Sene

INTRODUCTION:
History:

The Sene District was carved from the Atebubu District and attained district status in 1989.  To improve agricultural situation in the district, staff of the ministry were posted to manage the former Extension Services Department, Crop Services Department, Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Department, Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Department as well as Veterinary Services Department between 1989 and 1990.  In 1997 they were merged under District Agricultural Development Unit with the head as District Director of Agriculture.

Sene district covers an area of 8,586 sq.km (the largest in the region) with a total population of 98,371 made up of 49% male and 51% female. The District has a growth rate of 2.7 %.( Projected from the 2010 Population and Housing Census).

Geo-Climatic Features:
The District is located at the eastern corridor of the Brong Ahafo Region.  It shares borders with Atebubu District to the West, Pru District to the North, the Volta Lake at the East of Digya National Park and the Sekyere East District at the South.  There are several Islands on the Volta Lake and the Sene Estuary is part of the district.

The District belongs to the transitional zone with guinea savanna type of vegetation.  It is characterized by two farming seasons in line with the rainfall pattern.  The first (major) season falls between April and July whilst the second (minor) starts from August and ends in November.  The average annual rainfall is 900mm per annum.  The soil type is mainly sandy loam with intermittent clayey portions.

Socio-Cultural Characteristics: There are four traditional areas with paramouncies in the District.  These are Wiase, Dwan, Bassa and Nkomi Traditional Areas. The natives speak the Larteh-Twumuru dialect.  The main ethnic settler groups are Dagabas, Kokombas, Battors and Adangbes.  The first two are mainly crops and livestock farmers whilst the last two do fishing and livestock rearing.  The main religious groups are Christians (65%), Moslems (20%) and Traditionalists (15%).  The dominant among the Christians is Seventh Day Adventists (SDA).

POTENTIAL NON-TRADITIONAL CROPS

Below are the non-traditional crops that the District has potential to cultivate;
•    Cabbage
•    Carrot
•    Pineapple
•    Sweet potato

POTENTIALS FOR CROP PRODUCTION:
The potentials for crop production in the District include availability of large tract of arable land, ready labour and two permanent water bodies (Volta Lake and River Sene). These two water bodies can be tapped and used for irrigation purposes under commercial farming. This could lead to increase in crop production, improved food security and better local economic growth in District. Furthermore, most people especially the youth would be employed to reduce the poverty situation in the District. The District also has huge potentials in the cultivation of tree crops such as cashew and grafted mango and enjoys adequate amount of rainfall for crop production with minimal incidence of pest and diseases.

•    Access to Farming Inputs: Access to farming inputs is not a major problem in the District. This is because, there are some inputs dealers in the District where farmers get their inputs ranging from seeds, agro-chemicals, tools/implements from and presence of ready labour as well.
•    Soil Fertility and Productivity: Soil fertility in the District is high and this has resulted into high productivity level of crops

ACCESS TO LAND :
Land in the District is communally owned. As a results, farmers tend to pay some unspecified amount and in-kind as rent per year to land owners when a farmer is not from the community.

THE AVERAGE FARM SIZE PER HOUSEHOLD:
The average farm size per household is about 6 acres and arable land per household is about 10 acres.

FARMING METHOD / PRACTICES :
The farming methods/practices adopted by farmers in the District are;
•    Mixed Cropping
•    Mono Cropping
•    Crop Rotation
•    Shifting Cultivation
These practices are used by indigenous farmers mainly to maintain soil nutrient status; shifting cultivation is effective because land is plentiful.  Leguminous crops such as groundnut, cowpea and soybean are intercropped with cereals such as maize to improve nitrogen in the soil.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF CROP FARMING :

•    Bushfires: The situation has adverse effect on crop farming such that they deplete the soil of its fertility and accelerate both wind and water erosion. Bushfires destroy both field and harvested crops resulting in low yield/production.
•   Deforestation: Due to the high incidence of tree felling for charcoal production, deforestation has been a major challenge in the District. As more trees are removed, the more the soil is exposed to soil erosion, wind erosion and leaching. In addition, rainfall pattern is negatively affected.
•    Depletion of Soil Fertility: Due to the above two instances, in order for farmers to get good harvest, the farmers are compelled to buy more inorganic fertilizers to replenish the lost or low level of nutrients in the soil. This situation has led to high production cost amongst farmers in the District.
•   Flooding: This is also one of the major challenges in the District. It mostly occurs when the two permanent water bodies in the District (Volta Lake and River Sene) overflow their banks. Most farm lands are submedged in flood which affect the livelihood of farm families along these two permanent water bodies.

CROP PRODUCTION
Estimated Areas Cultivated, Yields and Overall Production

CROP MAIZE RICE CASSAVA YAM G/NUTS
Area Cropped (Ha) 7,370 1,890 20,050 23,180 2,860
Yield (Mt/Ha) 1.91 1.65 14.28 19.25 1.20
Production (Mt) 14,077 3,213 286,314 446,213 3,432

LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION

Types of Livestock
The types of livestock production in the district are:-
•    Sheep and goats
•    Rural poultry (chicken, ducks, guinea fowls and turkeys).
•    Pigs
•    Cattle
•    Grasscutters and rabbits

The population (output levels) of the different livestock and poultry species are:-

  • Sheep         =               1,565
  • Goats             =           12,240
  • Cattle            =            13,272
  • Rural Poultry        =       32,838
  • Glasscutters         =           92
  • Rabbits         =                 68
  • Pigs             =                3,626

(Source: District Livestock Population Census, 2009).

