New SAP management system integrates smallholder farmers into global supply chain

A new management system from SAP will connect smallholder farmers and suppliers in rural areas digitally with the global supply chain.

SAP, a global leader in software manufacturing, developed the Rural Sourcing Management solution. It enables agri-businesses and consumer product companies to track their produce from farm to factory through mobile and desktop access in developing countries.

“SAP Rural Sourcing Management links farmers digitally to the agriculture value chain through a suite of mobile business applications running on SAP Cloud Platform which supports inclusive agricultural chains,” the company said.

The solution gives mobile access to producers to capture and analyze information from small-scale farmers in remote areas. In turn, farmers can access their business transactions, pricing is more transparent, mobile payment methods are possible and everything is traceable. It is “all aimed at closing the information gap between farmers and producing companies”.

“Smallholder farmers often lack access to technology and financial services, limiting their ability to grow their business and increase productivity and output,” said Brett Parker Managing Director of SAP Africa.

According to Parker, the solution was developed to support the growth of smallholder farmers in developing countries to meet the world’s need for sustainable food production.

“By 2050 the world’s population will approach 10 billion people. To sustain such a large global population, the planet’s agriculture output per acre must double, while at the same time maintaining the highest sustainability standards to meet consumer demand,” Parker explained.

“In fact, fair trade sales are expected to triple to US$25 billion by 2020, creating a huge challenge for governments, retailers and large multinational food producers.”

A predecessor solution was developed for the leading manufacturer of cocoa products, Barry Callebaut, to allow sustainable cocoa farming in Cote d’Ivoire, where 65 000 small-scale cocoa farmers was integrated into the system.

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