eProd | Management Solutions for Agribusinesses +254 708 38 55 79​
19 Apr 2021

eProd Solutions Limited and Mercy Corps AgriFin collaboration

Mercy Corps AgriFin 5th Annual Learnign Event (ALE) in collaboration with eProd Solutions Limited

B2B marketing of supply chain management platforms: How can we measure socio economic impact to attract impact investors?

In 2016, eProd Solutions first had discussions with Mercy Corps AgriFin through Sieka Gatabaki. The discussions looked at how, as an IT company, eProd Solutions can create value to attract investors. Investors are often interested in creating socioeconomic impact or enviromental impact, and the question came as to how to prove that in a case like eProd Solutions that applies a B2B (business to business) sales model.

eProd Solutions Limited Technical Director discusses collaboration with Mercy Corps AgriFin

Mid-last year, we had the opportunity through AgrFin to partner with and 60 decibels to study the potential impact that we actually achieve. In collaboration with one of the long-term clients of eProd Solutions at the coast of Kenya. Busara studied a longitudinal database and 60 Decibels interviewed hundreds of farmers which resulted in very valuable insights and reports that we have been able to share with potential investors. Hopefully, this will lead to raise the capital that we need to finance our continuous expansion.

07 Apr 2021

Accountability in the field: Input distribution

 

Famer cooperatives, food processors or agricultural commodity traders typically encounter challenges when it comes to digitally tracking and traceability of agro-inputs that are sent to the field: they enter a Black Box, and nobody can be held accountable anymore in case items disappear. Often the Excel sheet or manual paper-based management systems put in place are ineffective in capturing efficiently all the data within the supply chain management system, resulting in companies losing thousands of dollars each year.

“We have got Sage to account to our directors for our financial situation, but we have eProd to account for everything else”, says Michael Maina, Malindi based Production Manager of Equator Kenya Ltd, a company using eProd for contracting thousands of small holder farmers at the coast of Kenya for chili production for the premium export market. The agricultural inputs that arrive at the office can be assigned by the Storekeeper to the Production Manager for dispatching to the field. A farmer who qualifies can receive the inputs from the Field Extension Officers who can convert them into a cash payment or farmer loans. Loans can be deducted automatically from product delivery through check-off system. Receipts of the transactions can be printed on the spot. Each input can be accounted for at all steps which allows agribusinesses to focus on their core activities and continue to build trust relationships with the suppliers.

The advantage of eProd is that the accounting is baked into the software code throughout the platform. Each of the multiple modules assists to account and thus reduce theft, corruption, or inefficiencies because of general mismanagement. Examples are the maker-checker principles for numerous processes dealing with funds, such as farmer payment and sending emails. eProd Solutions offers an affordable agricultural value chain management ICT platform, or ERP (Enterprise Resources Planning tool), for agribusinesses such as agricultural commodity traders, food processors and farmer cooperatives. The system can manage field administration processes, production contracts, field inspections, surveys, collections, traceability, certification/market compliance, field trials, (e-) extension, communication per SMS (including automated localized weather forecasts, agronomic info), yield forecasting, collections, collection routes, farmer delivery payments via mobile devices (e.g. e-wallet) or bank accounts, quality-based payment, incentives, compulsory savings, credit scoring, automated loan repayment, M&E, analytics and reporting, planning, etc.

The software is used in 25+ different value chains, such as grains (rice, maize, sorghum, millet, barley), pulses (common bean, chickpea, mung bean), oil crops (sunflower, sesame), nuts (cashew, macadamia, almonds, pistachio), coffee, cocoa, spices, fresh vegetables, dairy, apiculture etc., in 14 different countries and available in 9 different languages.

