Asunafo North Municipal is one of the 22 Municipal/Districts in the BrongAhafo Region of Ghana. The Municipality was carved out of the then Asunafo District in 2004. Due to multiplicity of functions as a result of urbanization and its consequent need for infrastructural development, the district was declared a municipality in 2008. The municipal capital, Goaso is located about 85km away from Sunyani, the Regional Capital.
LAND TENURE SYSTEM:
Usufruct system of land tenure is common in the municipality. Ownership of land is vested in the stool or chief who holds the land in trust. Individual families have use right of parcels of land, but have no right to dispose them. Immigrant farmers usually obtain farm land by providing wine “drinks” (usually in cast) to the head of the family or chief “by the Abunu” or “Abusa” system.
PHYSICAL AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT:
LOCATION AND SIZE:
The municipality is located between latitudes 6° 27’ N and 700 N and longitude 2.52°w. It shares boundaries with Asutifi district in the North-East, Dormaa municipality on the North West and JuabosoBia and Sefwi-Wiaso District in the Western Region on the South West and Asunafosouth district in the BrongAhafo Region on the Southern-Eastern borders.
The municipality covers a total land area of 1,093.7km², constituting about 2.76% of the Regional land area.
TOPOGRAPHY AND DRAINAGE:
The land is generally undulating with 132.9 metres and 425.8 metres as the minimum and maximum points of elevation respectively. The topography is more ruggered towards the North-Eastern (Mim area) and South-Western (Abuom). There are two main rivers among several other streams in the municipality. The major rivers in the municipality are rivers Goa and Ayum.
GEOLOGY AND SOIL:
Asunafo North Municipal lies within the central part of the forest-dissected plateau of the physiographic Region of Ghana. There are different types of rocks in the district; these include the precambianBirimian and Tawaian formations.
The soil is characteristically forest ochrosols and small patch of rubisols- ochrosolintegrate running in a South Western direction. It is reddish clay in the hill-tops changing to dark brown or grayish sandy loam in the low land areas.
Asunafo North Municipal experiences the wet-semi-equitional type of climate; the principal characteristics are discussed under Temperature, Rainfall and Relative humidity.
The temperature of the district is uniformly high all year round with the hottest month being March where about 30°C have been recorded. The mean monthly temperature for the district is about 25.5°C.
The district experiences a double maxima rainfall pattern with the mean annual rainfall roughly between 125cm and 175cm (50” – 70”). The major rains occur between April and July with the minor falling between September and October. There is a short dry season between November and March.
The main planting season starts with the onset of the major rains.
The relative humidity of the district is highest on the wet season ranging between 75% – 80% while the dry season gives the lowest range between 20 – 35%.
The dominant vegetation type is the semi-deciduous forest occupying about 578.63sq km. The vegetation is characterized by tall trees with evergreen undergrowth and has abundant economic trees such as Kyenkyen, Dahoma, Kusia, Sapale, Odum, Aprokuma, Emire and Onyina/Ceiba. These trees are highly valuable for the timber industry. There are five forest reserves in the municipality. These forest reserves and their coverage in square kilometers are Abonyere Reserve 41.18km², Bonsambepo 135.9km², Ayum Reserve 112.85km² and Bonkoni reserve 108.56km².
The incidence of bush fires in the municipality is occasional and very minimal. Of late, illegal gold mining (Galamsay) is gaining grounds and poses a threat to the land and water sources. Timber logging, especially the activities of chain saw operators depletes the economic timber species in the municipality. Indiscriminate disposal of plastic waste especially satchet water containers poses environmental problems.
The municipality is blessed with several rivers and streams thus Ayum and Goa are sources of water to many communities. Goaso, Mim and Akrodie have pipe borne water. Several communities in the municipality have access to borehole and hand dug wells fitted with pumps.
Age and Sex Distribution of the Population:
The municipality has a population of about 130,502 (2010 projections) and a population density of 79.5 persons per square kilometer. The population is made up of about 51% female and 49% males with a growth rate of 2.6% per annum. The predominant ethnic group is the Akan. However, other tubes such as Ewes, Ga-Adangbes and those of Northern extraditions are also present.
The population is heavily within the ages of 0 – 34 years. The labour force constitutes 53.3% of the population in the municipality, with the dependent population constituting 46.7 parent. There is the need for the provision of adequate job avenues to meet the needs of the labour force.
