On 21 December, the Prime Minister of India laid the foundation stone for 202 decentralized take-home ration production units across 43 districts of Uttar Pradesh. WFP is the technical partner to the state government for this initiative, which will support women’s micro-enterprises across the state to produce and provide age-appropriate fortified blended foods for young children and pregnant and lactating women. WFP has already established model production units in two districts of the state.
Ensuring Access to Food
• On 30 December, WFP launched the second Annapurti (automated grain dispensing machine) at a Fair Price Shop in Odisha state, in collaboration with the Department of Food and Public Distribution. This follows the first pilot, which was conducted in Haryana state in September 2021. The Annapurti was approved by the Federal Government in July of 2021 and WFP has received multiple requests for pilots across urban areas in the country.
• WFP has been supporting the Government of Uttarakhand to optimize their intrastate transport network for movement of food grains for the public distribution system. On 3 December the Government of Uttarakhand notified WFP that they have implemented the first round of optimization results which reduced their transportation costs by 76 percent. Initial trends also indicate a reduction of distance travelled by 18-25 percent.
• WFP and the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) organized the “Eat Right Mela” in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh to commemorate the country’s 75th anniversary of independence. Attended by nearly 3,000 people, the event included a walkathon to create awareness on fortified rice among local communities and tasting of different foods prepared with fortified rice. WFP had a stall with communication materials and videos about fortified rice.
• To increase awareness on and use of the new THR products, WFP and the Department of Women and Child Development in Uttar Pradesh developed a series of cooking videos which were disseminated through the YouTube Channel of WFP India and the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) Directorate, Government of Uttar Pradesh. They were also shared with government officials, frontline functionaries and others through WhatsApp.