Ericsson announced its support to the WFP Trust for India to further their work on developing customised ICT solutions that will bring efficiencies across the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in Odisha. TPDS scheme involves procurement, allocation, and transportation of food-grains as well as distribution amongst eligible beneficiaries. Operated jointly by Central and the State governments, it also includes issuance of ration cards and monitoring of Fair Price Shops. The main aim of this partnership is to improve efficiencies in food-based safety nets for nearly 30 million food insecure people in Odisha who are the beneficiaries of this project.
According to Amitabh Ray, Head of Ericsson Global Services Center in India. "Ericsson is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals such as achieving zero hunger by 2030. This association with the WFP is in line with the Government's plan of having a robust ICT solution to manage the TPDS for achieving food security. The partnership has been designed to address critical issues like efficient utilisation of resources including access to food and reduced food wastage. It will enhance farmers access to government's system for selling their produce, while enabling more transparency and better governance. This project will benefit nearly 30 million people across 6200 Gram-Panchayats in Odisha."
In addition to creating accountability and transparency in the TPDS system, the solution will enable efficient logistics, strengthened governance and increased support to stakeholders throughout the food value chain. As part of the project, officials at the State, District and Block level as well as representatives from Gram panchayats, Social Audit and Vigilance committees will be trained on how to use the solution and monitor the overall TPDS in the state.
According to WFP Country Director for India, Dr. Hameed Nuru, "Ericsson's support will contribute towards building efficiencies in the TPDS to not only convenience beneficiaries, but also make it easier for governments and policymakers to provide oversight and accountability–that is backed by technology and real-time data. The achievement of SDG 2 requires all stakeholders to collaborate and utilize their respective expertise towards food and nutrition security."
In order to improve the distribution of food-grains across the country, the Department of Food and Public Distribution, in association with all States and Union Territories, is implementing a plan for end-to-end computerization of TPDS that involves Digitization of Beneficiary Database, Online Allocation of food-grains, Computerisation of Supply Chain Management and Grievance Redressal Mechanism and Transparency Portals.
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