Monday, April 05, 2010


UNICEF estimates 40 percent of under-five children in the arid Sahel are chronically malnourished because they lack the vitamins and minerals needed to bolster their immune systems and mental skills. Another estimated 300,000 die every year from malnutrition.

“Rice is a poor source of essential vitamins and minerals, either because these compounds are not present in rice, especially when it is polished [white], or they cannot be absorbed by humans,” UNICEF nutrition specialist Roland Kupka told IRIN. “Diets that are primarily based on polished rice may thus lead to deficiencies in iron, zinc, vitamin A, and thiamine [B1] deficiency, which in turn impair growth, immunity, and mental development among children.”

Rice does little to boost nutrition, unlike vegetables.

The director of Africa Rice Centre, Papa Abdoulaye Seck, told IRIN “Rice is a strategic commodity… We can do business with rice. Imagine if the US$2 billion dollars [2006 estimate] that Africa spends on rice imports every year were reinvested in the agricultural sector - do you think Africa would now have 265 million starving people?” asked Seck, referring to an estimate from UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

1 comment:

aberfoyle said...

Poor mans food is rice.Takes less time to cook it when processed especialy when in a hurry.Thoughtful is the market producers, for those busy producing their non productive paper.