Warehouse Receipt System won International Award

Posted on March 08, 2016

Dr André van der Vyfer of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, together with USAID Mozambique and SA Tradehub, have been actively involved in the development of a Warehouse Receipt System for the Mozambique grain and oilseed industry during the course of the past eighteen months. The project was also awarded an Oracle Global Sustainability Innovation Award which was bestowed at their prestigious Open World Conference in San Francisco.

Efforts came to fruition when the system went live with the first warehouse receipt being financed four months ago in Catandica at the ECA/Cargill grain storage facility. Although still in the pilot phase, when implemented nationally, farmers and traders will have the ability to store products safely at registered warehouses open to third party storage. In the first place, it curbs post-harvest losses that run as high as 30%. In addition, participating banks will now be able to offer farmers loans by using the product – represented by the warehouse receipt – as collateral against loans. This enables the farmer, who is in desperate need of money after a long and costly production season, to postpone his/her selling decision from harvesting time, when prices are at a season low, to two to four months later when prices often recover by around 30%. Not only does this add wealth to communities that are in desperate need for economic upliftment, but higher prices act as incentive to produce more.

Crucial to the success of the project was the development of an online database, where all users with different functionalities could log in on the system and all transactions could be electronically processed. With ‘all users’ it literally means a Warehouse Clerk at a remote rural warehouse (as long as there is cell phone reception) who receives the product and a Financial Manager at company headquarters in Maputo, who must approve the loan, and who are able to securely log-in to perform their various functions. This also means the warehouse receipt is an e-receipt – in fact the whole system is ’in the cloud’.

For this purpose, Dr Van der Vyfer appointed a Johannesburg software development company, APPSolve, which successfully developed the system by using world standard Oracle database software. Their work recently received further recognition when Dr Van der Vyfer and Maureen Grosvenor of APPSolve were invited to present a paper at the regional Oracle Conference in Cape Town.

Click here to see a video on the Warehouse Receipt System.


- Author Martie Meyer

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