eProd | Management Solutions for Agribusinesses
12 Apr 2022

African Farmers’ Unprecedented Opportunity to Respond to Global Food Crisis

eProd's CRO
eProd’s Client Relations Officer assists an extension officer of AMC, one of the largest rice millers in the country (Bouaké, April 2022)

Global headlines warn of an impending food crisis due to the war in Ukraine that has destroyed hope for grain harvest for some years to come. The situation is compounded by an already severely disrupted food supply due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Food insecurity is expected to be the worst the world has seen in more than 80 years. According to a press statement by the UN World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley, the world is facing its biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II.

Meanwhile, Africa’s agriculture output potential is huge, estimated at $1 trillion by 2030. Much of Sub-Sahara Africa still imports food, however, this crisis might represent the catalyst for accelerating food production.

Critical to increased production is increased skills and networks. eProd Solutions and Buhler have joined together to provide an online training course for grain traders and millers across Africa.

Last week, Corinne Fleischer, World Food Program’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, joined other food experts in raising the alarm on the current food crisis facing Africa and the world. “We are extremely concerned about the millions of people in this region who are already struggling to access enough food because of a toxic combination of conflict, climate change, and the economic aftermath of Covid-19,” said Fleischer. “People’s resilience is at a breaking point. This crisis is creating shock waves in the food markets that touch every home in this region. No one is spared.”

Ukraine accounts for more than 10 percent of the global wheat market. Forty percent of this goes to Africa and the Middle East. According to UN FAO, world food prices have increased by 24percent in the past six weeks.

The situation seems dire, however, there could be a silver lining for African farmers and agribusinesses.

“Kenya imports 28 million bags of flour annually, while it produces only 600,000 bags,” said Paloma Fernandes, CEO of Cereal Millers Association. “The Ukraine crisis is hurting consumers but creating significant opportunities for farmers in Sub Sahara Africa.”

Indeed, an increase in global demand could increase the bottom line for African farmers. In addition, the decrease in wheat imports could bring a pivot for an increase in locally produced crops – such as millet in much of West Africa. In addition, the Africa Development Bank and other development institutions have signaled an aggressive commitment to helping African farmers ramp up their production. The ADP and partners have set a target of $1 billion to increase food production in Africa – -including wheat and other local crops like soybean and rice. The expectation is more than 40 million farmers would benefit from increased production.

Experts suggest investment needs to focus on developing expertise. In last months’ launch of the AGRA Agribusiness Outlook Report, Matthias Grabe, Buhler East Africa Managing Director, expressed a critical need for more savvy skills within agriculture. “Where we need most investment right now is in the capacity space of strengthening training and skills. Market value chains are in place, but more output requires more depth in skills that help farmers and millers improve technology and output.”

Buhler together with eProd Solutions last month launched an online training platform called Africa Grains Online to help millers across Africa develop their skill set in a wide range of topics. The free course is made up of 14 modules ranging from Grain Science to Quality Control to Access to Finance.

Jan Willem van Casteren, CEO of eProd Solutions said the relevance of training like this could not be overstated. “We set this course up to respond to the production decline in milling and the lack of training support during the years of the Covid Pandemic,” he said. “Suddenly, the world faces even greater food insecurity due to what is happening in Ukraine. This is the time for out-growers and millers in Africa to play a part in revitalizing the sector in Africa.”

24 Nov 2021

Série sur la responsabilité – Gestion de la production et de la distribution du matériel végétal sur le terrain

Batch expansion

eProd introduit un module de gestion de la production et de la distribution du matériel végétal sur le terrain. De nombreuses entreprises ont leurs propres pépinières pour pouvoir contrôler la qualité des semences ou des plants utilisés par leurs agriculteurs sous contrat afin de garantir l’accès à une certaine variété ou à du matériel végétal de haute qualité. Cependant, les entreprises manquent souvent d’outils pour gérer de manière rentable la production et la distribution de semences ou de plants sur le terrain. Dans le cas de la production et de la distribution des plants au champ, il y a plusieurs étapes, et cela peut devenir complexe à gérer. Par exemple, les semis produits en pépinière sont produits en lots qui ont chacun un code unique, les plateaux de semis individuels peuvent également avoir chacun un code unique pour la traçabilité. Les semences utilisées ont également des numéros de lot uniques.

