Rainforest Alliance empowers smallholder farmers to grow

After a year of introducing smallholder farmers to the Forest Watcher Mobile App, the Rainforest Alliance counts their achievement of growing and monitoring over 9,000 trees in the Sui River landscape.

Selected smallholder farmers located in the Western North Region of Ghana were trained on how to use the mobile application to plant and owe more trees in a bid to check deforestation.

At the closeout ceremony, the Alliance handed over the mandate to farmers to ensure continuity of conserving biodiversity, building climate resilience, and reducing emissions from land-use changes in the Sui Landscape.

Ghana’s forest cover keeps depleting over time with the country recording a sixty per cent reduction in its primary forest in 2018 alone, mainly stemming from illegal mining and hunting operations.

To check the growing menace, the Rainforest Alliance introduced a data monitoring technique to over hundred farmers within the Sefwi Wiawso district.

The Forest Watcher Mobile App employs an online monitoring system and alert systems of the Global Forest Watch (GFW) to view areas of interest in the field.

Senior Associate of the monitoring and evaluation unit of Rainforest Alliance, Alvin Adu Asare, according to said the mobile app replaces the outmoded paper-based data collection system.

“Within the landscape, they were doing a lot of things through registration. It was imperative that the processes they were using were also streamlined. They were using a lot of paper-based techniques, which wasn’t really helping. It was introducing a lot of errors in the data collection processes. So we thought to ourselves to develop a technology that would help the farmers collect the data themselves,” he said.

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