Location and Size
Asunafo South District is located at the Southern part of the Brong Ahafo Region. The District shares common boundaries to the north with the Asunafo North Municipal, Juabeso District to the South-West, Sefwi-Wiawso District to the South-East, and Atwima Mponua District to the East.
The District lies between latitude 6010’ and 6045’ North and longitude 2045’ West and 0045’ East. It has a total area of 3737 km2.
Topography and Drainage
The District has a gently rolling landscape ranging between 500 feet to a little over 1000 feet above sea level. The topography is more rugged toward the south-western (Abuom area) parts of the District. Two main rivers, among several smaller streams, which are mainly seasonal in character, drain the district. River Tano runs along the eastern fringes of the district (Noberkaw and Dantano Areas). The other major river is the Sui River that drains Kwapong and Abuom areas.
Geology and Soils
Asunafo South District lies within the central part of the dissected plateau physiographic region of Ghana. The underlying rocks of the District’s topography are the Pre-cambiam, Birrimian and Tarkwaian formations. The major group, which covers the surface area of the district, is forest ochrosols.
The soils are highly coloured and contain great quantities of nutrients. They are generally alkaline and support many fruit trees including cocoa.
Predominant Soil Types
The characteristics of soils indicate distinct peculiarities and have important influence on the cropping pattern in the district. The main soil types are as follows:
Deeply weathered uniformly red to yellowish composed mainly of kaolinite clay (cemented through iron oxides). The absence of weatherable minerals, resulting from heavy leaching and weathering (down to 2 depth and more) implies that these soils are very poor in nutrients. Ferralsols normally have a high hydraulic conductivity and favourable aerobic conditions and are easily penetrable by roots. These characteristics are contrasted with low water holding capacity and poor nutrient status. Annual crops can be grown at great risk as they lead to rapid loss of organic matter and erosion. These soils are predominant all over the District.
They are waterlogged almost throughout the year. They exhibited sometimes under a thick organic layer, a friable, light coloured layer of clay that graduates into a water-impermeable stratum, where typical manganese concretions are found. The CEC is moderate and phosphorous and carbon contents are usually above average. These soils occur in depressions and plains and vary widely in character (mollic, plintic etc). Impermeable layers, anaerobic conditions and poor workability make it difficult to use Gleysols for agricultural purposes. Only shallow-rooting plants that tolerate water logging are suitable (oil palms, Napier grass, sao palms and others). Gleysols are often used as good grazing land. These soils occur mainly as dystric Gleysols (base saturation <50% relatively poor in nutrients) in the valleys of the Tano River.
The District experiences the Wet Semi-equatorial type of climate. The temperature of the district is uniformly high all year round with the hottest month being March with about 300 Celsius. The mean monthly temperature for the District is about 25.50 Celsius. The District experiences a double maximum rainfall with the mean annual rainfall ranging from 125cm to 175cm (50 inches to 70 inches). The major rains occur between April and July with the minor falling between September and October. There is a short dry spell in mid August before the prolonged dry season between November and March. The main farming (planting season) starts with the onset of the major seasons rains. The relative humidity of the District is highest in the wet season ranging from 75% to 80% while dry season gives the lowest range from 70% to 75%.
The District lies within the Semi-deciduous forest belt of Ghana. The forest contains large species of trees, some of which are Kyenkyen, Dahoma, Kusia/Öpepe, Penkwa/Sapele, Oprono/Apröküma, Emire and Onyina/Ceiba. These trees are highly valuable for the timber industry. Outside the forest reserve, the rapid expansion of the cocoa industry in the district has changed the original forest into a secondary type. Isolated cases of bushfires have also contributed to the change that has occurred to the original forest vegetation.
Population Distribution by Age & Sex
The population distribution by sex deviates from the national distribution with the male population constituting 50.2% and females 49.8%. The deviation is however in line with the regional figures and can be attributed to high male migrants to the District.
