The government on Monday started distributing rice at Taka 10 per kg to around 50 lakh families or 2.50 crore ultra poor people under the food friendly programme across the country.
Under the programme, each of the families including widows, elderly women, women dominant and lower income distressed families, will get 30-kg rice per month from September to November this year.
“The government has allocated 7.50 lakh tonnes of rice for 2018-2019 fiscal year under the programme…where some 1.50 lakh tonne rice will be distributed monthly,” said Md Arifur Rahman Apu, Director General (DG) of the Directorate General of Food.
In addition to this, the DG said the government with the assistance from the World Food Programme (WFP) will distribute fortified rice among 1,21159 families of 10 upazilas in the country.
The upazilas are Kurigram Sadar and Phulbari, Keraniganj, Kaliganj, Moksudpur, Faridpur Sadar, Sarail, Bijoynagar, Ramganj and Bamna.
The fortified rice contains vitamin A, B1, B12, Folic Acid, Iron and zinc and each one kilogram rice to be mixed with 100 kilogram of normal rice for effective nutrition supply from the staple food consumption, said Parimal Chandra Sarker, Director (Supply, Distribution and Marketing) of the Food Department.
“The distribution of the fortified rice will fulfill the nutrition deficiency and protect the people from vitamin and iron deficiencies like anemia, scurvy and beriberi diseases,” said the official.
Terming the program as very significant, the food department official said, “The government has a plan to implement the programme across the country. But now we are piloting the program initially at 10 districts and upazilas.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the programme in 2016 by inaugurating rice distribution among the poor at Chilmari upazila under Kurigram district on September 7 in 2016.
Every poor family will get 30-kg rice for five months in a year under the programme—March and April and from September to November in a year.
More than 10,000 dealers are being involved in the rice distribution programme.