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AeFDS

Author: Babu.A, IAS, Collector, Krishna District, AP, Time: 01 November 2016 12:49 pm

Aadhaar enabled Fertilizer Distribution System – AeFDS

  1.  Introduction

Aadhar Enabled Fertilizer Distribution System (AeFDS) is being executed in Krishna district since March, 2016 with an objective to effectively monitor the distribution of fertilizers across the value chain from Manufacturers till farmers to ensure timely and correct distribution of fertilizers based on biometric   authentication of farmers. This is a first step towards bringing a positive change in the farmers to use only optimal quality fertilizers required for their fields resulting in better yields, improved soil health and reduced input costs to the       farmers. The AeFDS is change management initiative that has the potential to    streamline subsidies to actual beneficiaries and also facilitate in releasing  subsidies to fertilizer companies based on the actual sales made.

AeFDS involves distribution of exact fertilizer quantities to farmers based on their extent of the land holdings (acreage) and soil fertility status. In AeFDS, the    PoS device derives land details from webland - webland.ap.gov.in and soil health card results from government portal - agrifms.ap.gov.in. Based on land data including type of irrigation and soil health status, accurate fertilizer requirement is calculated - crop wise for each farmer and sales are made through e-pos device. This ensures exact fertilizer quantity utilized for each crop thereby  reducing excess use of fertilizers.

  1. Objectives
  1.  To ensure timely and correct distribution of fertilizers through Aadhaar
  2. To monitor the distribution of fertilizers across the value chain from manufacturers till farmers
  3. Deliver exact fertilizer quantity crop-wise to farmers based on their Soil Health Cards (SHCs )
  4. Streamline fertilizer distribution across the value chain reducing malpractices/ hoardings
  5. Facilitate the farmers in availing direct subsidy in long run
  1. Genesis

                After the successful implementation of Aadhaar enabled Public Distribution system and Pensions Disbursion, the district administration in Krishna embarked on this novel initiative for efficient management of Fertilizers in Krishna District in March 2016.

                The annual consumption of fertilizers in Krishna is 4.2 lakh metric tonnes      per annum which has a business potential of Rs.900 crores.

    Average Annual Consumption of Fertilizers in Krishna District

S.No.

Fertilizer

Quantity (Lakh MT)

1.

Urea

1.8

2.

Complex

1.4

3.

DAP

0.9

4.

MoP

0.4

 

Total

4.2

 

 

Krishna is one of the delta districts of Andhra Pradesh and needless to mention that the district derives its name from River Krishna, the district has fertile plains of 4.5 lakh ha. There are 5.51 lakh farmers in the district of which 1.31 lakh are tenant farmers. Hence there is a need to ensure proper management and distribution of fertilizers so that the benefits of fertilizers’ subsidy provided by the government reaches the actual needy. Therefore the Aadhaar enabled Fertilizer Distribution System was launched.

  1.  Coverage

    The AeFDS program is implemented in 50 mandals (blocks) of Krishna district covering 5.51 lakh farmers. The program is implemented in 970 retail outlets including Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) and private retailers.

  2.  Biometric Authentication

The fertilizers are provided to beneficiaries based in biometric authentication. Each retail outlet is provided with an electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) device that has a finger-print and Iris scanner. This enables for identification of the beneficiary based on his/her fingerprint or Iris. The ePoS device retrieves information from UIDAI sever, Webland server & SHC server for authentication and transactions are made through the Biometrically Authenticated Physical uptake (BAPU) model.

  1. Unique Features of AeFDS

    The main innovation in AeFDS program is that it combines the land holding particulars of a farmer with his soil analysis report. Based on this, fertilizer recommendations are provided to farmers. Therefore this greatly optimises the use of fertilizers as per the actual requirement.

  2. The AeFDS program has the following features
  1. Citizen centricity: The real beneficiaries of AeFDS are the farmers. Through AeFDS, they can receive their due entitlement of fertilizers or buy fertilizers without any difficulty anywhere anytime.
  2. Adaptability: The program can be easily implemented using Aadhaar platform. This when integrated to land and soil health databases shall complete the requisite the set-up for the program.
  3. Sustainability: Compared to the actual savings in subsidy in AeFDS, the installation costs for initial aids and equipments are negligible including the recurring costs
  4. Scalability: The AeFDS program is easily scalable and replicable.
  1. Trainings

    Training on AeFDS program on working of ePoS devices, doing transactions have been imparted to all District, Divisional and Mandal (Block) Level Functionaries along with Retailers / PACS input dealers and representatives from manufacturing companies. A hands-on training to all stakeholders was given under the guidance of District Collector, NIC Team and e-PoS vendors. In addition, periodical trainings are conducted Division or Mandal-wise on AeFDS programs as and when required to all stakeholders.

  2. AeFDS Support Cell: A Support cell comprising Deputy Director (Agriculture), Agricultural Officers (Technical) is based in the Control and Command Centre at the Office of District Collector in Krishna to monitor the program resolving technical issues, if any, pertaining to AeFDS along with coordinating with retailers, manufacturers, etc for smooth implementation of the program.

     

  3. Impact of AeFDS

Ever since the implementation of AeFDS program in Krishna District, it has been commended for the initiative. The program has been able to carry out 71,752 MTs of fertilizers sales in the last 8 months of its implementation. AeFDS was appreciated by the Prime Minister’s Office when a presentation of its  implementation was made by the District Collector, Krishna. As a follow-up to this, the Dept. of Fertilizers under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Govt. of India has chosen   the  Krishna district’s model of implementation for piloting DBT in fertilizers in 16 districts across the country. Many teams have already visiting Krishna district for learning the model of AeFDS implementation.

            In addition, many senior bureaucrats and officials have come to Krishna district on an exposure visit to study the implementation of AeFDS program.

  1. The Chief Economic Advisor to the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri. Arvind Subramanian visited Krishna in May 2016 and was really impressed with the initiative.
  2. Senior Financial Analysts Mr.William Price, Ms.Varsha Marathe from the World Bank visited the model of AeFDS and other aadhaar enabled programs implemented in Krishna district in June 2016.
  3. Central and State level Secretaries, Senior Officials of various departments visited AeFDS during National Level DBT workshop organized in Krishna in June 2016.
  4. A High-level delegation from Tanzania comprising officials from National Identity Authority of Tanzania, Office of President of Tanzania led by World Bank visited the implementation of AeFDS and other programs in Sep 2016.
  5. A World Bank team is in the process of documenting the implementation of AeFDS along with Public Distribution System and Pensions disbursion as part of its ID4D – Identity for Development initiative.
  6. Organizations like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, New Delhi and Tata Trust, Mumbai have been very interested in the project. As aforementioned, Tata Trust funded the AeFDS program in Krishna for the installation of ePoS and Iris scanner devices in all the outlets in the district.

Krishna district is the first district to implement the fertilizer distribution program in the country. The program has a potential to streamline the distribution and sales of Rs.900 crores worth fertilizers per annum in Krishna district, preventing all malpractices during stocking, distribution and sale. The program has a huge potential of regulating fertilizer subsidy programs of Govt. of India, if implemented on a national scale. This shall enable to release subsidy to the fertilizer companies based on the actual sales made.