Following the mass supply of fortified rice in 261 schools across the country, Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCBL) is now exploring opportunities to supply the same to monasteries and institutions under Central Monastic Body. The first consultative meeting between the representatives from the Central Monastic Body lead by the Hon'ble General Secretary and representatives from FCBL lead by the Chief Executive Officer was held on the 24th September in Thimphu.
During the meeting, FCBL presented on the health benefits of fortified rice due to essential macronutrients contained in the fortified rice. Nutrients such as iron, riboflavin, folic acid, zinc, and vitamin B12 are believed to improve productivity, maternal health and cognitive development. Similarly folic acid (vitamin B9) helps to reduce the risk of severe illness of the brain and spine.
Zinc is believed to help children to strengthen immune systems and lessen complications from diarrhea. Likewise, vitamin A helps to prevent childhood blindness and it enhances individual's ability to fight infections.
Having understood the tremendous health benefits, Dratshang Lhengtshog expressed this interest to feed fortified rice in the monastic institutions. The Hon'ble General Secretary of Dratshang Lhentshog shared in the meeting that providing fortified to the monastic institutions is already in their policy although they had not been able to provide thus far.
FCBL and Drastshang Lhengtshog have agreed to have another around of meeting with the four Venerable Lopens from the Central Monastic Body to discuss on the way forward.