Check out our demonstration movie. For more information or a live demo, please reach out info@eprod-solutions.com

18 Dec 2020

Buhler and eProd sign Agency Agreement

eProd official Buhler agent

eProd Solutions Ltd has become the Official Agent for Buhler (Pty) Ltd in the lines of business of cleaning, handling, and milling of grains, maize, millet, sorghum, and others), oil crops (sesame and sunflower), pulses (soy, common beans), coffee processing, green coffee handling, nuts handling (macadamia, cashew, pistachio, optical sorting, rice handling, and processing, covering the following Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Eritrea, Somalia, Burundi, Djibouti, South Sudan, and Sudan.

“There is great complementarity between the two businesses as we both offer services to the same commercial companies.”, says Almut van Casteren, MD eProd Solutions. The equipment market is very dynamic and established players constantly need to innovate to keep their market position. “eProd’s strength is to offer an advanced but affordable Supply Chain Management ERP which opens up new market opportunities for our company, and we are looking forward to a strong partnership”, Matthias Grabe, Managing Director, North East Africa – Buhler Ltd.

Parent company Bühler Holding AG is a Swiss multinational plant equipment manufacturer. It is a global market leader known for plant and equipment and related services for processing foods and manufacturing advanced materials. The organization holds leading market positions worldwide in the fields of technology as well as processes for transforming grain into flour and animal feeds, producing pasta and chocolate, and manufacturing die-cast components.

info@eprod-solutions.com

18 Dec 2020

UNDP Business Call to Action: How agritech can enable resilience in small farming communities

Farmers Harvesting Chilli peppers

Launched at the United Nations in 2008, Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP) as consumers, producers, suppliers, distributors of goods and services and as employees.

One of the very first BCtA members accepted to the community is Equator Kenya Ltd. The company demonstrates that market leaders can offer successful, profitable, and scalable models for reaching poor communities and contributing to global development. Equator Kenya Ltd is contracting in a sustainable way thousands of small scale chili farmers, of which 70% are women, at the coast of Kenya. The backbone of the company is eProd and it has offered a Supply Chain Management ERP to Equator Kenya Ltd. since its early days. Almut van Casteren, MD of both companies: “Equator Kenya Ltd has a strong Sustainable Inclusive Business Agenda. This is only possible because of eProd as it assists to reduce costs and makes processes more efficient.”

The Guardian has published an article about how agritech can enable resilience in small farming communities. Click here for the full article. info@eprod-solutions.com

18 Nov 2020

TIC pour les chaînes des valeur agricoles (French Session)

Click here to watch the presentation

Please join us for: TIC pour les chaînes des valeur agricoles (French Session)

At ICTforAg2020 we explore tools, initiatives, and technologies that make resilience a reality. eProd will present during the TIC pour les chaînes des valeur agricoles, a French session on agricultural value chains.

Speaker: Almut van Casteren

Date: 18th November, 05:45 PM EAT

Use this link to join the stream: Click here to join the stream

Use this link to register: Click here to register

Watch the presentation here: Click here to watch the presentation

16 Nov 2020

Scaling AgTech Start-Ups and How These Start-Ups Will Lead Africa To New Heights

Please join us for: Scaling AgTech Start-Ups and How These Start-Ups Will Lead Africa To New Heights

Africa remains the most food-insecure region in the world and a net importer of food despite the potential. AgTech is considered to be a  solution to this problem. What impact has it mad to the industry and what does the future hold for AgTech. How can we scale these start-ups to move Africa closer to being the “food basket of the world!?

Moderator: Jan Willem van Casteren

Date: 18th November, 14:00 CAT

Use this link to register: Click here to register

16 Nov 2020

Digital Disruption in Agriculture – Virtual forum announcement

The second annual Digital Disruption in Agriculture forum happening virtually brings together leaders and innovators from across the agriculture value chain to identify digital tools and solutions that can help transform Ethiopia’s, and the region’s, agricultural sector. Digital technologies in agriculture can lead to greater efficiencies that help countries advance agricultural practices and connect small scale producers to larger markets. 

