SAP and Saudi officials discuss agriculture projects
SAP and officials of Al-Hasa Governorate discuss opportunities to improve farm and supply chain processes
Executives from SAP are in discussion with officials of the Al-Hasa Governorate of Saudi Arabia, on a possible project to boost local agriculture and business.
Christian Merz, Director of Internet Services, SAP Research Karlsruhe, and Selim J. Eddé, Vice President Government Relations, SAP Middle East & North Africa, met Saleh Bin Hassan Al Afaleq, Chairman of the Board of the Al-Hasa Chamber of Commerce and Ali Bin Hassan Al Ali, Head of the IT committee, along with attendees from the Labour Office, the Agricultural Fund and local business leaders.
The discussion focused on how SAP has been able to provide software solutions to link local farmers with microfinance organisations and local commodity markets, to improve processes and efficiency and benefit the small farmers, particularly with respect to local date palm cultivation.
SAP recently worked on a project to help rural women in Ghana who are involved in the cultivation of Shea nuts and the processing of the nuts into butter. SAP created a software package, the ‘Rural Market Connection' which provides market pricing data and logistics information to growers via SMS.
SAP also provided a website to connect shea butter buyers worldwide, and a worked with non-profit microfinance specialist PlaNet Finance to develop a microloan management software for better credit management.
The result was a more transparent supply chain and pricing through connecting buyers and grower groups, and more opportunities for farmers to increase their profits.
"SAP has notable track record in this field, and Al-Hasa welcomes their support on this project," said Ali Bin Husain Al Ali, the head of the Chamber of Commerce's IT Committee. "Most recently SAP has teamed up with PlaNet Finance to dramatically improve the incomes and living conditions for rural Ghanaian women engaged in harvesting and shea butter business. The widely acclaimed project is the subject of a major case study by Stanford University, which recently noted that participating women have been able to increase their income by 59 to 82%."
"A sustainable business model is one that addresses a real need. It incorporates the intelligent use of technology to tackle challenges, while creating value and generating revenue for the business," said Eddé. "Our meeting in Al-Hasa was extremely productive and has laid the groundwork for a project that could be influential not only across Saudi Arabia, but also the Middle East at large."