The Department of Food and Public Distribution, under the Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ministry, and its principal agency, Food Corporation of India (FCI), on Friday said a roadmap has been developed to roll out Online Storage Management (OSM) in the country.
The OSM envisages putting in place a single source of information for the food grains stored in the country for central pool through integrating state portals with the central portal.
The Department “strives to tap the benefits of automation in its various endeavours, especially following the principal that every ounce of foodgrains saved through scientific storage techniques should be considered as grain produced”, a Ministry statement said.
The OSM will develop an ecosystem of storage management applications across the states, each being capable of capturing the Minimum Storage Specifications (MSS). These MSS, which have been identified through intense and elaborate discussions with the states concerned and FCI include capability to compute storage capacity, depict storage point-wise stock position (crop year-wise break up of stocks held etc.), stack-wise details of stock position, truck wise information and its linkage and quality parameters (infestation, treatment details).
“This would help in route optimization for distribution as well,” the release said.
In a meeting held under the chairmanship of Secretary, Food, and attended by Food Secretaries of all procurement states, the FCI made a presentation on the progress in the initiative. During the presentation, it was emphasized that the states shall build their respective portals in a collaborative mode, to ensure that the best practices can be imbibed and disseminated among the states.
In the meeting, 16 states – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal – reassured their commitment to develop/implement storage management applications with MSSs and integrate them with the Central portal.
The exercise, expected to be completed by March 2022, will improve efficiency and transparency in stocking, storage, movement, and distribution of foodgrains. It will help in driving down costs of food storage and distribution by checking leakages in the entire process. It will also enable the government with readily available information for both monitoring and fast-paced decision making to benefit the stakeholders, especially PDS consumers whose welfare is the priority of the government, the release added.