Take Home Ration - Good practices from states
To ensure basic nutrition, health, better work potential, and productivity, the Government of India has launched several measures. One such scheme is the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). The Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) under ICDS aims to fill the gap in nutrition amongst children under six years of age as well as pregnant and lactating women. SNP is delivered through two modalities – Hot-Cooked Meal at Anganwadi Centers and Take-Home Ration (THR). THR may be delivered in the form of raw ingredients or pre-cooked packets.
An analysis of THR models in various States and Union Territories (UTs) is extremely important to improve and formalize the good practices and to accelerate improvement in the THR value chain. The gaps and deficiencies in various models need to be identified to find better solutions and bring efficacy.
Best practices in THR
There are various improvisations adopted in the implementation of the THR value chain, from formulations to last-mile delivery, by the States and UTs. A compendium has been released by NITI Aayog to document these improvisations under the following thematic areas.
- Procurement: Highlights various good practices related to procurement adopted by various States and UTs. For instance, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Chandigarh, and Mizoram are procuring THR products through e-tendering for maintaining fair play and transparency.
- Production model: Decentralized production model increases efficiency for last- mile delivery of THR to beneficiaries, besides boosting local economies and generating livelihoods.
- In Kerala, Amrutham-Nutrimix THR is produced by WSHGs through a decentralized approach.
- In Odisha, WSHGs are responsible for each of the processes from procurement to the production of the products within defined time limits.
- In Karnataka, THR is produced by Mahila Supplementary Food Production Centers (MSPCs) led by Women Self-help groups.
- Product formulation: The THR product must be healthful and enriched with enough ingredients to meet the nutritional requirements of the intended beneficiaries.
- In Madhya Pradesh, fortified Khichdi premix is made with smaller particles for greater palatability and lower rancidity-causing raw components for increased acceptability.
- In Kerala, THR is supplemented with 11 micronutrients (vitamins, and minerals).
- The YSR Sampoorna Poshana scheme in Andhra Pradesh provides milk and eggs.
- Beneficiaries in Haryana receive fortified sweetened flavored milk. The goal is to ensure that the target population accepts and consumes the product.
- Because of India’s variety, the product must be customized to cater to local circumstances. The Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttarakhand are providing varied THR menu options to boost acceptability and provide additional choices among recipients.
- Increased THR quantity, ready- to-eat snacks, enriched THR with extra protein, fat, and eggs, and ready-to-eat therapeutic meals are used for MAM/SAM children.
- Quality assurance and quality control:
- Gujarat has implemented inspections throughout the production process at the Amul THR factory to improve the quality of THR. Once the product enters the Anganwadi centres, third-party laboratories gather random samples.
- Telangana has a quality control department that inspects the food.
- In Odisha, payments to WSHGs are withheld in the event of non-compliance with quality requirements, while in Rajasthan, the contract with the SHG is annulled.
- THR samples are delivered to the regional food testing laboratory of the Mizoram Food and Nutrition Board for analysis, confirming that the THR product meets national standards.
- Packaging and labelling: The THR packaging provides a good opportunity to share all information related to the THR product.
- In Odisha, color-coded packets are distributed, capturing key messages on the importance of breastfeeding.
- In Jharkhand, the THR is distributed in daily serve size packets.
- THR packets in Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh include instructions on product preparation.
- Monitoring: To ensure effectiveness of the programme, it is critical to monitor its execution.
- Jharkhand has adopted a real-time monitoring approach using call centres.
- In Odisha, community-level monitoring is institutionalized through the formation of Mothers Committees (MC) at each Anganwadi Centre and Jaanch Committees (JC) at each revenue village.
- Telangana Foods has a Nutrition Council that meets twice a year. It also has an executive committee, which convenes every quarter, oversees regular THR production operations.
- In Himachal Pradesh, an Anganwadi-level Monitoring and Support Committee is formed comprising of members of Pachayati Raj Institution, SHGs, local teachers, and health workers for the purpose of monitoring.
- Supply chain management: Supply chain management is an important component of the THR value chain.
- Odisha has adopted the Mo-Chhatua software application and management information system to streamline supply chain management.
- Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and Telangana have opted for technological solutions.
- Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC): For any initiative to have an impact, information, education and communication (IEC) play a pivotal role. Several state governments have designed IEC material showcasing the importance of THR. It includes flyers, flip-books, folk media campaigns, and digital platforms of IVR, and whats app chatbot.
To access the compendium of the best practices, click here.
Source : NITI Aayog
Last Modified : 10/12/2023
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