Hyderabad: It is hard to trace the origin of a bag of rice or grains when the quality has been compromised. In the case of food defilement, it takes days to figure out the origin of the rice bag. The current process of tracing is completely manual which involves sending people to various locations including retailers and wholesalers, Fair Price shops, Godowns, and mills to gather data,. This can be a cumbersome process and not foolproof.

Tracking the quality of rice along the supply chain is another issue. In spite of quality checks in locations such as Retail and Wholesale, Mills, MLS Godowns, and Fair Price Shops, adulteration occurs and the beneficiaries receive low-quality rice.

The Current Situation

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The quality checks are done on a small sample size at only 1 out of every 100 gunny bags. This leads to a majority of the rice bags left unchecked. After quality checks, the data is entered manually which can lead to human errors or manipulation.

Paddy is bought from the farmers at Paddy Purchase Centers (PPCs). It is then transported via trucks to mills where it gets converted into the rice and filled into gunny bags. The gunny bags are further transported to MLS Godowns for storage. Based on the requirements a Release Order (RO) is issued, the rice is then transported to Fair Price Shops.

Telangana State’s Solution developed by StaTwig

StaTwig has come with a solution to improve visibility, traceability of rice and enhance monitoring of the quality of grains produced under the ration scheme besides help reduce waste and adulteration.

The data is collected from different locations along the supply chain. “In our proposed solution, this data will be stored on a Hybrid Blockchain. Data collection starts from PPCs where a certificate of origin, batch numbers, the grade of paddy, etc is collected. Paddy is transported to the mills, where it is converted into rice, and packed into gunny bags. In this stage, we issue QR codes for the gunny bags,” said an official of Emerging Technologies Wing, Government of Telangana

The process will begin by assigning each gunny bag with a unique QR code to each unit. This will help in identifying the gunny bag that has been compromised and locate the Mill or PPC where it was packed.

The Flow of the Process

1. The Quality Inspection is done by using devices to check the quality of rice in various locations such as Mills, MLS Godowns and Fair Price Shops.
2. Predicting the bad batches by using Machine Learning
3. Tracing the bad batches back to its origin by using analytics

The new procedure will allow officials of the Civil Supplies department to track the ration and ensure that it reaches only the eligible persons. The same information will be fed into the departmental servers with the help of the Information Technology department to keep track of the movement of ration from the State headquarters.

The pilot of this new procedure is being implemented in the paddy procurement center, MLS points, and Fair Price Shops in Siddipet and Gajwel.

“Based on the feedback, it will be extended to other parts of the State. The officials will be having complete knowledge about the movement and availability of the ration in every godown/fair price shop in the State using the new technology. Due to the usage of blockchain technology, it is confident that there will be no scope for irregularities including changing manual records,” said the official of Emerging Technologies Wing, ITE&C Department

 

(Inputs from Telangana State Civil Supplies Department and Emerging Technologies Wing)

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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