fci: FCI will soon use hi-tech gadgets to assess foodgrain quality

NEW DELHI: By year-end, government-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) will have a chemical-based testing system for determining the age of both rice and wheat during procurement. Similarly, it would finalise the testing kits that can use artificial intelligence (AI) to test the quality of foodgrains and moisture meters which can measure the moisture content automatically.
Speaking at a conference on the PDS reforms in India to ensure food security, FCI chief Atish Chandra said they have used the chemical-based technique for testing the age of rice during procurement and a hackathon has been awarded for testing the age of wheat as well. He said by doing this they are trying to restrict the recycling of rice. Currently, there is a huge scope of subsidised rice coming back to the procurement cycle.
Chandra also said an expression of interest (tender) has been floated for an AI-based grain quality testing system for automated testing and also an automated moisture meter. He added the trials are being conducted and they will finalise the equipment by December and then they will deploy them. This will eliminate the manual systems which are being used currently.
All these tests are critical considering that the FCI stores procured wheat and rice for up to two years for disposal. Chandra said ensuring the quality of foodgrain and reducing any loss during transport and storage are the most important tasks.
Nearly 600 lakh tonnes of wheat and rice is allocated from the central pool annually to meet the requirement for public distribution under the National Food Security act and other welfare schemes.

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