The major farming practice in the municipality is mixed cropping which is about 81%. This is followed by plantation farming which is 15% with only 4% mono-cropping.
Cropping pattern is closely related to the climatic and vegetation formation of the district. Arable cropping is generally integrated with plantain and cocoyam which provides temporal shade for the cocoa which remains the permanent occupant of the land.
In other farms, maize is mono-cropped initially but midway in the season, the farm is intercropped with cassava, plantain, cocoyam, vegetables etc. After harvest, the land is fallowed for re-growth into secondary forest.
Cocoa, plantain, cocoyam, rice, maize and cassava are the principal food crops grown in the municipality. Other cash crops planted include oil palm, cocoa, coffee, citrus, ginger, avocado, sugar cane, pineapple, okra, pepper, cabbage, carrots etc. However, peasant farmers also plant as mixed stands with other food crops.
|Comparative Production Figures (2009-2010)|
|Crop||Area Cropped (Ha)||Average Yield (Mt/ha)||Production (Mt)|
|2009||2010||% Change||2009||2010||% Change||2009||2010||% Change|
Fertilizer is used mainly on vegetable but of late cocoa has been included as one of the major users of fertilizer under the cocoa Hi-Tech programme. Fertilizers are also used in maize under the block farming programme.
Pest and Diseases Control:
The common pest and diseases are capsids, blackpod and swollen shoot on cocoa, stem borer in maize, leave eating caterpillars on vegetables, root attack on rice.
The Mass cocoa spraying exercise controlled capsids and blackpod whilst the identification, detection and replanting controlled swollen shoot infested farms.Farmers are also educated on various methods of control of crop pests and diseases by Agricultural Extension Agents of MOFA.
The district abounds in small scale fish pond farming which normally occurs in Swampy and low lying areas, due to the extensive drainage pattern of major rivers and streams. Fish ponds are stocked with low prolific species and productivity per pond per year in very low (1.7 tons). Activities under this sub-sector have been quite poor. Out of 140 fish ponds constructed in the 80’s only 25 are functional.Wrong sitting of ponds has been the major setback.
Cattle rearing are of late assuming significance. Cattle reared in the district are small herds of local breed such as the West African Short horn, Gudali and Sanga.
Sheep and goats are reared almost in every village and usually under free range system. Commercial poultry rearing is ongoing and confined mainly to the big towns such as Mim and Goaso. Peasant farmers also keep some local fowls on free range system in almost every household.
Pigs, rabbit and grasscutter rearing are fast receiving attention of most people due to intensive campaign by MOFA staffs to get them involved.
There is a steady growth in the livestock and greater opportunities exist in the small ruminants and poultry sectors.
Animal Health Care
The common pests and diseases of livestock and poultry in the municipality include:
1. Cattle: Mastitis, CBPP and worm infestation
2. Poultry: New castle, Gumboro, Fowl Pox and Coccidiosis
3. Sheep/Goats: PPR, Mange and Foot rot
4. Rabbits: Ear Canker and Coccidiosis
5. Pigs: Worms, Ecto-parasitism
Enough measures have been instituted to advice farmers on diseases and pest control, prevention and treatment to their animals. Likewise domestic pets are also covered under vaccinations and other programmes.
SUSTAINABLE TREE CROP PROGRAMME:
The sustainable tree crops programme started in 2009 and shall end in 2014.
The programme aims at mobilizing and sensitizing communities in the Asunafo North for the implementation of the cocoa livelihood programme (CLP) funded by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and the Bill and Mellinda Gates Foundation.
A total of 20 communities have been mobilized and benefited from the programme in 2009 and 2010.
A total of 526 farmers are undergoing direct training while 1,015 are being trained indirectly through farmer to farmer diffusion. 20 Farmers have been trained as community facilitators for the running of farmer field schools.
Farmers have been assisted by the programme to assess 213,082 hybrid cocoa seedlings, 12,830 trees seedlings and 1,334 bundles of cassava planting materials in 2010.
CADBURY COCOA PARTNERSHIP PROJECT (CCP) – 2008 – 2018
Ghana has been a major source of quality cocoa for Cadbury for over the years. Given that Cadbury has a strategy and economic interest in Ghana’s cocoa industry, Cadbury is investing £30 million over a ten year period onto the Cadbury cocoa partnership programme in Ghana in order to help address challenges facing the cocoa industry.
