eProd | Management Solutions for Agribusinesses
12 Sep 2022

eProd partners with LendXS to provide credible credit scoring data

eProd Partners with LendXS
We are pleased to announce eProd’s partnership with LendXS, the digital credit services platform of Financial Access. Through this collaboration, LendXS can integrate its credit processing and credit risk scoring solution into our supply chain management system. This integration will enable agribusinesses, aggregators, and food processors to better respond to market demands and address the management challenges they face when procuring from numerous small-scale suppliers.

By incorporating credible credit scoring data into our supply chain management system, our Agri SMEs clients will be able to assist their smallholder farmers in obtaining the financing they require to expand and grow their businesses. This collaboration integrates the LendXS and eProd services so agribusinesses can more efficiently manage their transaction data gathered by eProd and use these data to support the mobilization of finance at a reduced risk via LendXS.

According to our CEO, Jan Willem van Casteren, the market is ready for better-integrated credit scorecards that may enable agribusinesses to develop relationships and supply value to smallholder farmers: “Agribusinesses frequently act as financiers for their farmers by providing inputs or working capital. The sooner these companies can focus on their core operations and link farmers directly to financial institutions, the sooner they will be able to focus on quality produce as they link into larger, even worldwide markets.”

“The LendXS and eProd partnership will promote more effective agriculture value chain management, help to stabilize markets, and integrate more farmers in the supply chain,” says Muthoni Karimi, Chief Operations Officer of LendXS. “There is a significant movement toward agribusiness supply chain actors and SMEs assisting smallholder farmers by either providing inputs to the farmers or purchasing directly from them. This reliance is worsened by increased strain on food supply induced by climate change and rising food demand from an expanding global population.”

This partnership is also featured on the LendXS website.

23 Mar 2022

GIZ-Funded CORIS Project Increases West Africa Rice Production

Mr Ahamidé Samson of Jinukuja (rice trading company) uses eProd supply chain management software Photo: Mr. Ahamidé Samson of Jinukuja (rice trading company) uses eProd to monitor activities in rice fields.

Since the 1970s, demand for rice in Africa has tripled. Rice is increasingly replacing other staple foods such as maize, cassava, and sorghum. Despite various initiatives in the rice sector, productivity remains low throughout the African continent, especially in West African countries, and covers only 60% of demand.  Covid-19 has only increased the instability of rice production in the region. The GIZ-funded, COVID-19 Response Rice Seed Project (CORIS) brings AfricaRice and eProd Solutions together to ensure the introduction of improved rice varieties continues even during the pandemic.  

The Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in export restrictions, border closures, and travel restrictions, has jeopardized the already weakened rice sector in West Africa. To address this situation, a transnational working group of map4Rice’s Green Innovation Centers designed the COVID-19 Response Rice Seed Project (CORIS) with an objective to improve food security in West Africa and establish an independent, high-quality rice seed system to address other challenges such as climate change and yield instability.   

Africa Rice, a member of the Map4Rice working group and a research center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), is responsible for the coordination and implementation of Project CORIS. CORIS entered its operational phase in October 2020 through the production of pre-basic seed, basic seed, and certified seed.  To date, CORIS has supported the production of 27,000 tons of high-quality, certified seed in five West African countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, and Nigeria. 

Last year, the supply chain management platform eProd was introduced to 40 rice traders in the same countries. Together with AfricaRice, the rice traders assisted in bulking improved rice varieties and introducing quality seed to tens of thousands of rice farmers. eProd’s software solution provides rice traders with traceability tools to track the various generations of seed production through to commercial production. In addition, the eProd platform offers the traders a one-stop solution to manage all supply chain activities including farmer contracts, field inspection, communication, training, and other options.     

In addition to AfricaRice, eProd, and the 40 rice trading companies involved in the project, CORIS brings together partners from national research centers, international rice development and promotion platforms including INRAB (Benin), GIZ (Benin, Mali, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso), and INERA (Burkina Faso). Other partners include the Burkina Faso Ministry of Agriculture, MOVE Nigeria, commercial partner PRO GRAIN, and others from agriculture insurance and banking.   

On March 26-31, 2022, CORIS partners will meet in Bouaké, Ivory Coast, to review ongoing activities in the project countries, draw lessons learned, and establish perspectives for future activities to further strengthen the rice sector in West Africa.  

Please reach out to us at info@eprod-solutions.com if you would like to learn more. 

10 Mar 2022

A software system, not a software!

eProd's Interview with GIZ

What is the story behind eProd?

