“The eProd team identified several key constraints that basically cripple field activities for the buyers from small scale producers in Africa”, according to Miss Erna Goudt, Client Relationship Manager at eProd Solutions, and speaker at the ICT4D webinar series. Due to the current crisis it has indeed become exceedingly difficult to conduct basic field operations, such as to register farmers and their fields. eProd can assist to collect farmer group, farmer and field profiles, field inspections, manage produce collections via local field staff and lead farmers. Secondly, gathering reliable data to monitor the field production via field inspections and survey data from farmers, has become very difficult and companies are in the dark regarding crop status and projecting yields. Thirdly, communicating with farmers has stopped or at least significantly reduced while the current situation requires continuation of extension services, sharing market price information, and updates on COVID-19 awareness. Fourth, following up on the buyers’ field staff’s activities is even more difficult than ever before. How to verify movements, accomplishments, etc? Finally, and probably the most criplling factor, there is lack of cash liquidity in the field for farmers to invest in field activities, farming inputs, etc. On one hand many buyers are not able to pay farners remotely via mobile money transfer or bank acocunt, and farmers can’t link up with financial institutions or can’t be checked for credit worthiness. How would buyers share credit risk information with financial institutions, automated loan repayment, tri-partite agreements, manage their input inventories without appropriate and affordable tools. Please participate in the upcoming webinar, part of the virtual edition of the ICT4D Conference and ongoing ICT4D webinar series, you will hear about low cost digital and mobile technologies to support farmers under these unprecedented circumstances.
The current health crisis is turning into an economic crisis and food adulterations are at risk. The importance of food safety is easily pushed to the background when food security becomes an issue. “With all the additional challenges during the COVID-19 the ‘invisible hand of the market’ is more important than ever and only a Market Systems Development approach can guarantee aggregating the required volumes of quality products for traders and food processors”, says Jan Willem van Casteren, Technical Director at eProd Solutions.
Calculate the product price based on a set of quality indicators
eProd offers multiple options to generate payment based on quality. Each parameter has its own rules to correct the product price, based on set conditions, threshold values and actions. Actions can be monetary, for example, a bonus or fine, but could also be an automated warning. Multiple quality parameters can interact based on flexible algorithms that can be pre-set and correct product prices automatically. For example, a premium price of 1 shilling per kg milk when butter fat is above 4.0%. However, in case the milk batch is sour the lot will be rejected. Most important is a transparent communication towards the producers. They likely knew about the quality issues, but now they know that the buyer is also aware. Moreover, the quality issues are recorded and appear on the payment overview or in an SMS message from the buyer to the producer. READ MORE
Mrs. Fiona Lukwago, manager advisory services at Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, AECF, and moderator of the webinar series on adapting to COVID-19 disruptions. This webinar will demystify the value of digital solutions in addressing disruptions caused by COVID-19. The need for digital solutions has been accelerated by the outbreak of COVID-19, with several actors in the agricultural value chains embracing them to foster social distancing and beat restrictions embraced by governments to curb the spread of the disease. Businesses are however asking themselves the fundamental questions:
- How do I know if digital solutions will indeed bring more value to my business? Do they work for all SMEs?
- Which digital solutions are working well and what does it take to adopt digitalization?
- How do digital solutions contribute to business continuity during this COVID-19?
Mrs. Naoko Koyama-Blanc, Partner and Regional Director for Africa at Dalberg Advisors is the main speaker. Dalberg Advisors is a consultancy firm specialized in advising on digitalization solutions for the agricultural sector in developing countries and led the CTA study: The Digitalization of African Agriculture Report, 2018 – 2019.READ MORE
Managing the Agri Food Sector in Unprecedented Times…
The Covid-19 crisis is affecting the agricultural sector in unprecedented ways and it is time for rethinking our whole food supply ecosystem. How can ICT enhance and secure supply chains? Jan Willem van Casteren, director at eProd Solutions will present at the new AAC Spotlight Virtual Events Series.READ MORE
The CTA study conducted by Dalberg Global Development Advisors refers to eProd as “an interesting example of one of the solutions of supply chain management ERPs, and specifically to manage traceability and within the African D4Ag start-up ecosystem”.
The number of supply chain management ERP solutions and providers is growing. eProd focuses on small to medium sized African agribusinesses, typically with a range of 1,000 to 20,000 smallholder farmers being managed per each agribusiness ‘account’ or ‘license’, according.
