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Rainforest Alliance supports over 9000 farmers with an app to monitor trees

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Rainforest Alliance, A Non-Governmental Organisation with support from Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) have handed over an app to support farmers in the Western North Region to monitor trees planted within the Landscape Management Board (LMBs) to enhance afforestation.

The application dubbed, “Hybrid Community-Based Monitoring System”(HCMS), would benefit more than 9000 farmers from 25 communities within the Western North Region.

Mr Alvin Adu-Asare, Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer explained that the programme sought to create a hybrid monitoring and evaluation programme that would combine remote and, on the ground data gathering tools for data management and reporting at the landscape level through a blended approach of GPS enabled data collecting Apps and satellite imagery combined with traditional community resources maps.

He said in that regard, they have procured 51 tablets, one computer and one digital screen to support the programme.

Mr Adu-Asare also explained that the project was designed to leverage information and communication technology and empower the various communities under the landscape management board to own the monitoring and evaluation (M and E) Process, while reducing human error to the barest minimum.

The Senior Monitoring and Evaluation officer further explained the HCMS was expected to enable the Landscape Management Board and its stakeholders to provide a rapid participating forest inventory and land performance reports, which would help capture plant level data combining sophisticated technology and local knowledge in a user-friendly manner which would contain the full and effective participation of local people.

The action, Mr se the H. Adu-Asare said, would benefit 20,000 community members in the landscape authority to use CMS system to measure key indicators of improved performance and to collaboratively monitor and track the forest themselves.

He said lessons from the project would strengthen the HCMS as a long-term replicable self-reliance framework for other landscape initiatives across the country.

Some of the beneficiary farmers in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, lauded the initiative since it would go a long way to track and monitor not only trees, but other crops planted and would also support them in protecting the environment.

Nana Kwaku Nkuah II, Chief of Ahwiah, who represented the Paramount Chief of Wiawso traditional area also lauded Rainforest Alliance for empowering farmers in the area through the livelihood programmes and appealed to farmers to use the App well to project the forest as well as improve upon cocoa production.

He also asked COCOBOD to educate cocoa farmers on the need to plant more trees, especially on their farms.

Source: GNA

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