UN Women’S Project

Services Implemented

Services Implemented: Sale, eCommerce Website, Purchase, Reporting, Integration with Android-based Mobile Application (Buy from Women), Integration with Weather forecasting, Integration with Orange Money (Liberia), Integration with SMS and Voice SMS.

Name of Organization: UN Women’s Project

Countries: Mali, Malawi, Haiti, Liberia, Senegal

The number of Odoo Users: Varied per country; some countries have 50-60 users, while others have 150 users.

Industry: Agriculture

Implementation Partner: Bista Solutions Inc.

    Buy From Women Enterprise Platform

    The Project Description  

    UN Women Liberia, in close collaboration with the UN System: World Food Programme Liberia and Food Agriculture Organization Liberia; Government: Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services; and Civil Society: Liberia National Rural Women Structure, Farmers Assistance Programme, Farmers’ Field School, Liberia Marketing Association, Liberia Business Association, Association of Women in Cross Border Trade, Rights and Rice Foundation and the National Adult Education Association of Liberia is requesting a Buy from Women Enterprise Platform that will provide women the opportunity to sell their produce (e.g. rice, cassava, potatoes, and pepper; including meat and eggs) under its pilot project.

    The Liberia project wanted a system that also allowed women to purchase the needed seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, feeds, and such that they would need for their farming and poultry activities. Hence, Liberia would require an Android-based mobile application with capabilities for eCommerce and push notification features.

    Like other Buy from Women countries (e.g. Mali, Haiti, etc.), the purpose of building the Liberia Buy from Women Enterprise Platform was to empower Liberian women through the use of ICT, wherein they can buy and sell using the platform. The system design for Liberia should also give a User of the system weather forecasting notification and should also serve as a platform for knowledge management/base.

    Under the Buy from Women UN Women, FAO, and WFP were tasked to work with producers to address issues around the quality of products/produce and the grading of harvest/produce because these are two things buyers tend to use against producers while purchasing their products when it comes to intentionally reducing prices.

    Odoo Agriculture ERP
    Odoo Agriculture ERP
    Odoo Agriculture ERP

    About UN Women’s Project

    The UN Women’s Project is in close collaboration with the UN System and has been around for about 4 years. In a nutshell, this project allows women from third-world countries (like Mali, Haiti, Malawi, Liberia, and Senegal) to purchase things such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, feeds, and other similar items for their farming and poultry needs.

    Key Requirements and Challenges

    One of the biggest challenges this project faced was its location. Being in South Africa, internet connectivity was a big issue. The farmers in these countries did not have a platform to sell their products in-market, and as such, the buyers had no access to it. And of course, the female farmers wanted their products bought and sold but had no system in place to do so. As such, the lack of an e-commerce website and an android mobile app were some of the biggest hurdles, as well as the key requirements of this project.

    Additionally, a robust system where individuals can buy and sell products, and farmers can cultivate and calculate their crops with land area as well as gauging weather conditions was required. Ultimately, however, the purpose of building the Buy from Women Enterprise Platform was to empower women through the use of ICT, wherein they would be able to buy and sell using the platform. 

    This initiative, started by the United Nations Women (UNW), had a project scope as follows: Odoo V11 Community and an Android Mobile Application. After implementation, Odoo V11 was migrated to Odoo V14 Community for its additional features and functionality. A go-live date wasn’t concretely established, since this initiative would require approvals from different authorities in different countries. However, most countries were able to go live when they wanted to, and some others had a few delays but followed suit.

    Odoo Distribution Success Story
    Odoo Agriculture ERP
    Odoo Agriculture ERP


    In 2018, a primary contact from UNW–headquartered in the USA–reached out to Bista Solutions. From that point forward, the assessment and consultancy, all the way up to the implementation were done remotely. While the project scope remained the same, in the course of the last 4 years, there would be moments when the stakeholders would change. In those instances, a workflow change would be requested and the Bista team would need to accommodate and adjust the implementation process accordingly.

    Each country’s implementation was estimated to last roughly 4 to 5 months. However, the timeline was extended to 9-12 months due to feedback delays and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) delays. After the implementation, the Bista team provided users and managers manuals to refer to, as well as training for both the Web and Mobile Applications.

    While the project did not come without some hurdles, as aforementioned above, one that stood out the most was the language barrier. The client was able to speak in French or use local languages such as Bambora and Wolof. Furthermore, the e-commerce website had multiple languages. In order to accurately implement that, a language file was needed from the customer which would then be implemented onto the website and mobile application. Due to delays per country, the implementation ran longer than anticipated. 

    Nevertheless, in spite of the difficulties in communication as well as all the delays, the Bista team met the requirements and was able to successfully deliver the project. Ultimately, the greatest joy for the Bista team came from directly working with remote women farmers and implementing solutions that would help them out in such a significant way.


    Once the implementation and training came to a conclusion, data, and efficiency could be measured. The first thing that was clear was that by choosing Odoo Community as well as an Android mobile app, the team was able to save themselves over 10x the amount it would have cost had they gone with another known ERP. Furthermore, and this is the most important one, the farmers are able to seamlessly sell their products in the marketplace due to this implementation.

    Much like the Bista team, the UN Women’s Project was extremely pleased with the implementation. In fact, the project itself started with one initial implementation. Due to its success, other countries were added to the list. So far, the Bista team has helped five countries with this initiative, and we hope to do more (and are likely to) in the near future. 

    Currently, the Bista team is developing and implementing appropriate payment gateways per country. So needless to say, this partnership is ongoing and thriving.

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