The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had flayed the state government of Gujarat for discontinuing the 'Antyodaya Anna Yojana' (AAY) that supplied fortified wheat flour for overcoming micronutrient deficiencies.
Now, Gujarat Roller Flour Millers' Association is re-launching flour fortification in Gujarat. This is part of their corporate social responsibility with technical support by Food Fortification Initiative, India.
Wheat flour is the staple diet for average Indians and the fortified flour ensures positive effects on health and welfare of the citizens thereby providing them with required minerals and nutrients for a balanced diet.
Dr. Subrata Dutta, India coordinator, Food Fortification Initiative, USA, said that Gujarat Roller Flour Millers' Association in association with the Food Fortification Initiative (FFI) wanted to re-launch the flour fortification scheme in Gujarat to provide nutritional benefits to the citizens.
"For some years now the fortification of Atta scheme in Gujarat has been discontinued. We all know that a country performs better when its citizens perform better but it happens only when the people are supplied healthy fortified meals. At a time when Gujarat is excelling in all respects be it development or infrastructure, the basic health amenities are often ignored," Dr. Dutta said.
John Fiedler & Keith Lividini, affiliated with Harvest Plus- International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC, conducted a study in Gujarat and stated that fortified wheat flour (atta) consumption effectively eliminated micronutrient deficiency. The study also said that as per WHO criterion Wheat Flour Fortification program is highly cost effective.