New Delhi, June 11 (UNI) An automated grain dispensing machine developed in India by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with the Government of India and the WFP Innovation Accelerator has bagged the global innovation award in Munich, Germany.
GrainATM or Annapurti, is an automated multi-commodity dispensing solution that provides fast, clean, and precise access to commodities (rice, wheat, grains) to beneficiaries, post biometric authentication.
The machine ensures 24×7 access to full entitlements of monthly subsidized grains through India’s Public Distribution System.
“An adaptable, modular, and robust solution, ‘Annapurti’ has potential use for food-based safety nets, food grain distribution during emergencies, and increasing market access for smallholder farmers,” said Ankit Sood, WFP India Head Supply Chain and PDS Unit.
The Award was conferred on Thursday in Munich to recognize the top five innovative solutions for disrupting hunger from 120 countries where WFP works.
The machines are currently undergoing testing at two locations in Haryana and Odisha in Fair Price Shops (FPS) that distribute rations to the beneficiaries of National Food Security Act (2013) entitlements.
The Indian government operates one of the world’s largest food-based safety nets, under which subsidized grains are provided to 813 million people every month, through a network of over 500,000 last-mile outlets called FPS.
Under the current practice, the FPS operators manually weigh and distribute the food grain. The manual weighing and distribution of grains require the people receiving assistance to queue for long hours, there is a high possibility of grain spillage and waste, and may even lead to people not receiving their share of food assistance.
The development of the GrainATM or Annapurti solution was made possible by work done by the India CO, the Government of India, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, the Department of Food and Public Distribution, and WFP Innovation Accelerator.