The governing objective is; cocoa communities empowered to take leadership in meeting their long term goals and delivering sustainable cocoa production. The Cadbury cocoa partnership is expected to meet this objective by 2018.
The Cadbury cocoa partnership in Ghana will focus resources into four strategic themes and four other cross cutting themes.
The strategic themes are;
- Sustainable livelihood from cocoa
- Sustainable livelihood from other means
- Community centered development, and
- Institutional engagement
The cross cutting themes are;
- Addressing HIV/AIDS
- Addressing the worse forms of child labour and trafficking
- Biodiversity conservation and environmental sustainability
- Increasing women empowerment and addressing diversity issues.
CARE (Gulf of Guinea) is in collaboration with MADU are to implement mini community projects and cocoa extension programme of COCOBOD under the Cudbury cocoa partnership in 17 communities within the municipality. The programme started in 2008 and is expected to end in 2018.
Activities undertaken by MOFA (MADU) staff are to:
- Facilitate and organize farmers into groups
- Fellow up with projects undertaken by CARE in the allocated 17 communities
- Compile monthly reports on activities within the communities
- Monitor action plans drawn by each communities
- Educate and train farmers on other farming activities apart from cocoa, livelihood and income generating activities.
ROOT AND TUBER IMPROVEMENT AND MARKETING PROGRAMME (RTIMP)
The Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme (RTIMP) is a follow up to the Root and Tuber Improvement Programme (RTIP) which was implemented over 1999 to 2005. RTIMP is being sponsored by IFAD for 8 years and it is to be implemented across 60 districts between January 2006 and 2014.
The goal of the RTIMP project is to enhance income and food security to improve livelihoods of the rural poor and will seek to build a market base system to ensure profitability at all levels of the value chain.
The municipality started the implementation of the programme in 2007. Programme implemented over the years included;
Farmer Field Fora (FFF)(COCOYAM)
MADU – Asunafo North (RTIMP)
Secondary Multiplication Fields
|No. of Farmers||
MADU-Asunafo North (RTIMP)
Tertiary Distribution of Cassava Planting Materials
|No. of Farmers||
Cassava processing sites are located at Aduroye, Bediako, Daudakrom, and Nyankomago. Farmers in these communities have been organized into processing groups to process cassava into gari and cassava dough taking advantage of the increased cassava production.
YOUTH IN AGRICULTURE PROGRAMME:
The programme began in 2009 and aims at providing employment to the youth and building a buffer stock for food security.
The programme implementation in Asunafo North began in 2010. 92 farmers benefited and out of the number 45 farmers went into rice cultivation and 47 into maize.
A total of 138 acres (i.e. 55.2ha) of land was cultivated out of which 85 acres (34ha) went into maize cultivation and 53 acres (21.2ha) went into maize.
COCOA DISEASES AND PESTS CONTROL PROJECT (CODAPEC)
Cocoa Diseases and Pests Control Project (CODAPEC) started in June, 2002. The municipal has a total of 194 spraying gangs. Each gang has 11 workers, which is 1 Supervisor and 10 gang members. Total number of workers is 2,134.
No. of farmers covered = 14,901
No. of farms covered = 14,925
Hectares of farms covered = 57,010ha.
No. of farmers covered = 14,901
No. of farms covered = 14,963
Hectares of farms covered = 58,200ha
No. of farmers = 15,320
No. of farms = 15,624
Hectares of farms = 66,302ha
Fungicides used in the spraying of farms are
1. Ridomil 7.Nordox
Several opportunities exist for Agricultural business in the municipality. The soil which is suitable for cocoa cultivation can also support other tree crops such as oil palm, citrus and cola. Large scale production of plantain, rice, cassava, cashew and vegetables can be stepped-up through improved planting materials, controlled pests and diseases in the field and in storage.
Vegetable gardening can be undertaken in the wet areas and valley bottoms during the dry season. There is no irrigation even though there are larger tracts of land potential for this facility.
II. Palm oil Extraction:
Oil Palm covers about 2,659ha land in the municipality with production capacity at 32,560 metric tons annually.
The municipality’s vast oil palm plantation provides great potential for the establishment of large scale and medium scale processing industries for palm oil and palm kernel oil.
Presently, there are a number of small scale oil palm extraction industries with a very low production capacity. Production is therefore below the local and foreign demand of the product.
The municipality has some natural resources of scenic value. For instance the “MimBour” and white necked Rock fowl, which are two main tourist attractions.