The first big step toward large-scale food fortification of vitamin A in staple foods was made at a workshop Thursday, where private food companies and government officials met with the aim of combating widespread malnutrition through the market. The workshop, attended by BASF Micronutrient Company, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the Cambodian National Sub-commission for Food Fortification, sought cooperation from the private sector and national food producers to introduce affordable fortified foods to the market. Ou Ohat, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Planning, was confident the program will benefit the population. "The elimination of vitamin A deficiency is one step toward the elimination of nutritional deficiency and food insecurity," he said in a statement. An estimated 50 percent of the Cambodian population suffers from vitamin A deficiency, which can cause blindness.