In India and Pakistan, biometrics takes root for the growth and supply of grain
Identity verification through biometrics can play a role in food supply and distribution systems, as demonstrated by biometric initiatives in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region and the Malda district of West Bengal in India.
A report in Pakistan Observer says that the Chief Secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan Abrar Ahmed Mirza has issued a special directive to the region’s Department of Food, for the implementation of a biometric system to manage fair and accurate distribution of subsidized staples such as wheat and flour. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the Punjab Information Technology Board and is seemingly designed for Android applications, to ensure clarity in the transit and allocation of grain for social welfare schemes.
The northern Gilgit-Baltistan region includes parts of the disputed territory of Kashmir.
Rice paddy procurement by the biometric tonne
Meanwhile, in Malda, biometrics are being leveraged in the procurement of rice paddy to ensure verified identity and fair dealings for farmers, according to an article in The Millennium Post. At procurement centers where vetted farmers can sell their product against support price, sellers will be required to provide biometric authentication via eye scans on mobile devices linked to the Aadhaar digital ID system.
December is the busy season for paddy procurement, and the Malda district is aiming to procure more than 300,000 metric tonnes of Aman paddy. The District Magistrate of Malda, Nitin Singhania said: “The paddy procurement for the season has started as per government directives. We are keen on facilitating farmers with all the benefits slated for them by the government.”
Biometric dispensing machines, also known as grain ATMs, have been tested around India to supply rations of rice, wheat and millet, and have won innovation awards for their contribution to fighting hunger.