In 2007, the Micronutrient Initiative began working with village millers in rural Nepal to help them add essential vitamins and minerals to the cereal flour they produce.
MI developed an innovative flour fortification device for the small traditional watermills in the Lalitpur district of Nepal. The device, which does not require electricity or significant additional workload, automatically adds correct doses of iron, folic acid, and vitamin A to grains being milled and is powered solely by gravity.
The addition of key nutrients is helping to improve the health and productivity of the people of this area decreasing iron deficiency anemia.
Iron deficiency anemia is a widespread public health problem in Nepal, where 48% of children under five and 42% of pregnant women are anemic. Anemia impedes child growth and learning and decreases physical productivity. Iron deficiency anemia leads to the death of 136,000 women and children around the world each year.