Procurement of food stock is the backbone of any food security initiative across the world. Any country with a Food Subsidy program needs a strong procurement system that will ensure the availability of food for the program. A good procurement system is also crucial to meet the needs of the market, provide a fair price to the cultivators and ensures transparency in transactions. However, this is not the case in most farming communities across the world. There are leakages in the system due to inefficient procurements systems, the proliferation of middlemen who contribute substantial quantities to the systems, which leads to the exclusion of small and marginal farmers, who are forced to sell below market price.
The procurement system uses advanced technology like Block Chain (read here) to ensure there is transparency in the billing systems & make all transactions tamper proof to Machine Learning to build various demand supply estimates that add up to being a complete solution to address the farm to table value chain.
“Only 6 % of total farmers in the country have gained from selling paddy or wheat directly to any procurement agency” ~(National Sample Survey Organization 2012-13)
“Much of the procurement that government agencies undertake comes from larger farmers” ~(High Level Committee on Restructuring FCI headed by Shanta Kumar, 2014)
This is substantiated by the experience of the Government of Odisha, a state in India that uses this system ( called P-PAS)to procure 6.5 Million Metric Tonnes of Paddy from 1 Million farmers and paid approximately Rs 11,400 Crores ($1.5Billion).
The features of the system are built to cater to markets that might also not have dedicated internet access. This also ensures that the system can be used in remote locations across India and Africa. The key modules are as follows:
This module syncs with the data from the farmer registration module and is authenticated.
This module provides an advance scheduling & appointment token to producers, gives a vendor receipt on acceptance of the produce. All data is uploaded into the central servers vis digital signature and the receipts use block chain to ensure there is minimal tampering on the data.
Once the produce is collected, various food processing partners are automatically provided with an invoice and a transit pass to collect the produce for further processing
This module is built to automatically collate all the receipts from the producers and a consolidated payment advice is generated that automatically triggers a payment from a linked bank account on scheduled periods.
Each step of the process has various reports that are generated for the relevant stakeholders. These reports can be triggered automatically on specific periodicity and can be customised as per the need of each stakeholder.