The use of digital technologies in agriculture remains limited in many low-income countries, often because of infrastructure, affordability, awareness, and regulatory issues. The World Bank Group is working to identify promising digital products and services that can be applied to improve agriculture practices and yields, bettering the lives of small scale farmers, and improving countries’ economies.

eProd Solution is proud to be one of the selected digital technologies that can lead to these greater efficiencies. Please visit our virtual booth on November 18th from 17:00-17:30 EAT.

Use this link to join: Zoom link

26 Oct 2020

Traceability from the field to the packhouse

Traceability Video

Why is traceability important?

As the agricultural sector intensifies and food is shipped globally, food safety is becoming a major concern. Where does our food come from? How can consumers trust food that is produced far away from their homes, often in countries where legislation regarding for example, the use of pesticides is absent, or enforcement is weak?

Measuring residue levels of agrochemicals or microbiological contamination in the final product can be done to some extend but is a huge additional cost and often a burden for the environment. Therefore, the focus in the food industry has always been on process control. Where in the process could something go wrong? By mapping the process and analyzing the food safety hazards, these can be reduced. This process is commonly known as HACCP, which stands for Hazard Allowance Critical Control Points. For example, when engine oil is transported on the back of same truck that is used to carry sacks of cocoa beans, this could easily result in contaminations of the cocoa throughout the cocoa value chain. Traces on mineral oil can end up in the chocolate bar. In fact, as detection methods improve constantly, the large industrial companies, such as Nestle, Ferrero Rocher and Mars, do check for residues of pesticides. As detection methods improve it is possible to raise the bar, but also the costs…  Mineral oil contaminations, or MOSH/MOAH, are forming a huge challenge while they could not easily detect low contamination levels until recently. However, checking the contamination in the raw material, at the buying centres for example, would only partially assist to reduce contamination risks. It is important to be able to trace the contamination backwards in the chain. In other words; trace the produce from the factory, to the farmer cooperative, to the bag, to the collection centre, to the farmer and his or her field that the cocoa beans came from. This is where the more challenging part starts. READ MORE

14 Oct 2020

BMGF Annual Conference announcement

Click HERE to watch the presentation.

The 2020 Grand Challenges Annual Meeting (19th – 21st October) is an annual event organized by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As part of this event the Ideas Marketplace offers researchers, companies, and project teams a platform to present their work to specialists and leaders in both the digital farming and crop analytics ecosystems.

eProd Solutions is proud to have been invited to showcase how its Supply Chain Management platform for the agricultural sector is pushing the boundaries of innovative digital small holder production systems. The eProd presentation will join three others in a sub-track entitled “Finance and Insurance Services” , moderated by Stewart Collis, Senior Program Officer, Digital Solutions, Agricultural Development at the foundation.

The Marketplace will occur during the second session of the 2020 Annual Meeting on Tuesday 20th October between 14:00 and 20:00 EAT . For more information please visit the Grand Challenges website or contact info@eprod-solutions.com.

22 Sep 2020

Building for the Long-term: what is an Inclusive Business

Equator Kenya, a food-processing company that produces African Bird’s Eye Chilies for export, has joined in 2015 the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to provide climate-smart technologies, training and market linkages to 8,000 smallholder farmers along the Kenyan coast. This inclusive business is designed to reduce the crop risks posed by climate change, which will sustainably increase incomes among the farmers (+6,000 of whom are women) as well as improve crop yields and quality.

Side by side with multinationals such as IKEA, in Equator Kenya was among the first batch or private sector members of BCtA to join.  “Equator Kenya’s business model is guided by a social inclusion strategy where no farmer – however small – is excluded,” said Almut van Casteren, the company’s CEO. “By creating linkages throughout the value chain, we will ensure that our profits – and the benefits to poor communities in Kenya’s coastal region – continue to grow. We are honoured to be recognised by the Business Call to Action and look forward to leveraging their expertise and that of our fellow members to further our work.” READ MORE