Since 2009, about fifteen GPS Surveyors travel by motorbike throughout the Ghana cocoa belt to map all Abrabopa association members. They use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to gain specific coordinates for farms coupled with the Geographic Information System (GIS). The connection between GPS and GIS makes it possible that the association can assure for instance conformity to its conservation plan because overlap with protected areas will be measured.
The purpose of mapping, demarcation and plotting is:
1. Field coordinates to measure exact farm surface;
2. Creation of farm plan and tackling issues related to land tenure;
3. View exact location of the farm on a local/national map;
4. View group and cluster density in a particular area;
5. View the farm in combination with infrastructure, protected areas, rainfall and soil structures;
6. Tool to monitor staff in combination with the GPS device on their vehicles.
By early 2013 more than 16.000 farmers have obtained their own farm plan through the associations’ surveyors; we aim to map all members before end of this year. With the help of GPS the farm size is professional measured and mapped. Demarcation is done to assess production of cocoa, control of Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) and traceability on producer level >for certification reasons. Member farmers are offered GPS plotting of their farms onto a base map of Ghana. At that moment the farm plan can be assured by a licensed surveyor and becomes official. These farm plans can be used as collateral at banks. It is a very effective way to protect farms against land litigation, thus creating stability in a farmer’s life.