DAVAO City – The number of rice millers using iron fortified rice or i-Rice is increasing in Compostela Valley since the launching of the rice fortification program in 2007 in Compostela Valley province.
Kenneth Barroga, the Provincial Science and Technology Director of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region XI in Compostela Valley, said the involvement of the rice millers came after the provincial government of this province passed an Ordinance detailing a mechanism on the selling and production of iron fortified rice.
He said their province was given priority in the launching of i-Rice after it was badly hit by typhoon Pablo leaving residents especially poor families with totally damaged food production farm lands.
Considering that Filipinos are rice eaters, he said the iron fortified rice would give them, adults and children, the proper nutrients.
According to Barroga, their campaign is continuing even if they already noted some good results from the program in terms of bringing down incidence of anemia among children. He disclosed that the provincial government will also go on a familiarization tour in Zambales to see the successful implementation of i-Rice there.
Marcela C. Saises, Senior Science Research Specialist of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) Manila said the cases of anemia in the country is alarming.
“It took us 14 years to hit a breakthrough on iron fortification in rice,” she said.
An iron fortified rice (IFR) is an enriched rice made from a blend of premixed iron-fortified rice grains with ordinary rice. The premixed fortified rice grains is an ordinary rice coated with iron is in suitable solvent and binder. IFR contains 6 mg iron per 100 gram rice. A day’s intake of approximately 4 to 6 cups of cooked IFR will meet the dialy iron requirement of the body. pna