ANANTAPUR: Lack of awareness and knowledge about benefits of fortified rice has led to spread of unfounded rumours on social media about this variety of rice, spreading even panic among some people.
A peculiar situation emerged in Kurnool district, which is among five districts in the country selected for distribution of fortified rice through fair price (FP) ration shops to white card holders.
Rumours have spread on social media that it is plastic rice and would harm the health of people. This happened despite Kurnool district administration spreading awareness about fortified rice in advance.
Kurnool joint collector Ramsundar Reddy clarified that fortified rice appearing whiter than other rice has led to rumours of it being plastic rice. “This is not plastic rice. It is in fact rice that is fortified with iron, folic acid, B-12 and other nutrients to improve immunity among people,” he observed.
The joint collector pointed out to the fact that the centre is planning to distribute fortified rice through all fair price shops across the country by 2023. This rice will also be made available to general public through retail markets in future, he underlined.
Ramsundar Reddy pointed out that fortified rice must in fact be cooked in lesser water when compared to general rice. Once people cook it for a couple of times, they will have a clear idea how it can be cooked perfectly. Over a period of time, people will also come to know about its health aspects.
Lack of proper awareness has led to certain people even refusing to collect their quota of rice from some of the ration shops in Kurnool district.