The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) in liaison with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) conducted a training for Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation and Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Aburi, Ghana between January 4 and 15, 2021. A total of 29 participants (23 Males and six Females) drawn from different departments of the participating ministries were in attendance.
Ghana's MOFA PPMED Deputy Director, Mr. Patrick Ofori, and Ms. Angela Too (RCMRD) made opening remarks. Mr. David Ongo of RCMRD also trained the participants. This was the third training in a series of trainings lined up under the AGRA project. The training covered Advanced GIS, introduction to remote sensing for Agriculture and a recap of an online training previously done. This training was setting a tone for subsequent trainings that would enhance the capacity of the ministries in the application of Earth Observation in Agriculture. The goal in this training was to equip the participants and encourage the use of geospatial technologies in improving agricultural reporting and integration of agricultural data into a central database for policy and evidence-based decision making.
The training session methodology was structured to take fourteen days and was based on enabling the use of customized manuals using country data sets for ease of understanding. The two-week training encompassed a slightly advanced GIS Analysis and introduction to Remote Sensing. The training module was structured to enable participants from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to convert any spatial data they have into geospatial format complete with metadata, design and manage databases and finally source for and process medium resolution satellite imagery for monitoring purposes. The participants were introduced to statistical analysis using earth observation data that can also be utilized in monitoring climatic trends, vegetation vigor and drought monitoring. In addition, participants were taken through the art of map making.
As part of the program support, two laptops we handed over to the MOFA PPMED deputy director, this is part of the continuous equipping of the ministry through provision of efficient equipment for the processing of Earth Observation data
Figure 1: The handing over of the laptops to the MOFA team
The RCMRD team further paid a courtesy call to the AGRA country office and we were received by the Regional Head, Mr. Forster Boateng. Where the RCMRD team gave him a brief on the status of the project which the country project appreciated.
Figure 2: Brief meeting in AGRA office with Mr. forester, accompanied by Patrick Ofori from MOFA
The participants had a positive feedback on the training and said they would utilize the skills gained in their daily reports. The facilitators also promised to give a follow up training on remote sensing as this was an introduction. Participants noted that the two weeks training gave enough time to cover all topics and exercises on time. They also recommended that field work exercise be included in the next training on remote sensing in order to have in-depth understanding of image interpretation. One of the main challenges observed was that the proportion of women to men was too low.
Figure 3: Group photo of the Training Participants
The RCMRD team further discussed with Mr. Boateng on possibilities of working together at the Tree Crops Development Authority which he will heading from March 2021. The team also agreed on conducting a follow up training on the use of RS for specific agricultural themes.