The Rajasthan Cooperative Dairy Federation (RCDF) will start fortification of 15 lakh litres of milk everyday from next month in all of its 21 dairies in the State with small quantities of vitamins A and D to make it more nutritious before its supply to the consumers. Fortified milk will be available to consumers without any additional costs.

The RCDF has signed a memorandum of understanding with Jaipur-based Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR) here for the project involving fortification of toned, double toned and skimmed milk, sold as “Saras” brand, in all the dairies.

RCDF Managing Director Mukesh Sharma and IIHMR Corporate Director S. D. Gupta signed the MoU for the ambitious project at a simple ceremony here in the presence of Director (Fortified Project) O. P. Gupta and RCDF General Manager P. S. Siddhu. The significant move - the first of its kind in Rajasthan - is expected to reduce vitamin deficiency among large sections of population.

Mr. Gupta said here on Friday that multiple benefits of vitamins A and D include reduction in night blindness, increase in the immunity of body and strengthening of bones by increasing calcium absorption. The IIHMR has signed an agreement with Geneva-based Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to implement a project aimed at reducing micronutrient deficiencies in the State. The 21 dairies of RCDF where fortification of ‘Saras’ milk will be carried out from March are situated in Ajmer, Alwar, Banswara, Barmer, Bharatpur, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Chittorgarh, Churu, Sriganganagar, Jalore, Jaipur, Jhalawar, Jodhpur, Kota, Nagaur, Pali, Sikar, Sawai Madhopur, Tonk and Udaipur.

As part of the MoU, the RCDF has agreed to fortify 5.56 lakh metric tonnes of milk in the first year and 6.12 lakh metric tonnes of milk in the second year with full premix support from the project, benefiting about 75 lakh people everyday.