In 2004, Jan Willem and Almut van Casteren founded the inclusive business Equator Kenya Ltd. They needed a software to manage the data of the large number of smallholder farmers who were selling African Bird’s Eye chilis and paprika for the Oleoresin market to their company. To be allowed to export the products to overseas markets, full traceability was required. They decided to develop the necessary software themselves by contracting developers, a procedure which finally resulted in an innovative software product that was fully adopted to the needs of Equator Kenya Ltd. Today, the software manages the data of 8,000 smallholders contracted by the company. They are organized in 350 groups, receive loans, input, and training, and supply their produce to the company.

 

How does eProd work?

Seeing the benefit of the software for their business, Jan Willem and Almut van Casteren decided to commercialize it. In 2014, eProd was piloted successfully for various sectors and business models. Today, it offers functionalities for contracting, traceability, communication, mobile payments as well as access to loans. Moreover, eProd offers various specific solutions such as yield forecasting models, credit rating, soil testing, reporting, analytics, and quality-based payments for milk collection (including sensor technology for quality control). eProd collects information about fields, farmers, cooperatives, traders, as well as NGOs and allows all kinds of hierarchical combinations. For donors and NGOs, eProd offers a monitoring dashboard where data can be analyzed and charted.

eProd is an off-the-shelf product, which can be deployed by configurations (rather than requiring customizations) and be fully operational for the client within five days. It offers numerous application programming interfaces which allow its flexible configuration, integration, and extension for various purposes and value chains. The software is available in a cloud version and a desktop/LAN solution that can function perfectly offline for areas with very poor internet. The mobile app is developed for Android, also functions offline and synchronizes with the central database when the internet is available. The cloud version allows global access via the World Wide Web.

 

What is the business model behind eProd?

Since March 2015, eProd is commercially available through the Kenyan-based company eProd Solutions Ltd. The Kenyan company has subsidiary companies in Tanzania and in Uganda as well as an agency network across Africa. The software is used by 75 clients in 12 developing countries and reaches over 250,000 smallholders, active in over 20 different value chains, including dairy, apiculture, fishpond farming, grains, pulses, oil crops, nuts, coffee, and horticulture. Moreover, it would be a small step to make the software usable for other livestock value chains. It is available in nine different languages and more can easily be added. According to Jan Willem Van Casteren, the success of eProd lies in the fact that it was designed as an integral part of a contract farming scheme, and over the years, the needs of all parties were considered and incorporated into the software. The software not only is flexible and configurable, but it also offers programming interfaces for its integration with other systems, such as financial accountability software or ERP for the food processing industry. eProd is successfully working fully commercial but offers various pricing models to make the software affordable for different client groups. An interesting model is a lifetime license where the annual subscription fee is tripled for the first year, while for all following years only 20% of the usual annual fee has to be paid. This model is particularly interesting for donor-financed launches of the software. eProd is also working on a Freemium model, where basic services are offered for free while additional functionalities have to be paid. eProd is scaling the approach through strategic partnerships with development organizations, private partners, and the financial sector. The company is an Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund grantee and collaborates with various development organizations (e.g., DAI, RTI, GIZ) and commercial technical partners (e.g., Where, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Wageningen University and Research Center).

 

Take-away message

“Quality-based payments will be the future in many value chains”, Mr. Van Casteren believes. He highlights the quality-based milk payment system of eProd, which allows fair and transparent automated price adjustments through integrations with sensor technology. “eProd is ideal to promote a market systems development approach. The quality issues are recorded and appear on the payment overview or in an SMS message from the buyer to the producer”, he says. “The system which eProd developed is based on near-infrared spectroscopy and requires only 2–3 seconds to complete its measurements. The sensor is a mobile battery-powered device which seamlessly integrates with the eProd environment”.

 

The interview is featured on the GIZ report about Digitalizing the African Livestock Sector, read the report here.

18 Nov 2020

TIC pour les chaînes des valeur agricoles (French Session)

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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

08 Oct 2016

Advantages of E-Prod

• All new developments are free available through internet uploads, supported manuals, webpage and newsletters. by well documented
• rAellp poartciknagg, eest cw.ill fully support all features, i.e. cloud back-up, SMS and email integration, mobile payments,
• Data is owned 100% and at all times by the client.
• cCluiesntotsm, iinza wtiohnicsh a craes feo mr farerkee, tu rnalteesss ftohre cyo adrien gto woi lcl laiepnptl ys.pecific or not allowed to be shared with other
• Dutch technology standard
• Attractive pricing
• E-Prod enables Inclusive Business.
• Professional After Sale Service
• Backup Support
• Free Data Base Health Checks