Land Area: It occupies about 403 square kilometres of land. The total arable land cultivated in the municipality is about 20,000 hectares, additionally about 600 hectares of land is under cultivation along the Densu Basin
Boundaries: Ga West Municipal and Tema Metropolis to the south, Suhum-Kraboa-Coaltar, Akwapim North and West Akim Municipal to the north-west respectively .
Climate: bimodal pattern of rainfall of 1700mm per annum with mean annual rainfall of 1250 mm per annum.
Soil: Soil type are generally sandy loam with clays found in the valley bottoms
The Akuapem South Municipality is characteristically agricultural based with 60% of its population engaged in subsistence and commercial farming.. The population depends very much on farming for its household livelihood. Crops cultivated include maize, cassava, pineapple, pawpaw, different types of local and exotic vegetables- okro, pepper, garden eggs onion, cabbage and tomatoes- and tree crops like oil palm, citrus and cocoa.
Besides crop production, the average family rears livestock and poultry with cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry being predominant.
Akuapem South Municipality is endowed with a number of water bodies. These water bodies are in the form of rivers, dams and dugouts.. The major rivers in the municipality are Densu, Ponpon, Dobro and Nsakyi.
The municipality has the potential for increasing agricultural production, but the lack of ready market for the produce is what is discouraging farmers from increasing their production.. This situation has resulted in middle men taking advantage of farmers by offering them low prizes for their produce. However farmers who grow horticultural crops grow them in larger quantities since most of them export them in addition to selling on the local market and also feeding the processing industries in and out of the Municipality.
Land Tenure System: Stool, family ownership, lease hold and share cropping (Abunu & Abusa).
The land tenure system in the region does not discriminate against women. Women in the region can own land and used the agricultural or other purposes as they wish.
Recent problems with regards to land are that most of the owners do not give preference to agricultural purposes when they are selling land; they sell it mainly for housing purposes. Additionally land that are used for agricultural purposes in the periphery of the metropolis are been sold off for housing purposes. This if not checked will in the long run take some agricultural land in the region.
Soil fertility is fairly good in the Akuapem South Municipality, however due to continuous cropping its fertility is declining over the years. A crop like pineapple which is widely cultivated in the municipality is a high consumer and reduces soil fertility. Furthermore the effects of bush fire in the area are a treat to decreasing soil fertility.
Soil fertility is improved by the use of inorganic and organic manure by farmers. Blue Sky – a company in the municipality – converts pineapple peels into organic manure. This could be expanded to enable them produce this fertilizer in larger quantities for use in the municipality.
Population of Farmers in the District
The metropolis has about 60% of its population engage in various forms of agriculture which translate into 27,441holders of which18, 3768 are men and 9,063 women. Below is a table showing the number of holders by their age groups.
Mixed cropping is practised by about 80% of farmers. This is usually on plots cultivated with food crops for home consumption. A sizeable, (averaging 60%) proportion is however sold out for income.
Mono cropping is practiced by about 9.3% of farmers with 2.7% engaged in mixed farming. The dominant crop cultivated by farmers practicing mono cropping is pineapple, pawpaw and orange fruit growers.
Crops cultivation is concentrated near river Densu. About 80% of farmers in the municipality are crop farmers who practice very little subsistence farming with about 60%-70% as small scale holders and 20%-30% as large scale holders. Some of the crops cultivated on large scale are consumed locally and also exported.. The table below shows the major crops grown and the area cultivated and the number of holders.
Major crops, production areas and number of holders.
|CROPS||MAJOR PRODUCING AREAS||Number of holders|
|Pineapple||Fotobi, Oboadaka, Pokrom, Kokuben, Akraman, Apenten||9,126|
|Pawpaw||Akwamu, Akwadum, Panpanso||106|
|Oil palm||Municipal wide||972|
|Vegetables||Along river Densu||1,627|
Yield of major crops for the past three (3) years
|CROPS||YIELD OF CROPS (Metric tons/ ha) and Area cultivated (ha)|
|Yield (mt/ha)||Area (Ha)||Yield (mt/ha)||Area (Ha)||Yield (mt/ha)||Area (Ha)|
The Municipality has a large number of dams and ponds available. Their sizes are also averagely quite good, this makes it evident that the municipality has a big potential for fish production.
AGRIC EXTENSION SERIVICES
The municipality has four (4) extension zones,established to enable extension officers reach out to farmers easily and also for farmers to have easy access to extension services for the growth of the agricultural sector. Extension officers have been distributed among the four (4) zones and the agric municipal office, even though they are not up to the required numbers.
This affects the kind of assistance they can offer farmers in terms of modern agricultural practices.
MARKETS FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
There are two major markets in the municipality; these are the Nsawam and Aburi market. However farmers also have the benefit of their nearness to markets in Accra and Tema, where they sell their produce since there is a high demand in those areas.
There are about fourteen (14) agro-based industries in the municipality that mainly deal in processing of horticultural crops like pineapple and pawpaw into fruit juice. Most of these industries are owned by Ghanaians except Blue Skies, which is a foreign company and a member of the Free Zones Board. These companies give employment to people in the municipality.
Additionally, some of them pre-finance farmer’s activities on the farm and are paid back with the produce from the farm. They also hold regular training for farmers who produce crops that they are interested in; this is to enable farmers to produce crops to a standard set by the Ghana Standards Board and the European Union. This is to enable the companies produce quality fruit juice for the local and international markets. However, these industries were established after a realization that horticultural crops are produced in larger amounts in the municipality and as such their capacities are not able to contain the produce of the farmers.