PHYSICAL AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
LOCATION AND SIZE
The Upper Denkyira East Municipality is one of the seventeen Administrative Districts of the Central Region. It lies within latitudes 5°, 30°and 6°.North of the equator and longitudes 1° W and 2°W of the Greenwich Meridian. It shares common boundaries with Adansi South. In the North and, Assin District in the East and Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira in the West and Upper Denkyira West District in the North-West. The Upper Denkyira East Municipality covers a total land area of 1020 square kilometers, which is about 10% of the total land area of the Central Region.
The Municipality falls within the semi equatorial zone with its characteristics. The mean annual temperatures are 29° C on the hottest months and about 24°C in the coolest months. There are two rainfall regimes, but the total annual mean rainfall is between120cm and 200cm.The first rainy season is from May to June with the heaviest in June, while the second rainy season is from September to Mid-November. The main dry Season is from late-November to February.
The Upper Denkyira East Municipal falls within the semi-deciduous forest zone. It consists of three layers which do not differ from the rain forest. The trees in this forest zone do not shed all their leaves at the same time nor are they of the same species. Trees of the lower layer and some of the topmost layer stay evergreen throughout the year. This is due to the generally moist condition of the area. Due to the increasing mining activities in the area, especially in the northern part of the Municipality, very little of the original forest remains, and most of what is left are secondary forests. The forest contains various valuable timber species such as Mahogany and Wawa.
CONDITIONS OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
Forestry is one of the most important sectors of the district. The district has three major reserves which are all rich in wildlife and lumber. They include the Benso-Ben, Oppong Manse and Minta Forest Reserves. They consist of different specials of tropical hardwood of high economic –value trees like Odum , Mahogany, Edinam and Wawa. Lumbering has therefore been an important economic activity in the district. However, this has been creating environmental problems, as there is no management of the forest reserves. The reserves have been encroached upon by illegal chainsaw operators whose activities, if not checked, will deprive the Municipality of the needed forest resources for development. Frequent outbreak of bushfires has also contributed to the depletion of the forests and other forms of degradation in the Municipality. Most of the known wildlife such as deer and monkeys, which were mostlyfound in the forests, now face extinction. It is , however important that the Forestry Service Commission and the Municipal Assembly initiate a more intensive afforestation programme to preserve some of the important economic tree species to ensure ecological balance in the district. Sustainable harnessing of existing forest resources is also to be encouraged.
CONDITIONS OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Human activities do not only impact on the natural environment as has been portrayed vividly under natural environment discussed above; the impact manifests itself perhaps more prominently in areas where humanity lives. Most activities of man in settlements he creates as permanent abode more often impacts negatively on the environment. This aspect of the report highlights on the way of life of the people in terms of the shelter, and living conditions and practices that have direct bearing on the environment.
RELIEF AND DRAINAGE
The area falls under a forest-dissected plateau, rising to about 250m above sea level. There are pockets of steep sided hills alternating with flat -bottom valleys. Dunkwa, the Municipal capital, has series of high lands circling it. The major river in the area is the River Offin. A number of streams which are tributaries of either rivers Offin and Pra flow through the district. Prominent among them are the Subin Ninta,Aponapon and Tuitian in the south, Afiefi and Subin in the north.
The principal soil found in the area is forest ochrosols. The colour of these soils range between brown and orange. The soil is not highly leached as oxysol. Due to the reduction in the amount of rainfall, the soils contain greater quantities of soil nutrients and are generally alkaline .From the view point of crop production; they are the best soils in the country. Tree crops such as cocoa and oil palm thrive in the area. Cocoa covers about 50% of the arable land in the Municipality. Other crops like cassava, plantain, and maize also do well.
