Myanmar Country Program

Nutrition

In Myanmar, rice is a staple food for all and the only major source of nutrition for many. This limited diet leads to high rates of micronutrient deficiencies, which have lifelong consequences on health, productivity, and mental development, particularly for women and children. The latest Demographic and Health Survey reveals that malnutrition remains a significant public health concern in Myanmar — especially among children under age five, with 19% underweight, 29% stunted (a sign of chronic malnutrition), and 7% wasted (a sign of acute malnutrition).

PATH is constantly searching for innovative solutions to malnutrition. Pictured, students in a monastic school in Than Lyin Township eat their midday meal. PATH/Minzayar

Addressing micronutrient deficiencies with fortified rice

PATH’s flagship project in Myanmar is improving nutrition through rice fortification. Using a unique approach that does not require people to change their eating habits, we are working with local partners to produce fortified rice grains using PATH’s Ultra Rice® technology. These vitamin- and mineral-packed grains are extruded through pasta-­making equipment and formed into the shape of rice grains. The grains are then blended with traditional rice—typically at a ratio of 1 to 100. We know from more than 30 clinical trials and our experience in India, Brazil, and other countries that this fortified rice has proven its effectiveness in addressing micronutrient deficiencies.

Learn more about our rice fortification project here.