WaterWatch Cooperative along with a number of partners has granted funding Satellites for Farming (SAT4Farming) project that targets 240,000 smallholder cocoa farms in Ghana. The proposal of SAT4Farming is submitted for the third call within the Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) and is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. G4AW that is executed by the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) aims to improve food security and economic development in its partner countries by using satellite data and geo-information.
SAT4Farming focuses on developing a geo-data enabled precision agriculture service and technology platform to assist smallholder cocoa farmers and to increase their farm yields over 300% per hectare in Ghana. The partnership including Rainforest Alliance, Grameen Foundation, WaterWatch Cooperative, Satelligence, Touton and the University of Ghana put together their skills, expertise, networks and the capabilities needed to contribute to a successful SAT4Farming project.
The role of WaterWatch Cooperative is translating satellite data into information that can be incorporated into Farm Development Plans (FDPs) to increase yields of smallholder cocoa farms and help farmers become more resilient, sustainable and profitable. FDPs allows information to flow back to farmers, enabling them to confidently map out the future of their farms. SAT4Farming is built on the FDP approach, which is a very specialized agronomic model for cocoa – a crop that accounts for 25% of Ghana’s GDP. SAT4Farming services use geo-data to optimize the process of creating an FDP and reduce the need for in-farm visits through satellite-based monitoring of progress.
– 240,000 Ghanaian smallholder cocoa farmers
– 30% women cocoa farmers
– 30% young cocoa farmers below the age of 35
The project aims to increase the long-term income of cocoa farmers in Ghana by improving farm yields in a sustainable manner. Increase in farm profits facilitates farmers to move above the poverty line and improves their livelihoods which strengthens other socio-economic dimensions including the increase in access to education, healthcare, and employment by the cocoa sector. Through implementation of FDP cocoa farmers will be trained on a number of topics such as: a) application of Good Agriculture Practices (GAP), b) climate-smart and climate resilient agriculture practices, c) use of technology including smartphone based services and digital payments and d) financial management of a farm including decreasing the amount of water and fertilizer needed to produce high quality cocoa. Moreover, SAT4Farming tries to design features of the service and platform that suits the needs of female farmers such as designing training programs that maximize the participation of women and is of value to them.
WaterWatch Cooperative and its partners address the Sustainable Development Goals as set by the United Nations.