Nkoranza North
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INTRODUCTION
Nkoranza North is one of the twenty-two newly created districts under the Legislative Instrument 1881 of 2007 and was officially inaugurated by the Government of Ghana in 2008. The district was carved out of the Nkoranza district.

DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
AGE AND SEX COMPOSITION

Nkoranza North District’s population is largely youthful with the economically active population of 18 – 64 years constituting 60.4%; age group of 0 – 18 years accounts for 36.4% whilst 3.2% of the population is 65 years and above. This shows an average dependency ratio of 1:0.7 (i.e.100:70) which is less than the regional dependency ratio of 100:90.5 and the national figure of 100:87.1.This implies that for every 100 persons in the productive age 70 persons provide support for the development of the District. This further means that there is a potential labour force for agriculture in the District.

The population structure of the District shows that 49.5% of the total population is male whilst 50.5% are females giving a male-female ratio of 1:1.02 which conforms to the regional sex ratio of 1:1.008.

AGE DISTRIBUTION IN NKORANZA NORTH DISTRICT

Age Group Percentage Number of People
0 – 18 36.4%
19 – 64 60.4%
65 and above 3.2%

POPULATION SIZE AND GROWTH

The population density in the district is 32.8 people per square kilometre, which is less than the regional population density of 45.9 persons per square kilometre and the national figure of 49.3 persons per kilometre.

PHYSICAL AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
LOCATION AND SIZE

The District lies within longitude 10 10’ and 10 55 west, and latitudes 70 20’ and 70 55’ North. The District shares boundaries with Kintampo South and Pru Districts to the north, Nkoranza South District to the south, Atebubu Amantin District to the east and Techiman Municipality to the west.

Busunya the district capital is 19.2 km from Nkoranza.  Relatively big towns like Dromankese, Bonte, Yefri, Dromankuma, Fiema, Kranka, Konkompe, Bono Manso, Odumase, Pinihini, Senya and Sikaa are far from the district capital.

Nkoranza North District has a total land area of 2,322 square kilometers about 7.84% of the total land area of Brong Ahafo region and about 1.3% of the country’s land area.

There are only two (2) urban settlements – the District capital, Busunya (9,243) and Dromankese (8,582) – which constitute the central business communities. The rest of the communities with population less than 5,000 people are rural and make up 97.2% of the total settlement.

TOPOGRAPHY AND DRAINAGE
Generally, the District is low lying and rises gradually from 153m – 305m above sea level. The District is fairly drained by several rivers and streams, notably the Pru, Tankor, Fanku, Abubre and Agyinfra.

They take their sources from the north-west portion of the District flowing to the south and north –west. Most of them are perennial due to the double maxima rainfall experienced in the district.

Ground water potential in the district is highly variable. Much depends on the nature of the underlying rock formations and rainfall. The present combination of the lack of water storage in the wet season, heavy run-off, high evaporation and low infiltration rates to change aquifers in some areas contribute to water deficiencies hampering human settlements and increased agricultural production.

GEOLOGY AND SOILS
The District is largely characterized by soils developed over voltaic sand stones. This geological feature together with vegetation influences and gives rise to two soil categories. One category develops under forest vegetation and the other under savanna vegetation. The District’s soils are mostly savanna ochrosols with some lithosols. The land is generally low lying and most of the soils are sandy loam and loamy.

These soil types which are fairly rich in nutrients tend to support both industrial and food crops which include cashew, mango, oil palm, citrus, maize, yam, groundnuts, cowpea, cocoyam, plantain, cassava, water melon and vegetables. Cotton and tobacco also grow within some parts of the District.

CLIMATE AND VEGETATION
Nkoranza North District is found within the Wet Semi-Equatorial region with a double maxima rainfall system. The mean annual rainfall ranges between 800mm and 1200mm. The first rain season (major season) normally begins from March to June, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in June whilst the second rainy season (minor season) is from August to November although the month of August experiences a short dry spell. The dry season starts in December and end in March. The temperature in the District is generally high averagely about 260C throughout the year. Average maximum temperature is 30.90C and minimum of 21.20C. The hottest months are February to April.

Nkoranza North District is part of the transitional zone between the Savanna Woodland of northern Ghana and the forest belt of the south. Thus savanna woodland and fewer areas of savanna re-growth largely characterize the eastern part of the District while southern part is largely marked by forest re-growth made up of shrubs and grasses with a few original tree species, especially silk cotton trees.

ENVIRONMENTAL SITUATION
Food and industrial crop production is a major economic activity in the Nkoranza North District. The main method of land clearing is slash and burn which tends to bare the land exposing it to degradation .The degradation then results in low crop yields, low income levels and low standard of living.

Bushfires are rampant in the district despite enormous efforts directed towards bush fires prevention campaigns. Causes of bushfires include bad hunting and farming practices. They are a big threat to the environment particularly the vegetation (including forest reserves), animals, life and property.

