Fighting stunting and malnutrition in Pakistan

In Pakistan more than 40% of children are affected by stunting and 30% are underweight, Bühler has been awarded a multi-million contract to supply more than 1000 microfeeders in 2017 and 2018

Image courtesy of FFI

The programme is funded with US$48 million from the UK’s Department for International Development. With effective measures that will directly support local mills and food factories, the programme will have a substantial impact on the well being of close to 100 million people.

Pakistan has one of the highest rates of child malnutrition in the world: more than 40% of children are affected by stunting and 30% are underweight.

Stunting results from inadequate nutrition during the first 1000 days of life, from conception to 2 years old. It limits physical, cognitive, and emotional development.

A study issued in 2017 by the Pakistan Scaling-Up Nutrition Secretariat in collaboration with the UN World Food Program, estimates the impact of malnutrition equates to 3% of Pakistan’s GDP.

The fortification of staple foods is an effective way of increasing nutritional intake of a broad base of the population, for example through the addition of vitamins and minerals to wheat flour during the wheat milling process.

Altogether, around 350 flour mills, which is about half of the mills in Pakistan, will be able to add iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, and zinc to wheat flour in order to fortify staples, such as roti and chapatti.

Walter von Reding, Head of Bühler’s Flour Services business, said: “We are proud and thankful to engage in the fight against malnutrition in Pakistan. This programme will reach more than 50% of the population through wheat flour fortification. It is an important project that has a major impact on health and well being in Pakistan.”

Bühler’s proposal to supply the microfeeders excelled with its local network and market access. The company is able to oversee the installation and commissioning, offering strong support and an extended warranty to the local millers in Pakistan.

Rahman Mahboob, Country Manager in Bühler Pakistan: “Our proximity to the local markets and our knowledge of the millers in Pakistan were key factors when the program decided to partner up with us to deliver the solutions. We are confident to deliver another batch of 1500 micro-feeders in 2019 and 2020, fighting malnutrition in that region even more.”

Bühler has a long standing cooperation with partners in the field of fortification, including DSM, a provider of nutritional food ingredients, and NGOs like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food Fortification Initiative (FFI), united under the objective to fight malnutrition worldwide.