Sep 03, 2015
MANHATTAN, KANSAS – More than 40 participants from the rice industry, academia, U.S. government agencies, and private companies gathered at Kansas State University (KSU) last week to develop a unified working agenda and promote production capacity of fortified rice in the United States.
USA Rice has been collaborating closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the World Food Program, to ensure the increased use of fortified rice in the U.S. government's global feeding programs. This event was the latest to emphasize the importance of a new fortified rice formulation in addressing global hidden hunger.
With fortified rice being more readily recognized as an important tool in the fight against global malnutrition, the primary area of focus is resolving outstanding logistics issues in the complicated production chain in the U.S. This requires ongoing close coordination and communication between the purchasing agencies, fortification entities, and the rice millers.
Jamie Warshaw, a Louisiana rice miller and chairman of the USA Rice Food Aid Subcommittee, attended the conference and said, “While the opportunities are enormous for the U.S. rice industry, obstacles to increased use of fortified rice remain, including, for instance, customer acceptance. The KSU event was an important first step in bringing the major stakeholders together and coordinating a plan forward.”
USA Rice is planning an informational session in Washington, DC next month to clarify some of the remaining questions about fortified rice and facilitate its use. While the USA Rice session will include many important stakeholders, the target audience will be the end users - the humanitarian organizations who will work with U.S. government agencies to program increasingly greater amounts of fortified rice in new and ongoing feeding initiatives.