Illegal chainsaw operations and charcoal production are on the increase in the district and are gradually becoming permanent businesses for most people in some communities in the District. These practices have negative impacts on the vegetation in the area and adversely affect rainfall in the District.

AGRICULTURE
The engine of the District’s economy is agriculture. It provides employment for about 70% of the district’s economically active population (labour force). A great number of households in the District are engaged in farming and other agricultural related activities. Farming in the District is small scale with average farm size ranging between 3 and 10 acres for all crops although there are exceptions.

CROP PRODUCTION
The main food crops produced in commercial quantities include maize, yam, cassava, plantain, cocoyam, groundnut, cowpea, sorghum and tomato; currently some farmers are showing interest in the production of water melon. Tree crops under cultivation in the District are notable cashew and mango.

Estimated Crop Area and Output in Nkoranza North District for 2010

Major Crop Grown Area Cultivated  (Ha) Output (MT)
Maize

Cassava

Cocoyam

Plantain

Groundnut

Yam

Cowpea

Tomato

Sorghum

15,238

6,111

418

500

679

4,688

567

649

390

32,000

110,000

4,600

4,500

,950

150,000

510

649

429

POST-HARVEST LOSSES
Post-harvest losses are a major challenge to farmers in the District. The post-harvest losses which affect many crops such as tomato, yam, cassava and maize are attributed to inadequate appropriate storage facilities on one hand and unavailable ready market on the other hand.
The losses reduce farmers’ income and affects large scale crop production.

ANIMAL PRODUCTION
LIVESTOCK

Some of the different livestock reared in the District include cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits and grasscutterss. Others are turkey, ducks, guinea fowls, poultry, local fowls and pigeons. Farmers engaged in the rearing of these animals do not give adequate attention with regards to breeding, nutrition, management and health of their stocks. The District Agricuture Office has therefore embarked on sensitization of farmers on good practices to develop the livestock industry.

The District Agricultural Development Unit is again embarked on sensitization exercise to educate livestock farmers towards the use of veterinary services at their disposal since the health aspects of their animals is paramount.
The current livestock census which is ongoing has recorded some numbers for the different livestock. The table below shows the numbers for these animals so far.

LIVESTOCK CENSUS FIGURES AS AT MAY, 2011

Animal Number
Cattle

Sheep

Goats

Pig (indigenous)

Turkeys

Ducks

Guinea fowls

Rabbits

Grasscutters

Poultry

Local fowls

Pigeons

112

3,595

1,632

120

167

206

253

78

12

1,909

6,935

92

FISHERIES
The interest of farmers in the district is mainly in crop and livestock production and interest in fish farming and is located at Kunkunano, Fiema and Senya. Farmers are being encouraged to go into aquaculture to supplement their income.

FERTILIZER SUBSIDY PROGRAMME
As part of effort by the Government towards ensuring food security in the country, the Government continued to subsidize fertilizer prices. Farmers in the Nkoranza North District use a lot of fertilizer for their farming activities. The subsidy therefore has enabled most farmers to access, purchase and use fertilizer without which yields would have been poor and income levels low. A total of eleven thousand, one hundred and thirty-six bags of fertilizer was used during the 2010 farming season. The details are NPK, 7006bags: Sulphate of Ammonia, 2900bags and Urea 1230bags.

AGRICULTURAL LAND ACQUISITION AND USE
Land for agricultural purposes can be accessed by both natives and non-natives through share cropping or hiring system. The lease periods range from a few months for food crops and several years for cash crops.

POTENTIAL
The District has great potential for agriculture
These are:
•    Fertile soils which can support both food and plantation crops.
•    Bimodal or double rainfall maxima which are evenly distributed throughout the farming season.
•    The presence of permanent rivers and streams which could be tapped for irrigation schemes.
•    Availability of electricity for any agro-based industry
•    Favourable conditions for production of non-traditional commodities like honey and mushroom.

PROJECTS/ PROGRAMMES
ROOT AND TUBERS IMPROVEMENT AND MARKETING PROGRAMME (RTIMP)

The Programme started in the District in 2009 purposely to introduce improved cassava varieties to the farmers. Cassava varieties include Afisiafi and Bankyehemaa. Two categories of farmers (secondary and tertiary farmers) are involved in the Programme.  The RTIMP is also assisting farmers in yam minisett production and 23 sites have been selected for the yam minisett production this year.

CORAF/WECARD YAM MINISETT PROJECT

CSIR in collaboration with RTIMP and the Directorate is assisting a farmer group (champion farmers) located at Dromankese to produce yam minisetts.

BLOCK FARM PROJECT
The Directorate is participating in the Block Farm Project to ensure food security. This Project is expected to create employment for the populace especially the youth.  The Directorate facilitated the cultivation of 700acres of maize last year and currently has planned to cultivate 1,000acres in 2011.