eProd | Management Solutions for Agribusinesses
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

20 Nov 2019

eProd introduces compliance for product certification

“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.

02 Nov 2019

eProd v2.1.20191027 has been released!

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

2. Desktop
• 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

2. Desktop
• 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 (info@eprod-solutions.com) if you encounter any challenges.

17 Sep 2019

Weather forecasting by SMS

With weather forecasting by SMS, eProd provides a flexible and efficient tool to send weather forecasts to farmers.

16 Jul 2019

SMS communication to farmers

Many companies and farmer cooperatives need to communicate with their farmers. Yet, often they lack a tool to manage this cost-effectively.

04 Feb 2019

Meet and Greet Us

eProd Solutions Ltd will participate in the 3rd Edition of the Harvest Money Expo taking place from 14 – 17 February 2019 at the Mandela Stadium.

Please meet and greet us at the Dutch Pavilion and learn more about some of the latest eProd features:

  1. Milk Quality Based Payment
  2. Farmer Registration on the Mobile App
  3. Field Registration and Standard Implementation
  4. Flexible Payment Systems (mobile money, bank transfer, cash)
  5. Stock Module for integration of brokers and agents into the supply chain

If you wish to book an appointment with us, kindly reach us through edwin@eprod-solutions.com. We look forward to meeting you!

05 Jan 2018

aWhere Pilot Project

eProd Solutions Limited would like to invite you to participate in the pilot of the aWhere project (Phase I).

In the month of April 2017, eProd Solutions Limited entered into a strategic partnership with aWhere, a global agricultural intelligence company that collects weather data from satellites and local ground based weather stations. The initial phase of this project will make it possible for field officers and farmers to receive individualized weather forecasts data on their mobile phones.

We would like you to be part of this pilot inorder to determine whether this new eProd component will be beneficial to your farmers and lastly whether the localized weather information sent to you is valid.

If you are interested in participating in this pilot, kindly send your GEO coordinates to  kelvin@eprod-solutions.com and be part of the new agribusiness revolution taking place in the East Africa.

05 Jan 2018

Do you buy through brokers?

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.READ MORE

05 Jan 2018

eProd and the Coffee Paradox?

Each day nearly 2.5 billion cups of coffee are consumed. It is one of the most widely traded commodities in the world and millions of people depend directly or indirectly on the production and sale of coffee for their livelihoods. The global market for coffee is characterized by volatile prices and experts on the world coffee market often make reference to the “coffee paradox“. In summary:

  1. A coffee crisis in producing countries with a trend towards lower prices, declining incomes and profits affecting millions of people in the world’s poorest countries.
  2. A coffee ‘boom’ in consuming countries with rising sales and profits for coffee retailers and roasters
  3. A widening gap between producer and consumer prices only partly offset by the influence of producer certification in the coffee industry.

Besides premium prices for certified coffee  (e.g Fair Trade, Organic, UTZ), there is another important way for farmers to increase their prices. “Coffee trade is all about predicting yields. The party that is best at this, whether it is the coffee trader, farmer cooperative or hedge fund, will make the best deals. Models have become better at yield forecasting but the information is typically too general for use at farmer cooperative level. An essential step will be to develop accurate and affordable localized crop monitoring and yield forecasting at the coffee farmer cooperative or local coffee trader level. If used in a smart way this can assist to build trust between producers and buyers”, says Lutz Bayerkoehler, former MD ECOM Tanzania.READ MORE

14 Nov 2017

Weather information and small scale farming

What if weather information can assist you to predict: When and what to plant? When and how much to irrigate? What pests to scout and treat for? When, what and how much to fertilize?  When the harvest will be? How much yield is expected? When an insurance payout triggers? When and what to spray? eProd Solutions and aWhere partner to lift agriculture for small holder farmers to the next level. “We collect more than 7 billion data points across the planet to create unprecedented visibility and insight for the agricultural earth”, says John Corbett,  Chief Science Officer and Co-founder of aWhere. “In partnership with eProd Solutions we aim at making these technologies that have proven to create value for large scale farming available for small scale farmers. Location, planting date, soil type and crop variety information is captured by the eProd mobile app and fed into the aWhere platform. The platform generates localized forecasts for weather, and information for pest & disease control, field actions and crop stress. eProd now shares the information through SMS to farmers and field staff, and it is used to create automated management reports”.

eProd users are invited to participate in pilots. Please contact us for more information via info@eprod-solutions.com