IMPACT OF HUMAN ACTIVITIES
Many of the areas hit by illegal mining activities have been degraded. There are abandoned mined-out pits, heaps of gravel dotted all over and in some instances streams have been silted. Conflicts resulting from compensation are also common in most of the areas in addition to reclamation blues. The use of mercury in the gold extraction process also negatively affects the environment and the communities if not properly handled. Juvenile delinquency is also raising its ugly head in the mining communities in addition to overstretched social amenities.
Ownership of land in the Municipality like all other customary areas lies with the stool.
However, families, clans and individual ownership can also be found. The Municipality does not have a well structured land management system even with the presence of few institutions such as Town and Country planning and the Office of the administrator of stool lands as a result, land management activities have been taken to the regional level before the process is completed. The customary land management has assumed the major system of managing lands in the Municipality. The head of the stool is regarded as the custodian of the lands while Territorial chiefs are also empowered to manage lands in their territories. These chiefs are responsible for the allocation of lands for development. There is established the customary land secretariat in charge of the management of stool lands.
GEOLOGY AND MINERALS
The rocks in the Municipality are predominantly of Birimian and Tarkwaian formation. The Birimian formation consists of metamorphosed sediments as phyllistes, schist and lava. The account for the Municipality’s rich mineral deposits particularly alluvial gold deposit along the valleys of River Offin and its tributaries and gold deposits inland.
The types of crops produced in the municipality can be categorized into two, namely; food crops and industrial crops.
The major food crops produced in the municipality are maize, cassava, plantain and cocoyam. Maize and cassava are generally cultivated as mono crops whilst plantain and cocoyam are intercropped with crops such as maize cassava and cocoa. Maize intercropped with cassava is also commonly practiced. By virtue of the fact that maize and cassava are food security crops, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, through the MADU carries out special programmes which aim at assisting farmers with inputs to enhance their production. Currently the special programmes being implemented in this direction are the Block Farm Project, Root and Tuber Improvement and the Marketing Programme.
In view of the forest nature of the vegetation, land preparation in the municipality does not lend itself to mechanization. Land preparation is therefore done by the slash and burn method. However, to ensure that weed control does not become a problem during the growing stage, this is followed with the application of total weedicide e.g. glyphosphate and later with a selective weedicide.
Recommended fertilizer application is as follows: Fertilizer Type Dosage Compound Fertilizer (NPK) 125 kg/ha
Sulphate of Ammonia 125kg/ha
Urea 62.5 kg/ha
Fertilizer use is usually found in the cultivation of maize and vegetables. Fertilizer use is not widespread in the cultivation of cassava, cocoyam and plantain. Some farmers use compound fertilizers for the cultivation of plantain but not for top dressing.
Improved high yielding varieties of maize are cultivated by virtually all farmers in the municipality. In the case of cassava the improved varieties are available are suitable for products and processed foods such as gari, cassava dough and tapioca but not for fufu which is a staple food in the municipality. The adoption rate of the improved varieties of cassava is, therefore, very low. Improved varieties of cocoyam and plantain are not yet available.
ESTIMATED CROP YIELD AND PRODUCTION FOR THE YEAR 2010
SOURCE: MULTI ROUND ANNUAL CROPS AND LIVESTOCK SURVEY UPPER DENKYIRA EAST MADU.
SPECIAL PROJECTS (INDUSTRIAL CROPS)
The most prominent industrial crops in the municipality that have been capture for development under special projects, are namely:
The Buabin Oil Palm Out grower Project,
The Para Rubber Out grower Project and the
Cocoa CODAPEC and Hi-Tech Projects.
THE BUABIN OIL PALM OUT GROWER PROJECT
The Buabin Oil Palm Out grower Project was started in 2007 with funding from the French and German governments. It aims at providing an opportunity for farmers to diversify into oil palm production to enhance their income and thereby reinforce food security through financial access to food.
The project is being implemented across two districts namely: Upper Denkyira East Municipal and Twifo Hermang Lower Denkyira District.