In the Asunafo South District, the population has been grouped into three broad economic groups: 0-14 years which constitute children, 15-64 years forming the working or economically active population and the 65 years old and above constituting the aged. The 15-64 age group has the largest proportion of the population of 52.4% indicating that high potential for labour force. This is followed by the 0-14 of 43.1% and necessitates the need to provide services to support the children. The 65 and above or the aged group constitute 4.5%. The above analysis shows an age dependency ratio of 1:0.9. That is every 10 people within the economically active population (15-64) takes care of 9 dependents; those in the age categories of 0-14 and 65+.
Rural-Urban Distribution of the Population
The district is rural in nature with 83% of the population living in rural settlements. The rest of the 17% of the population resides in urban areas. The rural dominance of the District population can be attributed to the predominance of the agricultural sector in the district. The implication of the above distribution is that there is less pressure on facilities in urban areas. In addition, unemployment has not been experienced to the same degree in urban areas compared with other districts of the region.
As indicated in the age distribution, 52.4% of the population falls within the economically active age group. Of the above, 50.1% of the potential labour force is male while the 49.9% constitute females. The economic dependency which relates to those working and those not working in the district is 1:1.33. This implies that, every hundred persons working take care of 133 persons who are not working. This rate is higher than the age dependency rate in that, there are people who are part of the labour force but are not really working. The implications are that, measures should be put in place to create more jobs for the people in the District.
Population Distribution by Economic Activity
The district is dominated by the agricultural sector employing about 61.7% of the working population. Indeed the agricultural sector in the district forms the backbone of the district economy which explains the dominance of the labour force in the agricultural sector. The service sector of the district economy trails the agricultural sector constituting 8.42%. Commerce sector constitutes 6.5% and industry (mainly agro and forestry based industries) constituting the 5.5%.
The agricultural sector is the mainstay of the local economy of the District and takes the greater percentage of the labour force amounting to 61.7 %. The sector is dominated by crop cultivation/production with Cocoa contributing about 80% of the total crop sub-sector activities. Other cash crops are oil palm and citrus and these together with food crop production constitute 20% of the crop sub-sector. Livestock rearing and fish farming (aquaculture) in earthen ponds howbeit on a lesser scale forms an integral part of the agricultural sector in the Asunafo South District.
Food crop production though not on a large scale compared to cash crops, forms an important part of the Crop Sub-Sector in the District. The growing of food crops is normally undertaken on subsistence level. Plantain production is a brisk business in the Asunafo South District due to a ready market for the commodity in the District. Other food crops that are grown in the District are Cassava, Cocoyam as well as Cereals and Grains including Maize and Rice. Rice production is picking up in the District due to the recent introduction of block farming which provided inputs on credit to farmers to cultivate rice in mostly valleys and swampy areas in the District.
Vegetables production especially cabbage, tomatoes, carrot, green pepper, chilli pepper, garden eggs are also produced in the District. Farmers along the stretches of the Tano River engage in dry season vegetables farming utilising small scale irrigation facilities. There is a large stretch of land along the Tano River which can be used for large scale irrigation purposes. Farmers along the bank of the Tano River are however not able to invest in large scale irrigation due to financial limitation.
|Table 1-Comparative Production Figures (2009-2010)|
|Crop||Area Cropped (Ha)||Average Yield (Mt/ha)||Production (Mt)|
|2009||2010||% Change||2009||2010||% Change||2009||2010||% Change|
Other Achievements in the crop sub-sector
The District has produced National Farmers’ Day Award winners on four consecutive times in the cocoa category from the year 2005 – 2008. The District has also produced Regional Award winners in plantain (2006 and 2009), cocoa (2007) and oil palm (2005).
The District has a high potential in culturing of fish in ponds especially in the swampy and low lying areas due to the extensive drainage pattern of the major rivers and streams. Currently the District has seventeen (17) ponds. The District Agricultural Development Unit has drawn up an extensive plan to revive the sector. This includes radio programmes on the importance of fishming as business.
