LOCATION AND SIZE
The AEE District is located in the Central Region of Ghana (see Figure 1). It covers a land area of 541.3sq.km which is about 5% of the total (9826sq.km) land area of the Central Region. It is bounded to the north by the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District, to the north-west by the Assin District, to the west and south by the Mfantseman District and to the east and north-east by the Gomoa and Agona Districts respectively. It lies between latitudes 5º53’ and 1º34’ north and longitudes 0º53’ and 1º08’ west.
The topography is undulating and its elevation ranges between 50 and 150 metres above the sea level. The prominent highland is a ridge located in the north-western corner of the district and rises to about 180 metres above the sea level.
SOIL AND VEGETATION
There are stretches of secondary forest interlaced with farmlands. The forest vegetation is semi-deciduous and contains a number of economic species such as Wawa, Ofram, Emire and Mahogany etc. Onyina is ubiquitous, whilst groves of bamboo are usually encountered in valley bottoms where moisture trees are minimal. But vast areas are fast declining to grassland as a result of the traditional methods of farming, the indiscriminate felling of trees mainly by illegal chainsaw operators and the absence of systematic re-afforestation programmes. This phenomenon also accounts for the reduction in soil fertility.
The soil texture varies from zone to zone within the district. However, characteristically, it is mostly clayey in some parts, sandy in others and loamy in the rest.
It is worthy to mention here that the District also has mineral deposits. These include gold, Mica and Kaolin. Mica is available for about 13 km stretch from Ampia Ajumako to the west. Kaolin is also found behind Ochi, about 13km stretch between Ampia, Ajumako and Kwanyarko and Gold (Nkoso) at Nkwamase in the Enyan maim zone.
CLIMATE AND DRAINAGE
The climate is of the moist semi-equatorial type. The mean monthly temperature ranges from 26ºC in the coolest month of August to about 30ºC in hottest months, March-April. The most important single climatic element is rainfall, with double maxima. The two peaks occur in May-June, and September-October and the mean annual rainfall is between 120-150mm, most of which fall in the early months of the rainy season, March-April. December to February is the driest period.
The district is characterized by dense drainage with the key rivers, Amissah and Narkwa named after at 9 point where they enter the sea although both rivers are locally called Ochi. Lands bordering Narkwa towards the borders with Gomoa are frequently flooded. The heavy drainage system affects road construction and maintenance since in most cases the bridges and culverts are required to cross the streams and rivers.
POPULATION SIZE, GROWTH RATE AND DENSITY
Population records indicate sharp increases in the district. In 1960 and 1970 the district had a total population of 41,688 and 62,882 respectively. By 1984, the total population had increased by about 18% to 74,463 at a growth rate of 1.2 per annum. At that annual growth rate, the projected population of the district by the end of 1996 was 89,678. In the year 2000, the population in the district was 91,965 made up of 42,395 males and 49,570 females according to the national population and housing census conducted that year. The population growth rate of the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam district (estimated at 2.5%) although lower than that of the national and regional population growth rates has serious implications for development planning.
The population is estimated at 106,848 and 115,170 for 2006 and 2009 respectively given that the prevailing local growth rate still remains at 2.5%, but since there are relatively more youths than other age cohorts, infrastructure provision and the use of the districts resources should be more sensitive to the needs of the young one. The population density currently stands at 197.4 people per square kilometer. It can therefore be said that, due to increasing population, the concentration of people per square kilometer has been higher and would continue to increase over the plan period. In 1970, the density of population was 116 per square kilometer and in 1984, 138. The density of population based on the 2000 census was estimated at 169.9 however this has increased by 16.2% to 197.4 (i.e. in 2006) currently, and expected to reach 212.2 by 2009.
CROPS, LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY PRODUCTION
Arable farming is the predominant activity in the district. The cultivable land area is estimated to be 89,000 ha out to which about 43,000 ha is under cultivation. Shifting cultivation is widely practiced but is gradually on the decrease due to increasing population pressure. An average farm size for stable crops ranges between 0.3 – 0.6 hectares. The main staple crops grown are cassava, maize, plantain and cocoyam. Cash crops grown are cocoa, citrus and oil palm. Crop production is rain fed. The dry season is relatively long (4-5 months) and during the rainy season the rainfall pattern is erratic. There is, however an abundance of water bodies in the district that could be exploited for dry season farming, watering of animals and fish farming. Amissah and Narkwa are the two major rivers. Processing of agricultural products is done on small scale basis. The Oil Africa (at company at Owane) is the only factory processing palm fruits in the district on large scale. The few palm oil, and palm kernel oil, gari and local soap production units existing are done at the household level.
