The Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers Union Limited (KDCMPUL) popularly known as Amul Dairy has recently received order from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to supply ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to South Sudan and Afghanistan.
“While we have already supplied 50 tonnes RUTF to south Sudan, we have received an order to supply 300 tonnes RUTF to Afghanistan,” Amul Dairy’s managing director Dr K Rathnam told TOI.
Amul Dairy has got itself registered as an UNICEF approved supplier of RUTF after UNICEF last year approved its plant to supply orders up to US $ 2 million (nearly Rs 12 crore) to begin with. RUTF which Amul has branded as ‘Bal Amul’ is a therapeutic food developed specifically to tackle the problem of ‘severe acute malnutrition’ or SAM.
This therapeutic food whose product formulation is based on the guidelines of UNICEF is given to malnourished children between six months to six years age group. Amul Dairy had set up the plant to produce RUTF at its Mogar food Complex in 2015.
“The main purpose was to produce low cost nutritious product to treat malnourished children within and outside the country,” said Rathnam.
Amul has already supplied 540 tonnes to the state government while another order of 500 tonnes is presently under execution. Since RUTF was not manufactured indigenously, Government of India was sceptical about approving it for treatment of malnourished children in the country. “We took up this opportunity under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. We want to make Gujarat a success story after which we will approved the Central government for the rest of the states,” said Rathnam, adding that the plant which was set up at the cost of Rs 12 crore can produce 1,000 tonnes RUTF per month.
UNICEF requires 45,000 tonnes per annum RUTF to fight the problem of severe malnutrition globally.
If each of the estimated 10 million severely acute malnourished children of the country are to be treated, it would require production of one lakh tonnes RUTF in a year.
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