FSC RE­CEIVES GPS EQUIP­MENT FROM SPC-EU FAIR­TRADE PROJECT

Fiji Sun - - Business - Source: SPC-EU

A set of 29 Global Po­si­tion­ing Sys­tems (GPS) hand­held de­vices have been handed over to the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) un­der the Euro­pean Union (EU) funded Fair­trade As­so­ci­a­tions Ca­pac­ity Build­ing and Farm Ad­vi­sory Ser­vices Sup­port Project, which is be­ing im­ple­mented by the Pa­cific Com­mu­nity (SPC).

The SPC-EU Fair­trade project is work­ing to sup­port the Fiji sugar in­dus­try to im­prove farm ad­vi­sory ser­vices.

The GPS equip­ment will be used to col­lect farm in­for­ma­tion to im­prove plan­ning and de­ci­sion mak­ing, cane pro­duc­tion in or­der to in­crease sugar sales in the global mar­ket. The GPS de­vices will al­low the use of Ge­o­graphic In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems (GIS) as a man­age­ment tool in sug­ar­cane pro­duc­tion by map­ping of relevant data.

The GPS data will feed into the Field In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem (FIS), cur­rently be­ing de­vel­oped un­der a con­tract with IT Galax Solutions and is planned to “go live” in Oc­to­ber 2018.

The FIS is a web ap­pli­ca­tion linked to a data­base with in­for­ma­tion on cane grow­ers and farms.

The FIS al­lows in­putting and re­triev­ing of in­di­vid­ual grower and farm re­lated in­for­ma­tion and thereby im­proves ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion.

Once up and run­ning, the ap­pli­ca­tion can be ac­cessed by the FSC field teams and man­age­ment staff, as well as other sugar in­dus­try part­ners.

The FIS will con­tain data on grow­ers’ field in­for­ma­tion (in­clud­ing pre-crush es­ti­mates, targets and achieve­ments, drainage, soil and leaf tests and me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal data) and will pro­vide a GIS in­ter­face for GIS data.

It will also as­sist with yield man­age­ment and har­vest plan­ning.

Three train­ing ses­sions on the use of the GPS hand­held de­vices took place in Lau­toka and Labasa from 14-16 May, 2018. The 14 May train­ing tar­geted IT staff from FSC and the Min­istry of Sugar In­dus­try (MoSI). It cov­ered the use of soft­ware for pro­cess­ing GPS co­or­di­nates taken by the field staff, and map­ping of the data.

The 15 and 16 May train­ing ses­sions tar­geted FSC and Sugar Cane Grow­ers Coun­cil (SCGC) field teams on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. These were prac­ti­cal and the­o­ret­i­cal train­ing ses­sions on GIS and the use of the GPS de­vices.

In ad­di­tion to the GPS de­vices, six lap­tops and a pro­jec­tor were also pur­chased through the sup­port of the Fair­trade project. These were handed over to the SCGC to im­prove their ser­vice de­liv­ery to cane farm­ers.

The pro­jec­tor will sup­port train­ing while the lap­tops will sup­port the work of the dis­trict field staff.

Back­ground:

The Fair­trade Farm Ad­vi­sory Ser­vices Project is one of sev­eral projects im­ple­mented by SPC and fi­nanced by the EU in Fiji’s sug­ar­cane belt. These projects are linked to the EU’s Ac­com­pa­ny­ing Mea­sures for Sugar Pro­to­col (AMSP) pro­gramme and aim to help strengthen ru­ral sugar-in­come de­pen­dent com­mu­ni­ties in re­sponse to the EU’s Sugar Price Re­form and the ad­verse con­di­tions in the sugar in­dus­try.

The AMSP pro­gramme is de­signed to im­prove the liveli­hoods of sug­ar­cane de­pen­dent pop­u­la­tions, in­crease in­come and re­duce poverty.

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