Fortification Bread is important for Georgian Family!
Association Agreement (DCFTA) between Georgia and EU fully comes into force since 1 July 2016. Implementation of this document will help Georgia to create an environment that will increase competitiveness, promote a stable growth of the economy. Ensuring a sufficient level of safe security and nutrition is identified as the one of the key strategic directions of this AA/ /(DCFTA) document. There are many factors which make barriers to empower national strategy on food security. Initiatives and activities have been provided from Government and civil society sides to increase health care access for low income women and children, who are at risk of developing nutrition related health problems.
One of the challenges under AA//(DCFTA) are the increasing reforms in food security and providing essential nutrition program for all citizens of the country. It is important to support agrarian organizations, farmers (including women farmers) and women NGOS in this field. Due to insufficient incomes Georgian family has a high poverty level. The survey provided by UNICEF in 2015 outlined the problems of malnutrition amongst of children, IDP`s and older population. According the report of the Georgian National nutrition Survey in 2009 (NNS) about half of a million population in Georgia are suffering from malnutrition.
It is known that the bread is the main food for Georgian citizens. Global food crisis and the growth of wheat prices have negative influenced on Georgia, because Georgia belongs to wheat importer (90%) countries. Georgian populations usually consume many bread, but gaining little nutrition benefits to return. Most of the population (women, children) do not aware the significant of flour fortification. Fortification bread increase price and all the cost be passed on to consumers? This question is very popular in the period of the upcoming election campaign, this issue is related as political populism. The issue of bread fortification is not free from controversy.
In 2006 the strategy of flour fortification began in Georgia. This program was financed by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). The problems arose in the society regarding bread fortification was issue of bread price increasing. The food experts highlighted that fortification gives big benefits to population and does not create risk to bread increasing price of bread. According the UNICEF investigation in 2013 the cost of flour fortification is estimated to be around 1-2 USD per ton.
That could mean around 1-2 tetri (currency Georgia) increase price per kilogram of flour. The law about fortification is under discussion in the Parliament. Georgia Parliament has not approved yet the law of flour fortification. Flour fortification is not mandatory yet in Georgia. But it should be noted that flour fortification has not facilitate price increasing, but it probably reduces infant death, less problem for pregnant and lower rates of birth defects in the country.
There is a lack of awareness of the population on food security and nutrition. This fact impedes implementation of strategy food safety standards that meet EU requirements. Nevertheless, experts agree that a key feature of fortification involves calculating the optimum amount of nutrient to be used. Local agriculture production takes a third and last place in Georgian food security. Nutrition is less considered within in food security policy. Food security must be ensured equally by all the stakeholders: producers, consumers, government and civil society.
Tbilisi State Univerity
Economic and Business Faculty
Head of Association Caucasus Development Group
Address: 19 kekelidze, Tbilisi, Georgia