Although Tamil Nadu is one of the three major salt producing and exporting states in India, only about 20 per cent of its households were using adequately iodised salt in 1999.
As a result, in collaboration with the government, UNICEF intensified its advocacy among salt producers to produce iodised salt. Collaboration was initiated with a large consumer organisation, FEDCOT, a federation of 350 registered consumer organisations in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, whose members work at the grassroots.
Together with FEDCOT, an awareness raising campaign was started among shopkeepers and the general population. After several meetings with local salt producers and a campaign to raise awareness amongst the local people, preliminary indications showed an increase in the production of iodised salt: the sale of potassium iodiate, the fortificant added to the salt, increased from about 300 kilograms per month to 500 kilograms per month in the second half of 2003.