Kuapa Kokoo TeleAgric Center has begun operations within its Ofoase zone in Juabeng.
Farmers within the Ofoase zone were given smartphones to enable them make calls to the TeleAgric Centre to report their production challenges and seek support.
These smartphones come equipped with the Plant Village App which helps with on-farm disease diagnosis as well as other Apps that will help the farmers manage their farms more effectively. It also comes with a closed user group which enables farmers to place calls to the teleAgric Center free of charge and also communicate with each other free of charge.
Prior to the take-off, TeleAgric Project Manager; Joseph Sakyi Baah took the Eighty-one (81) farmers involved through sensitization and training.
The farmers were taken through how to use the disease detection Mobile Application provided them by Kuapa Kokoo and Millennium Promise Alliance (MPA).
The farmers were trained on how to place calls to the TeleAgric Center and how to communicate their challenges. They were also trained on how to take notes and implement recommendations from the centre.
Mr. Sakyi Baah appealed to the farmers to take good care of the phones given them and patronize the services of the TeleAgric Center.
Kuapa Kokoo Registers 81 farmers for TeleAgric consultation
So far at least 81 cocoa farmers belonging to Kuapa Kokoo have been registered onto the new TeleAgric Information system developed as part of efforts to collect data that will help support farmers.
The registration of the farmers; both old and new members of Kuapa Kokoo kicks off an elaborate process to register the over One Hundred Thousand (100,000) farmers unto the new system.
Project Manager for the teleAgric Project; Mr. Joseph Sakyi Baah hinted that the successful registration of the 81 farmers implies the take-off of the teleAgric consultation project.
Under the teleAgric Consultation project, farmers will be able to call into the TeleAgric Center and report their production challenges. The center will then liaise with the few AEAs to help provide technical support to the farmers.
The registration will amongst other benefits help keep detailed and accurate records of the farmers and also help with decision support as well as help in equitable distribution of the few AEAs available.
Root Capital donates 250 phones for teleAgric project
As part of their contribution to the project, Root Capital has donated two hundred and fifty (250) smartphones to support the project.
These smartphones will be equipped with the Plant Village App which helps with on-farm disease diagnosis as well as other Apps that will help the farmers manage their farms more effectively.
Founder and CEO of Root Capital; William Foote and a team from the United States of America and Ghana also paid a visit to Kuapa Kokoo in the Ashanti region of Ghana to familiarize themselves with the teleAgric concept.
About Root Capital
Root Capital, founded in 1999 by Willy Foote has been improving the lives of rural farmers by connecting them with the formal economy. They invest in the growth of agricultural enterprises so they can transform rural communities. These businesses purchase crops such as coffee, cocoa, or grains from thousands of smallholder farmers. They connect members to markets and help improve their farming practices.
Root Capital works in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia. They supply agricultural businesses with financial capital and training to help them grow. They have worked with more than 680 clients, representing 1.3 million farmers and their families and $4.5 billion in economic activity.
The Plant Village App
The Plant Village App is an artificial intelligent in a form of a mobile application that can be used to diagnose plant diseases and provide farmers with some insights/knowledge and best practices on how to eliminate the diseases and how to prevent their spread and to increase productivity.
The App was developed by the research and development unit of Penn State University in the United States of America.
In Ghana, Millennium Promise Alliance (MPA) has engaged with the developers of the App and obtained the necessary permission to deploy it as part of the TeleAgric Consultation Project it is undertaking in partnership with Kuapa Kokoo.
The Apps have therefore been loaded onto smartphones given to farmers of Kuapa Kokoo who for now are the sole beneficiaries of the TeleAgric Consultation project.
About the teleAgric Project
The TeleAgric project is a partnership between MPA and KKFU which thrives on leveraging the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to improve and promote innovative agricultural concepts to achieve food security and end poverty.
The TeleAgric project has set up a TeleAgric Centre to provide remote support to farmers.
The TeleAgric Centre will provide a technology-driven, climate-smart agricultural system to bridge the gap between cocoa farmers, agricultural inputs and technical extension services by providing timely information and advisory support to address the needs of farmers and improve cocoa productivity
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