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Understanding the Rice Value Chain in South and Southeast Asia: Opportunities, Challenges, Way Forward for Rice Fortification

Author: Arvind Betigeri
This report considers the state of rice fortification in 11 countries in South and Southeast Asia, with particular attention given to the potential for increased trade within the region in fortified rice and fortified rice kernels (FR/FRK) and the benefits that trade would bring.

Fortifying food, alongside the promotion of a diverse, healthy, and balanced diet, helps reduce the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies. With daily rice consumption the norm across South and Southeast Asia, fortifying rice is an obvious path toward improved nutritional outcomes for the large percentage of undernourished in the region.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has been promoting rice fortification for more than 10 years in its work with governments, the private sector, and technical partners throughout South and Southeast Asia. WFP provides financial and technical support for initiatives that include large-scale food fortification through commercial channels and social protection programmes, emergency relief, food assistance, and treatment of severe malnutrition in vulnerable populations.