The first phase of the project will end in 2011. So far, one thousand four hundred and seventy seven hectares (1,477) ha of land have been cleared and planted with oil palm in the Upper Denkyira East Municipal part of the project area. In the current year 2011, one hundred hectares will be planted with oil palm to bring the total to one hundred and seventy seven hectares (1577) ha by the end of the first phase. Average land holding per farmer is 2.5 ha. The project is likely to be given a second phase, which will primarily finance the maintenance of the existing farms.
THE RUBBER OUT GROWER PROJECT
This project is being implemented in a number of districts in the Central and Western Regions of Ghana. The implementing agent is the Ghana Rubber Estates Limited (GREL). The funding agencies are the French German governments. Total cost of the project is nineteen million Euros.
The project is currently in the last year of the first phase, but it is also expected to be given a second phase during which the outgrowers will be assisted to maintain their farms till harvesting starts.
COCOA By far cocoa is the most widely grown crop in the Upper Denkyira East Municipality. The cultivation of cocoa covers about fifty percent 50 % of the total arable land in the municipality. Cocoa farms are normally owned by families and individuals. In view of the importance of cocoa to the national economy, management of all aspects the crop is handled by the Ghana Cocoa Board and its agencies. The government of Ghana has set a target to produce one million metric tones of cocoa per year. To achieve this, two projects namely; Cocoa Diseases and Pest Control (CODAPEC) and Cocoa Hi-Tech Projects have been set up. Under the CODAPEC project cocoa farms through out the country are sprayed free of charge for farms. The targeted disease is the black pod and the pest is capsid.
The Hi-Tech project has identified and released various types of fertilizers for sale to cocoa farmers at heavily subsidized prices. The effects of these projects have led to a tremendous increase in yield of cocoa per hectare. The Ghana Cocoa Board is, therefore, hopeful that it will achieve the one million metric tone target.
The Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme has been implementing a sister programme in the municipality for the past two years. The name of the programme is UPoCA- Unleashing the Power of Cassava in Africa. Under the programme ,
• improved varieties of cassava were supplied to farmers for multiplication and production,
• improved technologies for production of high quality cassava flour (HQCF), starch, gari, cassava dough and tapioca were introduced, and processors were trained in marketing techniques.
Laudable as the programme objectives were, the aspects of training the processors and supplying them with some processing equipment never saw the light of day. As a result, the farmers’ acceptance of the varieties for production is waning. It is, therefore, an opportunity for NGOs to avail themselves of and thereby help to enhance incomes of food crop farmers.
|No.||TYPE OF ANIMAL||POPULATION||FEED||HOUSING||REMARKS|
|1||Cattle||207||Rangeland grazing||Kraals with shelter for calves|
|2||Sheep||10,877||Free range grazing with cassava/ plantain peels supplement||Simple structure with shelter and fence wall|
|3||Goats||4,071||Free range grazing with cassava/ plantain peels supplement||Simple structure with shelter and fence wall|
|4||Swine(indigenous)||234||Free range scavenging||Makeshift structure (wooden)|
|5||Swine(exotic)||412||Home prepared feed with harvested forage as supplement||Mostly makeshift wooden structures|
|6||Dogs||1560||They are fed by their owners as and when food is available||Kennels are generally non existent|
|7||Cat||1412||They are fed by their owners as and when food is available||Non existent|
|8||Rabbit||180||Harvested forage||Well constructed hutches|
|9||Ducks||1215||Free range with supplement||Pens to house them at night|
|10||Turkey||195||Free range with supplement||Pens to house them at night|
|11||Guinea Fowl||161||Free range with supplement in the mornings||Free range||Free range management system|
|12||Exotic Fowl||17,500||Home formulated feed/ already prepared mash||Makeshift structures||Backyard farm/intensive in nature|
|13||Local Fowl||16,158||Free range scavenging with supplement in the mornings||Coops to house birds in the evenings||Free range management system|
Upper Denkyira East Municipality is the leading fish farming (aqua culture) district in the Central Region and has produced a number of Regional Award Winners in Fish Farming.
