Food security through ICT in Odisha
Supported by Ericsson India Global Services Ltd.
Strengthening the government’s food-based social safety net, one of the largest globally, has the potential to significantly improve access to sufficient and nutritious food for the most vulnerable populations. However, multiple studies and reports suggest that no more than 53 percent of the allocated food grains reach their intended recipients.
The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in Odisha caters to over 30 million beneficiaries. An examination of the supply chain for the project revealed misalignment in procurement and distribution practices. This led to issues like surplus stock, delays, quality deterioration, and other factors affecting the provision and quality of commodities.
It was identified that optimizing the distribution system through innovative and context-sensitive solutions at various levels could enhance the delivery process to beneficiaries, ensuring food security.
The WFP Trust for India, in partnership with WFP India and supported by Ericsson India Global Services Ltd, collaborated with the Odisha government to revamp the Supply Chain Management System and Paddy Procurement Automation System. The focus was on areas such as providing real-time information and reducing food grain losses.
One of the project’s primary goals was to enhance transparency and bolster decision-making by establishing a transparency and data analytics portal.
The interventions impacted the ground by connecting around 10,000 government stakeholders to the millions reliant on the TPDS system. This facilitated timely access to subsidised grains in line with their entitlements.
This partnership demonstrated how information and communication technology can contribute to ensuring food security in Odisha. The initiative stood out as a distinctive intervention, highlighting the transformative potential of a robust public-private partnership.
The food value chain in India plays a crucial role in ensuring that vulnerable communities, including those below the poverty line, can access their entitled provisions through an efficient and transparent system, thus enabling the government’s investments to attain their intended objectives.
A key motivation behind this collaboration was to develop a scalable model that could be replicated in other regions of India. The project aimed at achieving this goal and its insights were well-received by the Government of Odisha and the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India.