Ghana Weekly Digest

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YouthMappers Engage with Soy Value Chain through Immersive Field Data Collection

Students from the YouthMappers UCC chapter collecting data at Vester Oil Mills, a soybean processor near Kumasi, Ghana. Image credit: YouthMappers 

Notes from the Field: YouthMappers Engage with Soy Value Chain through Immersive Field Data Collection

SIL is collaborating with USAID’S YouthMappers on a student project to generate geographical information systems (GIS) data on the spatial configuration of key installations within the soybean value chain in and around Kumasi, Ghana. Students from the YouthMappers chapter at the University of Cape Coast conducted field research to collect spatial data and information about soybean processing and storage facilities in the Kumasi area. The students learned how to use GIS tools such as KoboCollect, developed and fielded quantitative and qualitative surveys of facility managers, and collected data on how soy is aggregated, purchased, stored, processed and shipped in the region. These data contribute to SIL’s research focused on the spatial and value chain economics of the Ghanaian soybean complex.

YouthMappers is a consortium of university chapters dedicated to the use of GIS data to better understand issues in regions of extreme poverty where USAID works. Through the collaboration with SIL, YouthMappers students gained valuable knowledge and technical skills related to their study of the soybean value chain in Ghana. Read below excerpts from blogs written by the YouthMappers students about their collaboration with SIL.

“The answers provided by our respondent were quite interesting. For an agricultural based country like Ghana, we were surprised to learn about the challenges our first respondent faced when he tries to acquire soybean from the local farmers, transport the produce and market it. This field work has given the team an insight to a gap in the agricultural sector which we couldn’t have known about before, and met processors and managers in Kumasi and Sunyani which we wouldn’t have before.”
Kwame Odame, Gladys Adjei and Kingsley Kanji | Read the rest of the blog.

“Meeting farmers and processors was a great encounter, and the warm welcome of most of them was great. It was amazing listening to the responses from poultry farmers and processors alike. Once we were in the field, we realized that despite our education on the soybean industry, a great deal of information is still out there in the lives of people waiting to be garnered. With every interview, we added another piece to the puzzle and the overall picture got clearer.”
Faustina Lina Yebooah, Anthony Acquah and Daniel Osei | Read the rest of the blog.

“The major challenges facing the value chain are the lack of storage facilities, inadequate capital with little help from the financial institutions, and poor road networks. However, as students, we believe that the soy industry has the capacity to boost our economy as a country, with its high nutritional benefits to keep us healthy and also as an opportunity to create employment for the youth.”
Bert Manieson, Sabina Abuga and Francis Debrah | Read the rest of the blog.

“The most amazing part of the KoBo Toolbox is its ability to generate descriptive statistics of the field data collected, which is something that isn’t possible with paper and pen data collection. This saved our team a considerable amount of time and data processing resources We transcribed the audio recordings that were collected from survey respondents in the field to provide a more complete picture of our GIS data, including the reasons why the respondents ran their operations as they did, their experiences running their operations at their facilities and more.”
Ebenezer Boateng, Confidence Kpodo and Godfred Eshun Afful | Read the rest of the blog.

Read more SIL Notes from the Field.

SIL's Notes from the Field blogs are designed to provide our audience with an up-close look at the researchers, collaborators, and communities that SIL is engaging with to improve the soybean value chain in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

August 23, 2018  -  Source: Soybean Innovation Lab's Weekly Digest Volume 4 Issue 21 August 23rd, 2018