Livestock Sub – Sector
Livestock production is less developed in the Asunafo South District. Farmers in the District engage in it mainly as minor occupation and on small scale basis. However, small ruminats such as sheep are reared on free range basis. Local poultry are common in almost every household on free range. Other livestock in the district farmers engage in include piggery and rabbitory.
Agricultural Programmes and Projects in the District
Table: 3 Programmes and Projects
|Programme / Project Name||Programme/Project Description||Duration||Partnering Organisation/ Funding Agency||Achievements||Status|
|Start Date||End Date|
|Root and Tuber Implementation and Marketing Programme (RTIMP)||
||20092009||20142014||World Bank / IFAD||15 Secondary Planting Material Multiplication sites Established700 Tertiary farmers supplied with planting materials
8 Farmer Field Fora established
20 Farmer Fora held in 5 communities
|Block Farming Programme||
||2010||_||Youth in Agric Programme||21 maize farmers cultivated 40 acres and 73 rice farmers cultivating 107 acres.||Current recovery rate (57.05%).Recovery on-going|
|Cocoa Hi-Tech Programme||
||2005||_||COCOBOD||Over 50,000 cocoa fertilizer supplied to farmers at subsidised prices since 2005.||On-going|
|Cocoa Livelihood Programme / Sustainable Tree Crop Programme||ICPM Training through Farmer Field Schools and Video Viewing Clubs||2009||2014||IITA/World Cocoa Foundation||450 cocoa farmers trained and supplied with cocoa seedlings.||On-going|
Potentials are latent resources in the district which are capable of promoting development in the district when tapped and used efficiently. The District’s resources potential have been categorised into natural, human, institutional and infrastructure. The derived potential within each of these categories were further classified into first and second levels as shown in the table below.
Table 4: List of Basic and Derived Potentials in the Asunafo South District
|Basic Potential||First Level||Second level|
|Natural Potentials||Vast and fertile arable land||Expansion of crops||Agro-processing|
|Water resources||Irrigation||Large scale vegetable production|
|Tree species||woodlot||Charcoal production|
|Timber species||Commercial logging||Wood processing industries|
|Natural and historical features||Development of tourist sites||Tourism|
|Double maxima rainy season||Two cropping seasons||Improved crop production|
|Adequate sunshine||Solar energy||Development of cottage industries|
|Institutional Potentials||Agricultural Development Unit, MOFA||Capacity for Agric programme formulation and implementation||Coordination of agric programmes and projects|
|District Assembly||Capacity for local administration||Coordination of local development|
|Decentralised departments||Capacity for local administration||Implementation of local level development|
|Traditional authorities||Leadership||Community mobilisation|
|Financial Institutions||Credit facilities||Increased economic activity|
|Cooperatives||Organised informal sector||Development of small scale industries|
|Police Service||Maintenance of law and order||Peace and security|
|Human Resource Potentials||Farmers||Maximisation of crop and livestock production||Agro-based rural industrialisation|
|Business men||Private sector development||Increased economic activities|
|Migrant/youth labour||Huge agricultural labour||Expanded agric productivity|
|Infrastructural potentials||Educational facilities||Literacy||Skilled labour|
|Health facilities||Effective health delivery||Healthy population|
|Water system||Potable water||Low incidence of water-borne diseases|
|Hotels||Accommodation for tourist and guest||Development of tourism|
|High ways||Easy movement of goods and services||Enhance social and economic activities|
|Feeder roads||Enhance social and economic linkages||Agricultural development|
|Electricity||Effective energy supply||Enhance social and economic activities, rural industrialization|
|Markets||Trade avenues||Improve in incomes|
|Post & Telecommunication||Communication network||Business and social links|
Table 5: Analysis of Potentials and Opportunities
|Increasing returns from Agriculture||
|Reducing post harvest losses||
|Irrigation forall year roundfarming||