Less Time Doing the Books and More Time in the Field with New Software Technology

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Iryna Barzo introduced an automatic product accounting system at her enterprise, which reduced costs for collecting and operational accounting of product shipments by up to 55 percent (17,300 hryvnias per hectare of berry crops), decreased payroll by 83 percent, and reduced time for registering and receiving berries by 50 percent.

Iryna Barzo is an agronomist who has worked with the Agrovesna Cooperative since its launch in 2011. Today the cooperative, one of the leading berry producersin Ukraine, unites 18 small berry producers who farm 500 hectares of land.

With years of experience, the Ms. Barzo initially helped other producers within the cooperative, providing insights into proper preparation of fields and the use of the best care technologies. Eventually, she founded ICompany, her own small enterprise within the cooperative that grows strawberries on four hectares of land. Iryna plants a well-chosen variety of strawberries so that she has berries on the vine from June to October. 

More often than not, you will find Iryna in the field during her extended strawberry season, leaving little time for the business side of farming. She explained that bookkeeping has been a burden for some time.

“Over the years, we had to organize, record, and account for dozens of people manually harvesting berries. It was long, expensive, and risky, as manual accounting is not always exactly correct,” Iryna explained.

To allow for less time in the office and more time in the field, USAID’s Agriculture Growing Rural Opportunities (AGRO) activity co-invested with ICompany to automate harvest records and track processes. AGRO purchased the technology and Iryna’s company hired a software developer to tailor the program to her needs and specifications.  Now, accounting takes Iryna as little as 10 minutes per harvested batch.

The ICompany system provides information on the harvested berry varieties, the berry pickers, and wage rates. The new system can generate reports on how many and what types of berries were harvested,  the number of workers in the field, the size of berry shipments, and actual sales to consumers.

The system monitors, controls, and analyzes all enterprise activities: turnover, container balances, tools, agricultural machinery, and pesticides used and stored. It also calculates staff salaries, prepares invoices to final contractors, and monitors payments.

According to Iryna, the software has reduced accounting costs by up to 55 percent, including reporting time and management resources, and decreased payroll costs by 83 percent while increasing labor productivity by 23 percent.

“It’s very convenient. I really like it!” Iryna said.

With that success in hand, Agrovesna Cooperative plans to expand the system and use it to automate harvest accounting for all of its cooperative members.

Last updated: August 03, 2021

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