Persol Systems Limited, a leading software developer, systems integrator and IT consulting firm is introducing a new software platform, the SAP Rural Sourcing Management (SAP RSM) and SAP Commerce Marketplace to the agricultural supply and value chain in Ghana.
The SAP Rural Sourcing and SAP Commerce Marketplace solution together, has the potential of transforming the lives of smallholder farmers across Africa by addressing market inefficiencies and the challenges in policy and business decisions due to poor data.
At a well-attended forum in Accra to present and discuss their platform solution that comprises farmer sourcing and commercial transactions participants were unanimously in support of the platform solution.
Through the platform, farmers, aggregators, certification companies, buyers(off takers) and the Ghana Commodity Exchange can have visibility into pricing and sales transactions which together with banks, insurance firms and input providers provide a 360 degree loop of the entire supply chain so banks can lend and recover their loans.
Insurance companies can also confidently assess farmer risks and input providers can advance inputs on credit and know when the farmer is due for payment and possibly have that deducted at source.
This workshop will showcase the SAP platform solution and allow participants to engage other stakeholders on how interactions can be streamlined for a vibrant, productive and sustainable agricultural supply chain.
Persol is a premier partner of SAP in Ghana and is the platform operating partner for the rollout of the SAP agricultural supply chain platform solution in Ghana.
Participants included World Bank, FAO, AGRA, GIZ as well as Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX), Ghana Grains Council and several top Ghanaian banks as well as farmer based organisations and input providers.
In response to concerns about bankers’ aversion for risk and hence their high interests to farmers and oftentimes reluctance to advance credit, participants saw how with better access to farmer data, farm productivity and access to certified warehouse receipts from Ghana Grains Council’s (GGC) Central Depository System (CDS), lending risks are significantly reduced.
Participants were pleased to know that the platform was in various phases of implementation and in trial in several African countries and that it was not limited to only grains and cotton, but vegetables and livestock were also being tried in multiple pilot programs across the continent.
The Assistant FAO Representative (Programmes) from FAO, Mr Benjamin Adjei, in a statement issued by Persol and SAP noted that the solution appeared to be the missing link that most field researchers have identified as key to integrating market players and bridging the gap between the farmer and the market.
Michael Quarshie, MD, of Persol Systems Limited said “We could have targeted only a few large farmers in the country and save ourselves huge costs, but we will never be content. This platform gives hope to hundreds of thousands of farmers across the country, increasing incomes, quality of life and jobs for the youth of Ghana in a sustainable way. This makes us truly content because we can positively impact many lives at no cost to the farmer.”
By Times Reporter