Des plateaux de semis seront distribués aux différents agents de terrain pour être distribués aux agriculteurs. Les agriculteurs qui reçoivent des plateaux de semis paieront en espèces aux agents de terrain. Ces opérations peuvent être enregistrées via eProd, ou les semis peuvent être convertis en prêts qui seront remboursés à la livraison des produits. Les soldes de caisse et de plateaux de semis peuvent toujours être comptabilisés dans les pépinières ou lors de la distribution.

Les plants sont enregistrés avec le code de traçabilité dans les champs où ils sont plantés. Le taux de rentabilité des cultures peut désormais être contrôlé par l’agent de terrain et son superviseur.

Lors de la collecte, la traçabilité jusqu’au champ mais aussi la caisse ou le sac dans lequel les produits sont conditionné est contrôlée. La traçabilité est assurée tout au long de la chaine de valeur jusqu’au client final.

Veuillez demander une démo gratuite : info@eprod-solutions.com

Click here to view this article in English.

24 Nov 2021

Accountability Series – Management of planting material production and distribution in the field

Batch expansion

eProd introduces a module for the management of planting material production and distribution in the field. Many companies have their own nurseries to be able to control the quality of seed or seedlings used by their contracted farmers to ensure access to a certain variety of high-quality planting material. However, the companies often lack tools to manage the production and distribution of seed or seedlings in the field cost-effectively. For example, in the case of seedling production and distribution in the field, there are several stages, and this can become complex to manage. For example, the seedlings produced in the nursery are produced in batches that each has a unique code, individual seedling trays can each have a unique code for traceability as well. Seed used has unique batch numbers as well.

Seedling trays will be distributed across different field staff for distribution to farmers. Farmers that receive seedling trays will pay cash to the distributing extension officers – which can be accounted for via eProd, or the seedlings can be converted into loans that are repaid through the delivery of the produce. Cash and seedling tray balances can be always accounted for in the nurseries or during distribution.

The seedlings are registered with the traceability code in the fields where they are planted. The crop performance can now be monitored by the field staff and their supervisor. During collection the traceability to the field but also the crate or bag in which the produce is added. The traceability is ensured throughout the following value addition steps, up to the final client.

Please reach out for a free demo: info@eprod-solutions.com

Cliquez ici pour voir cet article en français.

19 Apr 2021

eProd Solutions wins Mercy Corps AgriFin “Use of Digital Data to Serve Smallholders” award

Mercy Corps AgriFin congratulates eProd Solutions on Use of Digital Data to serve Smallholders award

Mercy Corps AgriFin announced during the 2021 online Learning Event (ALE) the winners of the “Use of Digital Data to serve Smallholder farmers” award. This year the award has actually gone to three different organisations. The first of those is Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organisation (KALRO) in Kenya, who worked with multiple providers to combine their data and support the incubation of a number of services on their platform. The second is Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) in Ethiopia, who have been working over a number of years to digitize data within their organisation and are increasingly combining those into the ATA data hub that’s being used to support decision making and greater intelligence, but also the support of agricultural commercialisation clusters which are reaching many millions of farmers now. “The third [award winner in this category] is eProd Solutions who is a leading ERP and digitization service provider and they have been working to crowd in a number of other service providers using the data from their clients to illustrate the potential of serving smallholder farmers in terms of credit, weather information and advisory services, among others.” Matt Shakhovskoy, Senior Advisor at ISF Advisors and advisory committee member with the Mercy Corps AgriFin program.

We are very proud to have been selected to win the “Use of Digital Data to serve Smallholders” award at #AgriFinALE2021 as recognition of our contribution to the agricultural sector in developing countries.

Mercy Corps AgriFin and eProd Solutions collaboration

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.

08 Oct 2016

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