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Digitising Small Farms in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Digitisation of small farms involve building data footprint for smallholder farms and using technology to propel value-added services. One critical component of digitisation is farm survey and mapping; largely promoted by SyeComp for a decade in Ghana and other African countries. Farm mapping especially targeted at crop farmers serve as the start for all digitisation engagement.

Farm mapping is essential to determining accurately and scientifically farm boundaries or delineating parcels earmarked for crop farming relative to other features of interest in the environment. This results in farmer’s fields and orchards becoming clearly identifiable. In Africa this is usually done via Global Positioning System (GPS) references.

GPS farm mapping helps smallholder farms become fully traceable using a unique address system generated through geographic reference of the entire farm as well as individual plots within the farm. This traceability makes farmers more visible and attractive, effectively enhancing their linkages to downstream markets. The use of handheld GPS devices and smartphone app for field-based digitisation available at SyeComp offer an easy and affordable approach to doing this.

Demand for digitisation tend to come from more structured supply chains such as cocoa, coffee, cashew, high valued vegetable and fruit value chains.

ICT Service Providers tend to use range of tools for digitisation activities. These include: Smartphones, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) ( popularly called Drones), Satellite Imagery, Handheld GPS devices, and field-mounted Smart Sensors.

Due to the unstructured nature of smallholder farms and the fact that most farming field boundaries are not clearly defined by demarcations, ground truthing and mapping with handheld GPS equipment is often used. However, smartphones and tablets with installed offline data-capture applications are available and quite popular in use as well.

Need a Farm Mapping Service?

Interested in digitising small farms for member farmers in your farmer organisation or cooperative in any African country? Additionally, are you urgently in need of quality and budget-friendly farm mapping services in a commodity value chain delivered within critical time-frames, send a quick email for quotation to: info@syecomp.com and copy: developers@syecomp.com