Transforming Supply Chain & Food Distribution in India
Using Disruptive technologies to build transparency, efficiency, irrefutability and authenticity in the food distribution system.
Government of India has embarked upon critical projects to modernize, optimize and create a secure system for distribution of food and supplies to citizens. The intent is to mitigate and reduce all potential losses due to fraud, theft and distribution inefficiencies. In a world enabled by complex biometrics of Aadhar, various attempts to mitigate identity related concerns using the extensive single identification for citizens mechanism have not been fruitful and continue to be impacted by various frauds. Bureaucratic and procedural challenges have resulted in multiple intermediaries & potential challenges of misrepresentation & misappropriation of food for beneficiaries.
Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is one of the Indian Government’s most important instruments of policy aimed at food security, inclusive growth and public satisfaction. While TPDS addresses the key concerns of distribution of the food from federal and state warehouses to the fair price shops – and eventually to the beneficiaries, the implementation and enforcement across the entire country has been challenged.
A broad spectrum of issues continue to pose challenges for food distribution to beneficiaries. Key issues include but are not limited to
Authentication & Authorization: Validation of Beneficiaries is typically done on the basis of a Ration card. Guaranteeing the identity of the beneficiary family, and validating the benefits applicability have been foundational issues for the government.
Shipment Losses: Shipment losses refer to the losses resulting due to theft, transportation in-efficiencies and un-validated transaction records. Misrepresenting the quantities or quality of the food being transported, and exaggeration of the standard shipping losses, result to major impact to qualitative and quantitative measures of the food distribution.
Artificial Enhancement and Adulteration: Artificial Enhancement enhances a product’s attributes by use of an unapproved additive. Food adulteration is process in which the quality of food is lowered either by the addition of inferior quality material or by extraction of valuable ingredients. These practices can be noticed across the distribution chain and has been a core problem agencies haven’t been able to address.
Theft and Resale: This method comprises theft of food products and their resale through unapproved channels. Food grains and fuel meant to be distributed through the public distribution channels or for the poor often ends up being stolen resold in open markets.
The food distribution system is complex with multiple touch points and each is plagued by a variety of issues. We are building a multi-faceted supply chain system enabling transparency, improvising efficiency and building irrefutability into the system.
The core problems in the food distribution system are driven by lack of authenticity, transparency and efficiency. It is of paramount importance than any solution focuses on addressing these issues. We are working on building a solution that cuts across all these facets using Blockchain, AI and IoT. Reduced number of touch points with direct access and irrefutable transactions form the plinth of the solution. IoT driven monitoring and visibility provides better visibility. Key highlights of the solution are
- Using Aadhar based Biometric identification for beneficiaries to eliminate persistent identity fraud when using the Ration cards in the current system.
- Using irrefutable transactions with Smart Contracts for tracking supply of food from Central warehouses to State warehouses and from State warehouses to beneficiaries.
- Tracking and monitoring the distribution system using IoT solutions to reduce theft and adulteration.
- Automate transactions between various participants to reduce middlemen during the transaction process.
- Introduce advanced Analytics and Management dashboards for visibility and transparency.
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