Traceability solution providers active in Africa fall into a few different categories including specialist traceability software vendors, big tech firms, certification organisations, and government platforms. “Specialised traceability start-ups”, such as eProd “typically have deep expertise in the technical elements of track-and-trace solution development as well as the ability to navigate issues of interoperability that are increasingly relevant given the proliferating number of food and environmental certification regimes”, according to Michael Tsan, partner at Dalberg Group and editorial coordinator of The Digitilisation of African Agriculture Report, 2019 – 2010.
IMPULSE, the startup acceleration program developed by Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), has announced the list of startups selected following the call for applications launched last June. The call for applications ended on the first day of October 2019 with over 350 applications received from more than 40 countries.
After a careful and robust multi-criterium selection process, the first 16 ranked applications have been selected based on a meritocratic only approach. These startups, representing nine different countries and three continents, with a strong African representation, propose a wide variety of innovative products and services. They all have the potential to reinforce OCP Group capabilities in contributing to the global food security cause. eProd Solutions is amongst the selected 16 start-ups.
The acceleration program will begin on January 15, 2020 and will end on April 8 with a Day Demo. Read more.
“Many companies and farmer cooperatives would like their farmers to be certified to meet standards. Yet, often they lack a tool to manage this cost-effectively”, says Mr. Rikki Aguda, CEO of Society of Crop Agribusiness Advisors in Kenya. Exporters face the market pressure to comply with GlobalGAP, for example, and while the food that is exported meets the highest standards, what about the food safety for local consumers in Africa? How to keep compliance simple to verify and – affordable?
Kenya Market-led Horticulture Project, or HortImpact, is a Netherlands government funded program led by SNV and its partners Delphy, Hivos and Solidaridad that contributed to increased food security, increased incomes, and a dynamic and sustainable horticulture sector in Kenya. The five-year project that just completed has assisted SOCAA and eProd Solutions to conduct six case studies to promote eProd as a Supply Chain Management system for managing the compliance with the upcoming Kenya Standard, or 1758 part II for fruits and vegetables, in a simple and cost-effective manner.
“The principles for Kenya KS1758 are the same as for any other standard, whether it is FairTrade, UTZ, Rain Forest Alliance, etc.”, says Almut van Casteren, MD of eProd Solutions. There is always a known set of questions that periodically needs to be repeated at several levels of the value chain, such as packhouse, groups, farmers and fields. This information collection requires a lot of planning and information management which makes is costly and cumbersome. Small market players are discouraged and those facing lots of demand and supply uncertainties simply can’t afford to make such investments. While, if appropriate tools are available, compliance and its verification are integrated in the daily business operations, generating trust throughout the value chain, resulting in long-lasting trade relationships. eProd provides an affordable and flexible platform to manage compliance for certification.
eProd Solutions Limited is excited to announce the release of the new eProd version on the desktop and mobile app.
We’re constantly working to improve your eProd experience. Please find below a summary of what has changed:
1. Mobile app
• The farmer profile layout has been improved
• An upload feature has been added to enable the copying of the mobile app database to the server for debugging incase an error is encountered
• A new language has been added: ‘Kinyarwanda’
• The phone number is now an optional field when farmers are created in the app
• The system is now compatible with MYSQL 5.7
• A group type option has been added in the group section to allow for the classification of groups into various categories
• A new section has been added in the contact section called organization membership which highlights a farmer’s role in an organization
• The language files can now be updated at a click of a button
• Reports generated by the system can now be shared via email
• Several SMS options have been added in the system. You can now send SMS to: All organizations, all groups within an organization and lastly, all groups
• You can now select which columns you would like featured in the PDF version of your report
• Several payment reports have been added
• Several reports have been updated
1. Mobile app
• The input field will no longer be hidden by the default system keyboard when a user is keying in data
• The birth date is now displaying properly after the date has been selected
• Phone number validation mechanism has been improved
• Under the staff profile, long staff names can now be saved
• Ethiopia’s phone numbers have been restricted to 13 digits
• Whilst saving any report in eProd, the system will automatically append the extension of file (.xls/.xlsx/.csv) to the file
• Groups can now be deleted/de-activated
Enjoy the new eProd experience by upgrading your eProd desktop and mobile app to version 20191027. Kindly contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you encounter any challenges.
With weather forecasting by SMS, eProd provides a flexible and efficient tool to send weather forecasts to farmers.
The Royal Netherlands Embassy together with eProd have organized a workshop in kampala with the objective to introduce agricultural partners and other stakeholders to new and innovative “Supply Chain Management software” for the agricultural sector.
Please meet and greet us at the design hub, bugolobi and learn more about some of the latest eProd features.