Over 100 smallholder farmers living along the Sui River enclave in the Western North Region have received training from the International Non-Governmental Organisation, Rainforest Alliance on how to utilise a smartphone application to plant, own, and monitor trees within the forest area.
The smartphone application, known as the “Hybrid Community-based Monitoring System” (HCMS), is now accessible on the Android operating system and allows farmers to keep track of the trees planted on their farms as well as track their growth.
Additionally, it will assist the local community and smallholder farmers in maintaining biodiversity preservation efforts, enhancing climate resilience, and lowering emissions caused by changes in land use in the Sui Landscape along the Sui River enclave.
Alvin Adu-Asare, Senior Associate in charge of Monitoring and Evaluation at Rainforest Alliance, stated that tree registration formed part of the projects being implemented by the organisation in the region and that the tool was to help the farmers have well-documented data on the trees after six months of piloting.
He stated that it had been noticed that majority of the farmers who had planted trees as part of the reforestation initiative on their cocoa fields were unable to provide any documentation proving their ownership of such trees.
“We felt that it was important to bring in a digitalised system so that the farmers themselves can go out there and collect the data in a very simplified and seamless way.
“Once the data is collected, it can be stored in the cloud server and displayed on a dashboard on the internet and everyone can have access to it,” he said.
“HCMS will have the rigour to support communities to monitor forest and landscape performance in a way that is science-driven, credible, user-friendly and guarantees the integrity of data and will serve as a motivation for community involvement and the business model for investment,” he explained.
The app was funded by the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs through the ISEAL technology fund.