SDG
UNLEASH

Solution catalogue

Anemia Mitigation via Guarantee Distribution of Fortified Rice

Maternal and infant mortality rates due to anemia in rural Telangana are among the highest in India. Studies demonstrate that pregnant and lactating women are over-represented due to deficiencies of key micronutrients. Lack of distribution and affordability, compounded by limited family support and current healthcare systems are key contributors to the situation. The proposed solution is fortified rice through a volume-guarantee distribution model complemented by Self Help Groups for awareness.

Problem

Mitigating against anemia in women of reproductive age as part of UNDP SDG 2.2 target to end all forms of malnutrition by addressing the nutritional needs of pregnant and lactating women. The challenge is significant. Anemia affects about 29% of non-pregnant women and 38% of pregnant women globally, mostly in South Asia and Central and West Africa (UNDP, 2018).

Pregnant and lactating women in rural Telangana prioritize their families’ nutrition over their own. Staple food products consumed are deficient in key micronutrients required to prevent anemia. Women do not have easy access to balanced diets due to limited access of nutritious food at local level.

Solution

Rice lacks sufficient levels of key micronutrients to mitigate anemia in women. Process innovations allow rice kernels to be fortified with key micronutrients, specifically to control anemia, which can be a direct substitute to normal rice. The primary limitation is lack of access local shops have to Fortified Rice Kernels (FRKs). The solution is a Volume Guarantee distribution model. A contract manufacturer produces the FRK through extrusion process with the addition of micronutrients from specific manufacturers. Local rice manufacturers purchase FRK from the manufacturer within the region and sell it to grocery stores and fair price shops. An investor guarantees a volume of FRK to be sold by the manufacturer to the rice mills. This product and distribution model is supported by the adoption of FRK among women through local self-help groups.

Our users are pregnant and lactating women who will benefit from good health and the child’s survivability; local rice manufacturers will benefit from product innovation and increased sales; FRK manufacturers benefit from market security and volume guarantee and investors benefit from the Return on Investment and social impact.

Innovation

Access to Fortified Rice for pregnant and lactating women in rural Telangana mitigates anemia, supported with a sustainable distribution model through the use of volume guarantees with minimal impact on price and complemented by adoption through Self Help Groups at a local level.

The competitors are non-fortified rice, pharmaceutical/dietary supplements, and take-home rations given at Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS).

Our solution has not been done successfully before due because of the lack of private sector interest due to low demand driven by limited awareness and the guarantee bolume distribution model having not been implemented in the food/nutrition industry in India.

Impact

Empowering pregnant and lactating women to access micronutrient rich staple food, at a local level, with the ultimate aim of reducing rates of anemia in a sustainable and affordable manner. To measure this impact, the primary indicator will be the reduction in anemia rates among rural pregnant and lactating women in Telangana after minimum of five years of implementation.

Next Steps

Testing and validation for region viability and financial modelling for local markets.

Facilitate an integrated meeting with local rice manufacturers, FRK producers, raw material suppliers, NGOs and investors to initiate implementation processes.

Immediate Requests

To further our idea, we will need help with connections to funding opportunities and contact to seed investment.