Livestock Potentials:
The District has the potential to produce grass cutters, guinea fowls and turkeys on commercial basis to alleviate rural poverty. This will serve as a source of employment for the youth and ensure food security.  The potential to produce commercial poultry (broilers/layers) is also high since the District is a major maize producing area which can serve as poultry feed.

Husbandry Practices Adopted by Farmers in the District:
The major animal husbandry practices and methods adopted by farmers are:-

  • Vaccinations of livestock/poultry (PPR, Rabies, Anthrax, NCD, CBPP) etc.
  • Supplementary feeding and watering in the dry season
  • Improved housing & sanitation.
  • Feeding and nutrition methods.
  • Breed improvement e.g. Breed selection and crossing.
  • Record keeping and identification of animals.
  • Pasture improvement and development.
  • Treatment of livestock/poultry diseases/parasites/pests.
  • Meat inspection (inadequate).

The District has transitional vegetation with a lot of feed resources for livestock and poultry.  The rainfall averages between 900mm – 1,200mm with an average temperature of about 20-30oC.
The District has a lot of water bodies (White Volta and River Sene) for livestock production and irrigation. This geographical advantage when tapped to the full can increase commercial production of livestock & poultry to reduce poverty, boost food production, promotes export and enhance over all economic growth of the district.

Programmes to Promote Livestock Production in the District:

Special interventions (improved technologies) to improve livestock production.
The World Vision ADP in the District is promoting the upgrading of the local chicken by supplying improved cockerels to farmers.
Proposal drafted to facilitate the promotion of guinea fowl production.
The District office (MOFA) intends to open a veterinary clinic next year for farmers to have easy access for treatment and vaccinations.

Fisheries and Aquaculture
Fishing is a major economic activity in the District.  The District has vast water resources and is bounded by the White Volta and River Sene.

Contribution of Fisheries to the Local Economy:
The sector is one of the most important economic activities in the district.  Fish trade has been one of the major sources of revenue to the District Assembly.

This sector employs a lot of people and fisherfolk along the two major water bodies.  Most of their source of income is from this sector and is also a contributor to food security in the district (proteins).

Problems Facing the Fishery Sub-Sector:
Even though the District is a major fish producing area, there are a lot of challenges facing fish farming and fisher folk in the district.  They include:-
•    Lack of fisheries officer/expert to manage the subsector (fishery extension is limited).
•    The District needs a modern fish processing factory and cold stores to enhance production.
•    The fish market at Kajaji needs facilities like a processing plant, constant water and electricity supply, good road network and modern fishing boats and canoes.
The potentials for promoting fish production and aquaculture is high because of the vast water bodies.  There are a lot of valleys and clayey soils suitable for quaculture development.

Fertilizer Subsidy Programme
Farmers in the district benefited from the Fertilizer Subsidy Programme in 2010.  Under the programme cost of the various inorganic fertilizers were subsidized to make them available and accessible to ordinary farmers throughout the country. The programme was successfully operationalised with the involvement of four Agents in the District for the 2010 farming season. The following quantities of fertilizers were distributed to the farmers:

NPK SOA UREA Total
2,532 2,770 100 5,402

SPECIAL PROGRAMMES TO PROMOTE CROP PRODUCTION

Block Farming Programme: The Government is supporting farmers to produce various crops such as rice, maize, soya, sorghum etc. Under this, the Government assist the farmers by given them the following
•    Payment of cost of  land preparation
•    Provision of inputs (seeds, fertilizers).
•    A total of 50 acres of maize was cultivated
After harvesting, the total cost of the assistance given to each farmer based on his/her acreage is calculated and the farmer then pays the cost back to Government.
Youth In Agriculture Programme: Under this programme youth come together to cultivate various crops with Government’s assistants. The youth are supported with all the necessary inputs to carry out their production activities and then pay back to Government in kind.

Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Project (RTIMP):
The programme was initially designed to see to the improvement in the production and utilization of roots and tubers in the country. However, the new initiative is to improve upon the marketing of roots and tubers, hence the name RTIMP.

NEW INITIATIVES
Farmers have now been encouraged to use organic manure to improve upon their soil fertility and also serve as means of making use of livestock and poultry droppings which usually go waste.

Potentials:
1.     Abundance of arable land
2.    Large expanses of water bodies. The District almost entirely surrounded by the Sene River and the Volta Lake.
3.    There are enough grazing grounds which are also conducive for animal rearing.

ACHIEVEMENTS 2008 – 2010

ACTIVITIES PLANNED ACHIEVED       %
Farmer Training 600 200                 (33%)
Demonstration 120 60                   (50%)
Block farm Target 450 351                 (78%)
SRID (Yield studies) 20 10                   (50%)
NRGP Sensitization 30 25                   (83%)
Home & Farm visit 6000 3252               (54%)
HIV / AIDS Sensitization 144 120                 (83%)
Monthly Rev. Meetings 36 36                  (100%)
Commodity price & movement 2 1                     (50%)

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