The Project Lead at Syecomp Ghana Ltd, Mr Solomon Allavi, says the opportunities in using open access satellite-based information products is a game-changing one for farmers in Ghana to monitor and improve crop yield outputs.
Speaking at a symposium as part of activities at the 68th Annual New Year School recently held at the University of Ghana he indicated that globally, scientific applications including remote sensing technologies and mechanisation technologies are being deployed by farmers in advanced economies and that enable them increase crop yield outputs through better planning and improved forecasting models. He stated that compared to their counterparts in developing economies such as Ghana the potential exist but due to limited information and knowledge, ICT for agriculture tools are not being utilised on the desired scale.
Use technology service providers
Mr Allavi further expounded on the need for farmers, agribusinesses and other actors across the value chain to make use of services from technology companies such as Syecomp’s geospatial mapping technologies, Mfarms’ farmer to market platform, Farmerline, Votomobile and esoko’s market information dissemination platforms to increase farming efficiency and farmer incomes.
The symposium had the sub-theme: E-solutions and Agricultural Productivity
Other speakers at the discussion included Dr Osei Darkwa, President of the Ghana Technology University College; Dr Alex Barimah Owusu, Department of Geography and Resource Development of the University of Ghana; and Mr Daniel Asare-Kyei, Managing Director of Esoko Ghana.
Elaborating further on some e-solutions in Agriculture, Mr Allavi emphasised that access to reliable weather information is critical to farmers’ operations. It influences decisions about when to apply various inputs and when to harvest. Nearly every agricultural ICT or mobile platform has a weather component, differing in their granularity and frequency. Advances in ‘big data’ and satellite technology are permitting hyper-local weather forecasts down to a grid size of several square metres. Various agro-meteorological service providers are offering not only weather forecasts but also related services which help farmers predict crop yields as well as guiding them in their operations. These solutions are thus very much needed for informed farming operations in Ghana.
68th Annual New Year School (ANYSC)
The theme for 68th ANYSC was “Promoting National Development through Agricultural Modernization: The Role of ICT”.
It was organised by the School of Continuing and Distance Education, College of Humanities, University of Ghana, under the auspices of the MTN, Eximbank Ghana, and The Kosmos Innovation Centre.
The aim of the 68th ANYSC was to create the platform for passionate discussions on how ICT could be integrated into agriculture, to modernise the sector for sustainable national development and to make recommendations to government.
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