Shillong, August 25 : The Department of Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs in partnership with the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) today launched an automated grain dispensing machine, ‘Annapurti’ in Meghalaya. The machine was launched at a Fair Price shop in R. R. Colony, Rynjah, Shillong.

The machine aims to ensure exact weighment and dispensation of food grains to NFSA beneficiaries in the State, especially to the inter-state and intra-state migrant beneficiaries at their convenient time of the day. The machine has a capacity of 200 to 500 kgs, is fully automated, can be operated through an e-POS device, has a 99.99% accuracy and 40% reduction in wait-time.

The Annapurti machine has significant potential for food-based safety nets, ensuring that the beneficiaries receive their monthly subsidized grains promptly. The machine’s precision and reliability prevent losses and ensure individuals receive their entitled portions. During emergencies, such as natural disasters or humanitarian crises, it can facilitate efficient and timely distribution of food grains to the affected population. The automated system streamlines the process, reducing dependency on manual labour and minimizing errors. Annapurti is designed to prioritize food security while ensuring efficient energy consumption. With a consumption rate of only 0.6 Watt per hour, it offers an environmentally friendly solution.

The machine with its modular design allows for flexibility and scalability based on available space. The storage unit and components can be easily assembled and customized to suit different requirements. Annapurti can be integrated with solar panels, inverter batteries and elevators for automatic refilling. This integration enhances sustainability of the system by reducing dependency on conventional energy sources. At the 2022 WFP Innovation Awards, Annapurti was recognized as one of the World Food Programme’s top 5 innovative solutions.

For a small State like Meghalaya, this initiative and the overall services provided by the Department is a history in making Meghalaya into one of the proactive small States in the country leading from the front in ensuring food security.