Biometric vending machine for grains wins WFP innovation award
A biometric vending machine to distribute grains directly to rations recipients has won an award from the WFP Innovation Accelerator as one of the top innovations for helping prevent hunger, India Education Diary reports.
The ‘GrainATM,’ otherwise known as the Annapurti automated grain dispensing solution, can dispense subsidized grain allotments around the clock, and was developed with support from the India CO, the Government of India, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, the Department of Food and Public Distribution, and the WFP Innovation Accelerator.
Beneficiaries use their Aadhaar or ration card to claim eligibility using a built-in touchscreen, according to News18.com, and authenticate their identity with biometrics. The GrainATM can reportedly issue 70kg of grains in as little as five minutes with negligible error in measurement.
When the biometric vending machine was first developed, TechRepublic referred to the GrainATM authenticating users through a fingerprint biometric scanner.
GrainATMs are deployed in Fair Price Shops in Haryana and Odisha to deliver monthly benefits from India’s Public Distribution System.
Ankit Sood, WFP India Head Supply Chain and PDS Unit, described GrainATM as “An adaptable, modular, and robust solution, ‘Annapurti’ has potential use for food-based safety nets, food grain distribution during emergencies, and increasing market access for smallholder farmers.”