US chocolate maker Hershey to use GPS satellite to map cocoa farms in Ghana

US-based chocolate producer Hershey Company on April 26, 2012 announced an innovative programme to use GPS mapping to provide precise measurements of cocoa farm acreage in Ghana.

In a statement, Hershey said the GPS mapping will help farmers to better plan and manage their cocoa farms, increasing yields and incomes.

“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,” it said.

The tool will also help collect data. Hershey stated “This information will be critical in establishing a baseline from which to begin to help the farmers implement the best new practices and processes for making their farms more productive, diverse and successful.”

Hershey also announced that it has selected the Assin Foso District in Ghana as the site for its HERSHEY LEARN TO GROW project to set up a farm and community learning center. “From this location, the program will help more than 1,000 farm families and 5,000 cocoa community members improve their livelihoods by learning the latest in modern farming techniques and agricultural stewardship, including appropriate and inappropriate uses of labour,” it noted.

Meanwhile, Hershey and partner Source Trust are said to establish 25 community-based farmer organizations to improve the living standards of 1,250 cocoa farm families.

In 2011, Hershey introduced a mobile phone technology for cocoa farmers in an innovative programme called CocoaLink.

By Ekow Quandzie

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