Rajasthan News

Empowering women in rural Rajasthan to tackle malnutrition

by RajasthanDirect
Feb 06, 2015

Life in rural areas of India is not easy. and Rajasthan is home to a high percentage of children that are undernourished and are not consuming the necessary vitamins and minerals they need to thrive. Poverty often leads to malnourishment at a young age and this increases the risk of impaired growth, susceptibility to serious illness and early death.

But in a Remote village of Rajasthan 10 local women own and operate a factory delivering 30 metric tons of a flour enriched with vitamins and minerals daily to 6,000 children under the age three and nearly 3,000 pregnant or lactating women.

GAIN, theWorld Food Programme(WFP) and theGovernment of Indiaset up the Banswara Factory as part of a model for producing supplementary food, referred to as “take home rations,” that is distributed through government-supported community centres. The approach centres on developing small-scale production facilities run by a cohort of women entrepreneurs who would be both owners and workers in the factories.

The factory complements the Indian government’s program to provide additional supplementary food fortified with vitamins and minerals for free to pregnant and lactating mothers and children under the age of three. The factory produces a product called Raj Nutrimix – a mix of flours, wheat and sugar fortified with essential micronutrients which are also palatable to children. The State Government of Rajasthan, through their social welfare program, acts as both a buyer and distributor of the product, and then provides the product to pregnant and lactating women and to children under three through community centres.

With appropriate investment, training and support, illiterate and semi-literate women can successfully produce a quality controlled, nutritious product in a locally managed facility.GAIN’s Director,  Nutrition for Women and Children, Marti van Liere, said. “Connecting with an existing public delivery system allows for quick, easy access to target consumers, but promotion is still necessary to increase consumption of the new product,” he added.

Src: http://www.gainhealth.org/knowledge-centre/10-women-rural-rajasthan-improving-nutrition-thousands/

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