Farmerline to commence satellite data irrigation project
Farmerline Ghana Limited, an IT firm focused on agri-business, has organised an inception workshop to explore the technical and business feasibilities of satellite data-based irrigation advisory services for Ghanaian farmers.
The data-based irrigation advisory service relies on satellite imagery technology to help improve yield for farmers. The system works by providing information on crop yield, nutrient requirements, humidity as well as information on weather conditions for a given period.
This information is then relayed to farmers via different channels, depending on their levels of literacy, to give them insights on best farming practices.
In line with the implementation of the project, Farmerline Ghana together with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and eLEAF BV based in The Netherlands, organized a workshop to refine and assess data gathered so far.
It was also to engage other stakeholders on the implementation strategy of the project including: mapping on the irrigation value chain, issues faced by the various actors, and how their services could address challenges.
The workshop also forms part of a two-day event, including a field visit to the Kpong Irrigation Scheme with its consortium partners, to observe operations and maintenance of the project.
Chief Executive Officer of Farmerline, Alloysius Attah, was upbeat about the prospect, saying: “Satellite data has provided masses of information for years. Farmerline and its partners are excited to explore how we can gain relevant and actionable insights from this data, to help farmers improve on their irrigation practices.”
The pilot project is expected to commence in the Upper East Region from now to the end of the year.
Benjamin K. Adom (PhD), Programme Coordinator at CTA revealed that a €150,000 facility was provided by his outfit as funding for the project, which forms part of a long-term grant for sustainability of projects, valued at about €4 million.
It is estimated that about 6,000 farmers within the Tono and Vea Districts will benefit from the initiative when fully implemented.
The satellite data-based irrigation advisory project has been implemented in countries such as Sudan and Uganda, where farmers recorded well over 200% increase in crop yield.
The workshop continues the long-standing collaboration between the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA), eLEAF and Farmerline in helping achieve national development through sustainable agriculture.