Photo courtesy of Bühler.
The FFP is addressing nutrition deficiencies through the fortification of staple foods. The program is funded with $48 million from the U.K.’s Department for International Development. With effective measures that will directly support local mills and food factories, the program will have a substantial impact on the well-being of close to 100 million people.
Pakistan has one of the highest rates of child malnutrition in the world: more than 40% of children are affected by stunting and 30% are underweight, Bühler noted. Stunting results from inadequate nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life, from conception to two years of age. It limits physical, cognitive and emotional development. A study, issued in 2017 by the Pakistan Scaling-Up Nutrition Secretariat in collaboration with the UN World Food Program, estimates that the impact of malnutrition equates to 3% of Pakistan’s GDP.
The fortification of staple foods is an effective way of increasing nutritional intake of a broad base of the population, for example through the addition of vitamins and minerals to wheat flour during the wheat milling process.
Bühler will supply more than 1,000 micro-feeders to the Food Fortification Program to support flour mills in Pakistan. Altogether, around 350 flour mills, which is about half of the mills in Pakistan, will be able to add iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, and zinc to wheat flour in order to fortify staples, such as roti and chapatti.
“We are proud and thankful to engage in the fight against malnutrition in Pakistan,” said Walter von Reding, head of Bühler’s Flour Services business. “This program will reach more than 50% of the population through wheat flour fortification. It is an important project that has a major impact on health and well-being in Pakistan.”
Bühler’s proposal to supply the micro-feeders is supported by the company’s access to local networks and market access. The company is able to oversee the installation and commissioning and offer strong support as well as an extended warranty to the local millers in Pakistan.
“Our proximity to the local markets and our knowledge of the millers in Pakistan were key factors when the program decided to partner up with us to deliver the solutions,” said Rahman Mahboob, Bühler country manager in Pakistan. “We are confident to deliver another batch of 1,500 micro-feeders in 2019 and 2020, fighting malnutrition in that region even more.”
Bühler said it has a long-standing cooperation with partners in the field of fortification, including DSM, a provider of nutritional food ingredients, and NGOs like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food Fortification Initiative (FFI), united under the objective to fight malnutrition worldwide.