Project overview

To ensure efficient and effective distribution of food grains at the last mile, World Food Programme (WFP) India has developed the 'GrainATM,' also known as 'Annapurti' (Hindi for fulfiller of food). This automated multi-commodity dispensing machine provides people with consistent access to their full food ration with speed and accuracy, once biometric authentication has taken place.

Annapurti machines
units active in 5 Indian states
metric tonnes of wheat & rice dispensed
reduction in waiting time
access to food entitlements
The Problem

The Government of India operates one of the world’s largest food-based safety nets, under which subsidized grains are provided to 813 million people every month, through a network of over 500,000 last-mile outlets called Fair Price Shops (FPS). Under the current set up, FPS operators manually weigh and distribute the food grain. However, this manual weighing and distribution of grains is not without problems. It requires the people receiving assistance to queue for long hours, there is a high possibility of grain spillage and waste, and may even lead to people not receiving their share of food assistance.

Man manually filling bags with grain.


The Solution

WFP India conceptualized, designed and developed the “Annapurti” machine which dispenses the type and quantity of the selected grain (wheat, rice or millet) commodity to each beneficiary, after biometric authentication. Annapurti dispenses one or two grain commodities, up to 50 kilograms, in five minutes, with an error rate of 0.01 percent. The entire solution, including the volume of the storage unit, is modular or easily assembled and can be put together depending on the amount of space available. To ensure food security with efficient energy access, the machine has been designed to  consume only 0.6 Watt per hour. It can also be attached to solar panels, inverter batteries and elevators for automatic refilling.

At the 2022 WFP Innovation Awards, Annapurti was recognized as one of the World Food Programme’s top 5 innovative solutions for disrupting hunger.

Man filling bags with supplies at GrainATM location.
Man filling bags with supplies at GrainATM location. Photo: WFP/Parvinder Singh.
Woman fills bag using GrainATM.
Couple on motorbike after using GrainATM to gather supplies.
Results and Future Plans

Working in close collaboration with the Government of India, WFP has deployed the Annapurti 'GrainATM' at multiple Fair Price Shops that are dispensing grains, according to India’s Food Security Act (2013).


Key results in 2022

- WFP India had installed Annapurti units in five Fair Price shops in five states (Haryana, Odisha, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Meghalaya).

- 293 metric tonnes of wheat and rice entitlements were dispensed via Annapurti units.

- Approximately 25,000 people have been reached per month thanks to Annapurti installations.

- Annapurti units have enabled 24/7 access of full entitlements for users, reducing waiting time by 70%.

- Each Annapurti unit can dispense 50 kilograms of grain 5 minutes, with an error rate of 0.01%


Future Plans

- Six additional Annapurti units are ready and awaiting upcoming deployment by local states.

- A request to scale-up the installation of Annapurti units has been received by the WFP from all respective states, with requirements exceeding 2000 new Annapurti units. This has the potential to reach 8 million people in the next 3 years.


You can read more about the project in local media herehere and here.

Woman scanning fingerprint at GrainATM location.
Woman scanning fingerprint at GrainATM location. Photo: WFP/Parvinder Singh.

Meet the team

Ankit Sood
Ankit Sood
WFP India Head Supply Chain and PDS Unit
Nishant Aggarwhal
Nishant Aggarwhal
WFP India Programme Policy Officer
Last updated: 19/03/2024