Livestock and poultry production is relatively undeveloped in the district. Poultry, pigs and small ruminants are raised at the domestic level to supplement household protein requirements. Only a few commercial poultry, and pig farms are found in the district.
|CROP||ACREAGE||YIELD / HACT.||PRODUCTION / TONES|
|Pepper||45.2 hect.||4.03 tones||182.156|
|Garden eggs||106.5 hect.||8.472 tones||908.208|
COMMERCIAL POULTRY FARMS IN THE DISTRICT
NAME OF FARMS
NAME OF FARMERS
|Bob Farms||Ochiso||15,000 layers||Robert Crenstil|
|Frank Ackom Farms||Ajumako||1000 layers||Frank Ackoom|
|Isaac Edumadze Farms||Ajumako||4,000 layers||Hon. Isaac Edumadze|
|Emmanuel Afful Farms||Entumbil||400 broilers||Emmanuel Afful|
|Gabs farms||Ajumako||300 broilers||Gabriel Appiah|
|Malik Farms||Mando||450 layers||Malik|
AGRICULTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SUPPORT SERVICES
There is a high potential for irrigation farming in the district as vast tracts of irrigable land exist along the banks of the rivers. Amissah and Narkwa are the two major rivers. There are four (4) main trunk roads in the district. All of these, which are in relatively good condition, converge at Ajumako.
However, the access and feeder roads are very bad. They are narrow, weedy and impassable especially during the rainy seasons, hence making vehicular movement less frequent and extremely difficult. As a result most farmers are compelled to travel long distances on foot to their farms and cart their farm produce through portage. Most of the food producing communities can, thus, not access the markets in the district and have to send their produce to markets in the adjoining districts.
Access to banking services by the populace is minimal. There is only on rural bank (Enyan Denkyira Rural Bank) with its main office in Enyan Denkyira and four (4) agencies in Ajumako, Bisease, Ochiso and Abaasa. Serving the over one hundred and sixty (160) communities in the district.
Poor post harvest infrastructure development in the district has led to high crop produce losses. Agricultural storage facilities are virtually none existent and processing equipment are obsolete. This has resulted in low market value of agricultural produce and minimum value added to raw materials produced.
The DADU (District Agricultural Development Unit) is understaffed with field staff being the most affected. There are currently only (11) eleven Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) instead of the required thirty two (32). This has worsened the already high farmer: AEA ratio (being 1:1071) giving 34.4% AEAs at post compared to required. There is no female AEA. The number of running motorbikes per district is 4.
These factors, coupled with the high illiteracy rate among farmers have led to very low agricultural productivity and widespread poverty among the people in the district.
HIGH POTENTIAL AREAS FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS
Despite the widespread poverty, the district has a high potential for high agricultural production in cash crops and food crops, fish farming and livestock production due to the availability of suitable of water. Major crops whose cultivation could be intensified include cocoa, oil palm, ‘vocanga’ (a medicinal plant) citrus, coconut, maize, cassava and vegetables. Cowpea, a crop not being cultivated in the district could be introduced in the south eastern drier parts of the district as both food and cash crop.
Fish farming (aquaculture) and bee keeping; have been identified as potential areas of diversification. Due to the presence of nearby large markets at Mankessim, Agona Swedru and Breman Asikuma, these commodities could easily be taken off farmers’ hands and thus serve as means of sustained farm income.
AGRO-PROCESSING INDUSTRIES OF THE DISTRICT
|Type of industry||Zones/Area|
|Edible oil ( Palm kernel and palm oil etc) extraction||Mando, Ba, Abaasa, Sonkwaa, Enyanmaim|
|Gari processing||Abaasa, Sonkwaa, Enyanmaim|
|Weaving and carving||Mando, Abaasa, Sonkwaa, Enyanmaim,|
|Local soap making||Ochiso, Ajumako.|
Source: AEEDA DPCU, 2009
SUMMARY OF THE ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
The main economic activity of the people in the district is farming and it is practiced alongside other forms of economic activities. Major crops grown in the district are cassava, maize and plantain. But cocoyam, yams, citrus and vegetables (esp. garden eggs and pepper) are also cultivated to some extent. Non-traditional crops such as cashew and pineapples are also grown especially in the Mando and Abaasa zones. Some communities also grow cocoa.
Besides farming, agro-processing activities are spotted around in the district. The most predominant of these are gari processing, palm-oil and palm kernel oil extraction often in small groups or by individuals.
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE BUDGETORY SUPPORT (FABS) LOAN
In 2006, 29 farmers were given credit to the tune of GH¢ 28,080 for small ruminants and grasscutter production. Out of this amount only GH¢1,400 have been recovered representing 4% of loan given. This performance is very abysmal.
A total number of thirty four (34) coupons of fifty (50) leaflets each were received for the year 2009. This comprised of seven (7) NPK 23:10:05 coupons, twenty (20) NPK 15:15:15 coupons, two (2) Urea coupons and five (5) sulphate of Ammonia coupons. A total of one thousand and ninety three coupons, out of one thousand and seven hundred (1700) coupons received were given out to farmers, representing 62.3%.