eCatalogue of indicators for micronutrient programmes

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Subsidies for iodized salt production phased out
This indicator assesses whether government and/or donor subsidies for iodized salt production are phased out after introduction of the iodized salt programme.
Sustainable salt iodization includes the principle that salt producers should be self-reliant in the production of food-grade iodized salt (1). Under normal market conditions, the incremental cost of iodizing salt is small and can be passed on to the industry's customers. To ‘quick-start’ salt iodization in some countries, salt companies are given funding to procure basic materials, including the iodine fortificant, dosifiers, packaging materials and laboratory chemicals/equipment to test salt iodine content. Such support is intended to be short term with salt producers eventually procuring their own fortificant supply and absorbing these costs into their market structure so that they are self-sufficient in producing iodized salt.
The numerator is the number of domestic salt producers receiving public sector funding subsidies to iodize salt over a given period of time (e.g., twelve months). The denominator is the total number of domestic salt producers over the same period of time. Divide the numerator by the denominator. Multiply the result by 100 to convert the number into a percentage. Considerations for the calculation: a) An alternative to calculating the percentage of salt producers is to calculate the percentage of salt factories. b) The first assessment of this indicator should be completed no more than 5 years after the start of the national salt iodization programme. Ideally, this indicator is measured regularly, e.g., annually, and provides an ongoing score of the proportion of salt producers in a country receiving subsidies.
materials procurement, subsidy, preferential tax, import duty, donation, sustainability, salt industry, self-sufficiency, input procurement, fortificant sourcing
Food fortification
Not applicable,
Early childhood development, Emergency setting or displaced population, Lactation, Pregnancy
Ideally, the source of this information would be the national salt producers association. Otherwise, it is necessary to check the records of each salt company.
This indicator is easy to assess if provided by the national salt producers association. Introducing and measuring this indicator emphasizes to salt producers the need for capacity development and self-reliance related to funds for iodization related materials, equipment, and considering a fair price for iodized salt to be passed on to their customers. This indicator is a reflection of the institutionalization of salt iodization among salt producers.
Socially desirable reporting might result in some producers misreporting their purchase of iodization related materials. Monitoring will not guarantee that salt producers will take over the costs of iodization or that producers are willing to iodize salt.
In one country, an important element of the successful and sustained iodized salt program was phasing out of donor contributions of potassium iodate and iodization/packaging equipment. At the beginning of the program, one of the reasons cited by the salt industry as a disincentive to the production of iodized salt was the high cost of equipment and of potassium iodate. To get the program started, UN agencies and country aid programmes worked with the private sector and provided both the machinery and the potassium iodate necessary for salt fortification. The design and adoption of incentives for salt producers were seen as one of the pillars to ensure financial sustainability and profitability over the long term. Therefore, the salt producers were exempted from the import tax and customs taxes/tariffs on salt iodization and processing equipment and potassium iodate. Over several years, the program shifted from donor-driven to self-procurement of salt iodization equipment and potassium iodate. Salt associations assisted salt producers to negotiate with the vendors, and the participating salt producers increased the sharing of costs of quality iodized salt production not only in processing, iodization and packaging/labeling, but also in strengthening the internal laboratories, training and social marketing to achieve national salt iodization that did not rely on any public funding subsidies. The salt companies gradually assumed full responsibility for input self-procurements and have since demonstrated effective capability to purchase potassium iodate, equipment and expendable supplies between 2013 and 2014. For this indicator (subsidies for iodized salt production phased out), the response was 0% of domestic salt producers received public sector funding subsidies during the period of 2013-2014.
1. UNICEF. Sustainable elimination of iodine deficiency. Progress since the 1990 World Summit for Children. New York: United Nations Children’s Fund; 2008 (, accessed 28 January 2015).
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