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Cocoa farms in Ghana mapped using GPS tech

USA: The Hershey Company announced an innovative programme to use GPS mapping, to provide precise measurements of farm acreage, as part of the ‘Hershey learn to grow’ farm programme in Ghana. GPS mapping will help farmers better plan and manage their cocoa farms, increasing yields and farmer incomes.

The ‘Hershey learn to grow’ initiative is a part of Hershey’s USD 10 million commitment in West Africa during the next five years to accelerate the company’s cocoa programmes in the region. The investment will help improve cocoa farming and community health and reduce instances of child labour.

The programme will help the farmers in determining the precise size of their farms using GPS technology and a process of mapping and data collection called “GeoT”. By understanding the actual size of their land, farmers will be able to make the best use of the latest practices in planting, pruning and fertilizer techniques for maximum yield and sustainability.

The innovative GeoT GPS process will, for the first time in more than 130 years of cocoa farming in Ghana, help 1,000 participating farmers accurately size their cocoa farms.

Last year, Hershey introduced mobile phone technology for cocoa farmers in an innovative programme called CocoaLink. GPS mapping and CocoaLink demonstrated that low cost and widely available technology are providing farmers with new tools to modernise their cocoa farms and boost their productivity and livelihoods.

Source: Market Watch