Hate them or love them: the broker in the agricultural value chain is there to stay. eProd has developed a new module to manage middle-men in the agricultural value chain. You can now include brokers (please, let us call them agents from now on…) in your operations and keep records of their expenses and stocks built up. You don’t have to lose product traceability anymore simply because you buy (part of) your produce through local middle-men! You can manage outstanding loan balances and payments by the mobile application user. How does it work? Some examples:

You want to keep records of (petty) cash kept by the agent using the mobile application. The cash can be used for many different transactions, e.g. petty cash field expenses, giving out cash loans, paying cash for produce, etc. The user of the app can also receive cash, e.g. from the company, repayments of loans, sale of inputs against cash etc. There can be more than one (petty) cash accounts simultaneously. For example, one can use the same to keep track of the mobile payment account linked to a certain mobile phone. A user of the app is now able to keep track of cash and mobile payment balance.

Accounts are linked to a specific product. For the petty cash accounts mentioned above the product is cash. If multiple currencies are used, multiple accounts can be created. If the product is an input then this is reflected in the stocks. An example, an agent as issued 300 50 kg bags of a DAP fertilizer. A transaction of 15,000 kg will be created. So a product has a unit (e.g. KG) and a quantity per unit. Any product can be used, it is not restricted to agriculture by the way. It’s a matter of creating an account for it. It basically functions as a stock card.

Another example, field officer Kariuki is issued 2,000Ksh cash. He does not have to record the transaction manually, but Kariuki’s eProd app will show it after both handhelds from the issuer and field officer have synchronized. A small description can be added, e.g. balance, last change, last sync with user app are kept. It will now reflect the correct balance. Accounts are assigned and can also be made inactive (but not deleted however). The inactivation cannot be done from the handheld device itself, creating accounts is done centrally at the office. After made inactive it won’t be visible in the app anymore.

At the office a transaction overview can be displayed in report for each account. It includes all details in the data to synchronize with the eProd app. The handheld device is used to conduct various tasks such as produce collections, field inspections and surveys. Synchronization can be automatically, but also be triggered manually for just the accounts (as somebody might want to update transactions but not yet send collection data).

Note that the Stock Module can also be used to manage transactions between the staff and, for example, a farmer. The transaction with the farmer will be recorded in the same manner as with agents. For example, to pay in cash for produce collected. In that case the receiver of the transaction is not an agent or staff but a farmer. It can even manage cash loan repayment in the field, instead of the commonly used eProd repayment system by check-off after produce delivery. Contact us for more information.