Blockchain For Fertilizer Subsidy Explored By Indian Think Tank NITI Aayog And GNFCbr>
The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) and fertilizer major Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (GNFC) have announced a joint research on blockchain application in fertilizer subsidy management.
NITI Aayog is a policy think tank of the Indian government. It is established with the aim of achieving sustainable development goals and enhancing cooperative federalism by fostering involvement of state governments in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach.
Founded in 1976, GNFC is an Indian manufacturer of fertilizers and chemicals. The company was jointly promoted by the government of Gujarat and the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals (GSFC). Located at Bharuch in a prosperous industrial belt, GNFC draws on the resources of the natural wealth of the land as well as the industrially rich reserves of the area.
The two bodies signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to work together towards implementing a proof-of-concept (POC) application using blockchain technology for fertilizer subsidy management. They will jointly develop the use case, undertake research, interact with multiple stakeholders, develop blockchain solutions, exchange learnings, organize forums, and disseminate learnings across their networks. Insights and outcomes of the POC will enable NITI Aayog to suggest policy recommendations and actions in strengthening the subsidy mechanism, making it more transparent and immune to leakages.
GNFC said the POC will use smart contracts to enable quick and accurate reconciliation of transactions between multiple parties with minimal human intervention. By adopting blockchain, it t is expected that the distribution will become effective and efficient, and subsidy transfer would be automated and made real time.
“The turnaround time for subsidy distribution will be reduced to three to four weeks, there won’t be any need for multiple authorization and movement of documents, and fertilizer sales and distribution will become efficient, benefiting farmers,” said Rajiv Gupta, Managing Director of GNFC. “The system will also be integrated with soil card in the next phase, which will be useful in advising farmers to use a particular type of fertilizer based on soil heath.”
NITI Aayog has been working on a number of blockchain projects as part of the Indian government’s national strategy for blockchain. The government’s policy think tank is conducting POCs in segments such as land records, pharmaceuticals and certificates in partnership with established technology companies as well as startups.