Fish farming is attractive in the Municipality because it has a lot of wet lands capable of holding water throughout the year. Underground fresh water is not salty and the soil texture enables ponds to hold water without drying up.
In view of the huge potential the Municipality has in Fish farming, the Commission started building a hatchery in Dunkwa-On-Offin, but the project later got embroiled in problems which were social and technical, and has led to the abandonment of the project.
The table below gives detailed information about aqua culture in the Municipality.
|1||Number of fish farmers in the area||49|
|2||Average size of a fish pond||20m by 30m|
|3||Total surface area of ponds||28,748.6m2(2.875hac)|
|4||Total number of fish ponds||83|
|5||Average fish production /year||10 tones|
|6||Annual percentage increase in production||3 %|
|7||Types of fish cultured||Tilapia, Catfish, Heterotis, Snake head|
|8||Type of culture practiced||Polyculture(Tilapia, Catfish) Monosex culture (all male Tilapia)|
|9||Harvesting methods / gear used||Seine net(Dragnet)|
|10||Source of fingerlings||Tropo Farms at Asutuare
Fisheries commission- Kumasi
|11||Resources available||Adequate wetland|
|12||Supplementary organizations||Upper Denkyira Fish Farmers Association
Fish Processors Association
Find below a list of some of the demonstrations which are normally carried out by the Directorate’s AEAs in the municipality.
• Maize production technologies
• Use of foliar Fertilizers
• Vegetable production technology
• Nursery bed preparation and soil sterilization
• Maize crib construction
• Split corm plantain multiplication
• Use of cover crops to control weed
• Proper spacing and orientation of plantain suckers when planting
• Pruning of plantain leaves to control Sigatoga disease in plantain
• Trapping of plantain com weevil
• Use of salt lick block as a supplementary feed in livestock rearing
• Slated floor housing for small ruminants
• Dipping and deworming of small ruminants
• Introduction of improved breeds of cockerels to improve rural poultry production
• Use of smokeless stoves for gari processing
• Use of smokeless stoves for fish processing
• Construction of soak away pits for disposal of liquid waste
FERTILIZER SUBSIDY PROGRAMME
The fertilizer subsidy programme of the Government of Ghana is carried out by two agencies namely; Cocoa production and the Ministry of Food Agriculture for food crops and other industrial crops production.
Sale of fertilizers for food and Industrial crops is carried through accredited distributors and retailers. In the Upper Denkyira East Municipality, there is no distributor but we have a retailer who has a number of retail outlets in Dunkwa-On-Offin, the Municipal capital. The retailer gets his supplies from Kumasi.
The Ghana Cocoa Board distributes directly to accredited retailers who sell to cocoa farmers. The retailers are mainly Local Cocoa Buying Companies and the Cocoa Input Company of the Ghana Cocoa Board.
Between 2008 and 2010, the MADU chalked a lot of successes. The most significant among them can be found below.
Database on Three thousand eight hundred and fifty six (3856) farmers established. The programme is still on going.
Nine hundred (900) demonstrations were conducted for Eight thousand (8,000) farmers, comprising Four thousand eight hundred (4,800) males and Three thousand two hundred (3,200) females.
Three hundred and five (305) field days were organized for 3400 farmers (males-1980, females-1420).
Loan recovery rate for 2010 vegetable Block Farms Programme was 98%.
Twelve thousand eight hundred (12,800) households were trained on food based nutrition, food handling and safety, and food processing. As a result many families are incorporating leafy vegetables in their foods.
The 2008 Regional Best Farmer was a beneficiary of the MADUs programmes.
One hundred and fifty (150) farmers were trained in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPS) in oil palm and citrus production.
There were no cases of livestock disease outbreak between 2008 -2009.
Five thousand (5000) pets were vaccinated against rabies free of charge.