About a year ago, the Harvest Plus team under the IFPRI programme reached out to eProd Solutions with the request to use eProd for the introduction of biofortified seed varieties in Zimbabwe. As much as the seed varieties they promote are appreciated by both farmers and millers, there was an initial resistance on the ground. The main challenges on the side of the farmers were the costs of seed and production that they were not able to cater for. And for the millers, the risk involved with promoting unknown seed varieties with farmers, the work involved in mobilizing, training and buying.
It was then, that Harvest Plus decided to step in and coordinate these activities. With the use of eProd, Harvest Plus was able to not only register and engage farmers, provide cost effective production support, but also engage financial institutions that were interested in taking over the financing of the core activities. The team in Zimbabwe continued engaging the different millers on the ground. Our team in eProd supported the team both onsite and online to ensure a successful uptake of the system. Through trainings and SMS support as well as additional production advise, farmers at the end exceeded expectations when it came to harvesting. Currently the payment process is ongoing, of course automated and digital to make to process fast and transparent. The millers are excited about the new product and are ready to engage more with the project.
Next steps: Discussions are ongoing. The team will definitely scale the operations, introduce new features and functionalities like possibly the biometric ID Cards to farmers and offer additional services, just to mention some. And move to other countries to replicate the success of this project!