Better chocolate with mobile technology

November 8, 2018 by David Bradley, Inderscience
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Smart farming uses technology to access real-time information on crop yields and soil-mapping, fertiliser application, weather data, and intelligent assessment and so improve agricultural efficiency and crop yields. However, for some economies, there remains a huge gap between farmer and app, as it were. For those valuable commodity products such as cocoa and coffee beans, the mobile technology revolution is yet to reach the farm in anything but the most superficial way.

Researchers in Canada, writing in the International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics, highlight how that gap might be narrowed specifically for bean growers in Ghana. Ultimately, their research could help farmers find ways to use smartphones to access agronomic information on cocoa management, carry out self-assessment exercises on cocoa pod infestation, as well as perform stock analyses of their produce. They also suggest that technology could open up a crowd-sourcing forum for farmers to discuss issues and problems.

The team has already shown the farmers would be receptive to such technology having obtained positive feedback in most cases from 32 cocoa producers with regard to the concept of a forum and all of them were keen to use an app that could help them improve cocoa production. The team hopes that the success of their research will push stakeholders and policymakers to improve smart agriculture in Ghana where the government is yet to invest in technology in the way that has happened in advanced nations.

Explore further: Video: How chemistry can improve bargain hot cocoa

More information: Richard K. Lomotey et al. Mobile technology for smart agriculture: deployment case for cocoa production, International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics (2018). DOI: 10.1504/IJSAMI.2018.094810

Related Stories

Better cocoa crops for better livelihoods

October 31, 2018

Chocolate may be one of life's little pleasures, but in Ghana, for many, it is the very means of life. Around 800,000 households, smallholdings effectively, make their way by cultivating cocoa, and many more are involved ...

Recommended for you

In small groups, people follow high-performing leaders

February 21, 2019

While the "wisdom of the crowd" shapes the behavior of large groups of people, less is known about small-group dynamics and how individuals interact to make decisions, particularly when it comes to the emergence of leaders, ...

Researchers make coldest quantum gas of molecules

February 21, 2019

JILA researchers have made a long-lived, record-cold gas of molecules that follow the wave patterns of quantum mechanics instead of the strictly particle nature of ordinary classical physics. The creation of this gas boosts ...

Sculpting stable structures in pure liquids

February 21, 2019

Oscillating flow and light pulses can be used to create reconfigurable architecture in liquid crystals. Materials scientists can carefully engineer concerted microfluidic flows and localized optothermal fields to achieve ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.