A workshop on mobile app technology training known as Chain of Human Intelligence: Towards Efficiency and Equity in Agro-Food Trade Along the Trans-Africa Highway [CHEETAH] has been organized for journalists in Accra.
The workshop, which brought journalists from Kumasi and Accra, was aimed at equipping participants with the requisite knowledge in using the Apps developed on their phones to help check some of the trade barriers within the West-African sub-region.
The CHEETAH platform was developed by Ujuizi Laboratories, in collaboration with Borderless Alliance, to harness the power of crowd-sourcing and the potential growth of mobile technology.
Crowd-sourcing, according to the workshop, is gathering of needed information by soliciting contributions from a large group of people; and it is a viable method of gathering, otherwise-lost valuable information from participants.
The CHEETAH platform, which was implemented on a pilot bases on the Accra – Ouagadougou corridor, has already engaged about 200 truck drivers, aiming at curbing the high incidence of corruption and road barriers.
It also helped in reducing Post Harvest Losses [PHLs] farmers face after harvesting through the engagement. In addition, journalists were made to believe that CHEETAH could trace post-harvest losses and reveal the sources of these losses by combining new information from vehicle and human-centric sensing system.
According to the workshop, a study conducted by the group indicated that Ghana alone has an annual infrastructural deficit of US$2billion and the proposed Trans-Africa highway project, is estimated to cost US$4.5 billion to construct and additional annual maintenance cost of US$33 million.
To address some of these changes, CHEETAH ICT platform would have to consist of two components viz, food intelligence dubbed CHEETAH Food, which includes post harvest perishable crops through transport, and displays of this information to users of the app to increase awareness of Post Harvest Losses (PHLs).
Also, CHEETAH Infra collects data on road conditions and shares it with fellow road users to be used to enhance the accuracy of post harvest loss information as cargos are transported over rough roads which generally worsens quicker.
In a brief interview with The Republic after the training workshop in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ujuizi Labs from Netherlands, Mr. Valentine Venus, disclosed that drivers and farmers are currently undergoing training in the use of the mobile app.
He added that the already created platform for these trainees would increase the knowledge of users in the value chain and be able to report any anomaly seen or corruption that takes place along the roads.
He averred that currently the sub-region records loss of over USD 48 billion due to post harvest losses, revealing that there would be strong brain of value chain, and through CHEETAH some of the challenges will be taken care of.