gap between the actual nutrients intake and their recommended dietary allowances.Relatively, edible oil fortification is technologically easy, with minimal investment for additional equipment or personnel. In addition, edible oil production and its imports are reasonably centralized in key producing and importing States. Hence, its compliance to quality is fairly straightforward. Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) partnered with Indian Institute of Health Management Research University; to provide technical and limited financial support to build the capacity of oil processors and re-packers in Rajasthan, on appropriate fortification. This assistance focused on facilitating internal and external quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC), supporting social marketing and communications, and undertaking policy and advocacy for its scaling up.
The demonstrated outcome of over 300,000 MTs of adequately fortified oil being produced within the State of Rajasthan, reaching over 42 million persons, led the State Government to take a historic policy decision to mainstream fortified edible oils into the publically funded programs such as the Public Distribution System, the Integrated Child Development Services program, and the Mid-Day Meal program. This was closely followed by an announcement by the State Chief Minister to scale it up to cover the entire state.
Edible oil fortification in Rajasthan has had a ripple effect and many State Governments, have initiated the process of mainstreaming fortified staple foods into the publically funded food distribution programs.