South Asia: What We Do
Within India, we are targeting 18 states to support the provision of adequately fortified wheat flour and rice through the states' social safety net programs and the open market. We currently work with four states—Haryana, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Himachal Pradesh—to support quality assurance, quality control, advocacy and project coordination in order to establish sustainable environments for wheat flour fortification. We collaborate closely with other partners on the ground in India such as Fortify Health and Nutrition International to build capacity, gather community feedback and generate awareness to improve national standards.
In Sri Lanka, we work with the government and other partners to support the creation of legislation for mandatory wheat flour fortification standards.
FFI in action
In the State of Haryana, we have worked with the government and other partners to conduct a wheat supply chain analysis, calculate the costs for the government to supply fortified wheat flour (instead of wheat kernels) through its social safety net, the Public Distribution System (PDS), and investigated consumer acceptance of fortified foods.
As FFI strengthened fortification in Haryana, it also built pathways to sustain progress. In coordination with the Central University of Haryana, FFI led a short course on food fortification to empower and train the future workforce. The course covered topics including India’s food fortification history, policies, programs, and regulatory monitoring as well as fortification's role in creating a smarter, stronger, and healthier future for the state.
As a result of this work, the State of Haryana has switched from supplying wheat kernels through its PDS to now supplying fortified wheat flour in five districts throughout the state. As a result, fortified flour reaches 3.3 million PDS beneficiaries in Haryana. Haryana has also started providing fortified atta, a type of whole-meal wheat flour, through Haryana’s Mid-Day Meal (MDM) program, and Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in six districts of Haryana, reaching around 382,000 school children and 290,000 ICDS beneficiaries. Fully implemented, the State of Haryana will improve nutrition for 12.6 million people. FFI will continue to use this model and assist other states, specifically Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Himachal Pradesh, where we are currently conducting supply chain analyses, to implement a similar approach.