Madagascar Voly Vary Rice project
The economy of Madagascar is still largely dominated by agriculture and rice cultivation plays a predominant role whether in terms of the quantities of rice produced yearly or the number of hectares of land under cultivation or the number of inhabitants involved in this activity. Rice is the staple food of the Malagasy people with an average consumption of 125 Kg per inhabitant per year. Agricultural production is that of the rice paddy (about 5.9 million tonnes yearly) that accounts for about 30-40% of the total value of crop production.
Micronutrient deficiencies are quite high in Madagascar with 68.3% of preschool age children and 50.1% of pregnant women suffering from anemia (WHO database, 2008) and 32.9% of the population is at risk of inadequate intake of zinc (Food and Nutrition bulletin, 2004) amongst others. Food based approaches, especially fortification strategies via a staple food; in this case rice could be the most cost-effective way of addressing the malnutrition issues of the country.
The Nestlé Nutrition Institute Africa (NNIA) initiated in October 2010 a bio-fortified rice project with the Ministry of Agriculture in Madagascar and the Nestlé Research and Development (R&D) Centre of Abidjan in Ivory Coast.
The objective of the project is to contribute to reduce some of the nutritional deficiencies in Madagascar especially with regards to the prevailing iron and zinc deficiencies. The R&D centre provided bio-fortified varieties while maintaining the taste preferences of local consumers.
Value to Society
Improved nutrition for consumers, increased income and a reduction in micronutrient deficiencies
Transfer of technology and technological expertise leading to sustainable farming methods.
Value to Nestlé
Helps establish Nestlé as the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company and as a Socially Responsible Company.