Socfinco uses satellite imagery to find sites for plantations in Ghana

Socfinco is a subsidiary of the Belgian-Luxembourg Socfin Group that manages and operates tropical plantations, mainly for rubber and palm oil. Socfinco uses satellite imagery to find interesting sites for new agricultural and forestry projects. GIM was commissioned to carry out the image analysis activities.

The challenge

Socfinco wanted to set up new projects in Ghana which would combine agriculture, palm oil production and nature conservation. However, finding suitable sites for such projects proved a challenging task. Analyzing satellite images provided the insight required.

The solution

GIM used a digital elevation model to analyze the topography of the area. This provides a clear picture of the slope of the terrain, for example. This is important since a steep slope will limit the possibilities for planting crops or the operator will need to carry out infrastructure works first of all, e.g. for terraces.

Socfinco defined a series of specific land use/land cover classes (LULC). GIM collected very high resolution satellite images as a starting point for extraction and then applied object-oriented image analysis techniques (OBIA) within the eCognition application.

The result

GIM incorporated all the data in a customized map which Socfinco can now use to select potential sites for new plantations and to design their layout and any associated infrastructure works required (e.g. building terraces).  

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Socfinco uses satellite imagery for plantations in Ghana

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