K-P food department digitized

It is aimed at bringing transparency and streamlining affairs of food sector


Our Correspondent October 06, 2022

PESHAWAR:

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Minister for Food, Science Technology, Information Technology and Sports and Youth Affairs Atif Khan on Wednesday formally inaugurated digitization of the provincial food department.

It is aimed at bringing transparency and streamlining affairs of food sector.

The ceremony was attended by members provincial assembly and other concerned officials in large number.

The provincial minister clicked button to launch the newly revamped system at food directorate.

He said that it is a landmark development in the province in terms of food sector management.

Addressing the ceremony, the minister said that information and communication technology (ICT) based intervention, digitization system of food department is a comprehensive tool, which covers almost all areas, from godowns management, fleet management, to e-inspection regime.

With this system put in place, he said, government will now be able to know record of the wheat stock with just a click of a button.

“The beauty of this system is the instant accessibility to data, and decision makers will be able to know the real-time status of wheat stock in the province, details of the wheat needs, stock in the godowns, and that with millers and suppliers,” Atif added.

Food minister reiterated that provincial government is trying to remove loopholes from the system with introduction of ICT-based intervention.

With implementation of digitization, he explained the traditional book keeping system of godowns will be replaced with an online database.

The record of each godown will be managed in a central management information system (MIS), and those having access to it will be able to check real-time status of wheat stock in the godowns.

Secretary Food Mushtaq Ahmad maintained while addressing the ceremony that the digitization will also cover the supply chain management system (SCMS) of food department, for which a proper mechanism has been devised.

He added that the SCMS will help the department know the exact quantity of the imported wheat stock, locally acquired stock, cost of the import and even it could be compared with previous years, and predict the future needs of the province.

The system will have the details of the suppliers for import to other procurement bodies, said Mushtaq.

Another feature of digitization, added the secretary, is fleet management system (FMS), which will keep all the details of the transport contractors, and vehicles.

Mushtaq extended that the system is designed to track the movement of vehicles from one place to another, so a staff member having access to the system will be able to track a vehicle headed to K-P from Karachi or any other part of the country.

The statistical branch management component will develop reporting dashboards after regular intervals for the relevant quarters, which will help in better decision-making and proper advisory to the government.

“The laboratory management information system has been devised to reduce human involvement in testing food samples to a minimal level,” said Mushtaq, adding that this component will specifically be covered by mobile and static laboratories of K-P Food Safety and Halal Food Authority.

All of the testing devices of the mobile and static laboratories will be connected directly to the central MIS, and after each food sample test, the results will be dispatched automatically to the MIS.

Mushtaq further expressed that the data will help the food authority to draw adulteration patterns in food items, and target those food products found mostly adulterated.

Furthermore, the secretary noted that digitization also covers regulatory inspections of the food department and food authority.

Through this system, an e-inspection regime would be introduced.

“It has been made mandatory for the field staff to report the daily inspections report to the central MIS on-spot with help of a mobile application designed for the purpose,” added secretary.

Mushtaq further explained that the field team will also be able to issue e-challan to food laws violator and the violator will pay the fine fee directly in the concerned bank account.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2022.

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