Birim South

Capital: Akim Swedru

Land Area: The district covers an estimated area of 299.5 sq km, constituting 1. 6 percent of the total land area of the Eastern Region

Boundaries:
The district shares borders with Birim North,
Birim Cental Municipal  and Kwaebibirem to the north, Adansi East and Assin to the
West, Asikuma Odoben Brakwa, Agona to the south, West Akyem to the east

Relief:
The district is mostly undulating and hilly and lies within the semi-deciduous forest zone. The underlying rock formation is mainly made up of the upper Birimian rocks.  These rocks consist predominantly of volcanic lava, schist, hyalites and greywacke with; minor granite intrusions and normally gives rise to salty clay soil without coarse materials.  The topography of Birim South District is hilly, consisting of lava flows and schist which in some cases rise to 61m above sea level.  Available rainfall figures average almost 170cm. The hyalite and greywacke areas have low relief and experience relatively low rainfall.

Drainage:
The district is drained by the Birim River.  Its major tributaries include Funso, Apetesu, Asikasu, Ahonfra, Akwassua, Nsute, Adim, Tropea and Kasawere.

VEGETATION:
The vegetation is mainly characterized by tall trees with evergreen undergrowth endowed with economic trees.  The District falls within the semi-deciduous rainforest region leading to high degree of rainfall for crop cultivation and human use.

CLIMATE
The district lies within the wet semi-equatorial climatic zone which experiences substantial amount of precipitation. This is characterized by a bi-modal rainy season with rainfall between 150cm and 200cm reaching its maximum during the two peak periods of May – June and September – October. Average temperature ranges between 25.2 minimum and 27.9ºC maximum. Relative humidity is about 56 and 70 percent usually attained during the dry and rainy season respectively.

SOILS

SOIL CHARACTERISTICS

SOIL CLASSIFICATION CHARACTERISTICS SOIL CAPABILITY
Nsaba-Swedru Off in Compound ▪   Grayish brown loamy soils overlying red clay soils that occur at lower elevations of sloping hills.

▪   Grey alluvial sand of thin layers

Tree and arable crops, especially cocoa.

Dry season vegetables, sweet potato, sugarcane and rice.

Kumasi-Offin Association ▪    Coarse sandy to fine gravelly tops oil and red coarse sandy subsoil. Dry season vegetables, sweet potato, sugarcane and rice.
Bekwai-Oda Association ▪   Red soils developed over lower Birimian rocks.

▪    Salty clay loamy soils which occupy fairy extensive flat lands adjacent to streams and rivers.

Cocoa, coffee, citrus, oil palm, avocado, pear, mangoes, banana, pawpaw, vegetables, sugarcane. Mechanized irrigated rice.
Birim Chichi were ▪   Moderately slow internal flow to

medium surface run off.

Moderately permeable and good

Moisture retention capacity.

▪    Very deep pale brown or yellowish

brown, fine sand.

Wide range of tree and arable crops

Nurseries and vegetable growing.

ON GOING AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN BIRIM SOUTH DISTRICT

(1) ROOT AND TUBER IMPROVEMENT AND MARKETING PROGRAMME (RTIMP)
Under this programme, farmers are supplied with improved cassava planting material for planting.  Farmers are linked to cassava processing centres where they can sell their cassava produce.  The processors are also trained on relevant technology to assist them use hygienic methods and remove haggard’s from the processing centres.  This enables the farmers to have ready market for their produce and also enable processor to come our with wholesome commodity for sale to public.
(2)    YOUTH IN AGRICULTURE (BLACK FARMING) PROGRAMME (YIAD)
To create employmentfor the unemployed youths and also to ensure are regular income,, youths interested in agriculture are being  encouraged to obtain 10 hectares or more stretch of lands . they are  then helped to cultivate the land by the provision of  improved maize seeds and other inputs  on credit.

MOFA technical officers supervise the youth farmers on their fields to ensure that recommended agricultural practices are carried out for better returns.

(3)    INLAND VALLEY RICE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (IVRDP)
Rice farmers are given new technology for  rice production.  This involves preparation of valleys i.e stumping, leveling bounding etc.  Using improved high yielding rice varieties for planting.

(4)    MULTI-ROUND ANNUAL CROPS AND LIVESTOCK SURVEY (MRACLS)
Under this programme, field officers are assigned to enumeration areas where randomly selected farmers from registered farmers in the enumerate are assessed to know the crops and livestock they produce and also yield per unit area to serve as guide for production levels in the country.

(5)    SUSTAINABLE TREE CROP PROGRAMME (STCP)
Under this project, farmers are supplied with cry bird cocoa seeds, assist farmers to maintain and expand their cocoa farms.

(6)    COCOA HI-TECH PROGRAMME (CHTP)
This programme supplies subsidized Hi-Tech Cocoa Fertilizer to farmers.

(7)    COCOA MASS SPRAYING PROGRAMME (CMSP)
This programme conducts Mass Spraying of Cocoa farms for farmers free of charge as government’s contribution to Agricultural development in the country.

(8)    COMMUNITY FORESTRY PROGRAMME (CFP)
This programme is yet to start in the district.

(9)    MOFA  FARMERS REGISTRATION (MFR)
This programme is on going nation wide.

MAJOR CROPS GROWN AND LIVESTOCK REARED IN DESCENDING ORDER IN THE BIRIM SOUTH DISTRICT

CROPS LIVESTOCK
  1. COCOA
  1. OIL PALM
  1. CITRUS
  1. MAIZE
  1. CASSAVA
  1. PLANTAIN
  1. GARDEN EGGS
  1. PAPPER
  1. OKRO

10.  RICE

11.  COCOYAM

12.  SUGARCANE

13.  COWPEA

14.  MANGO

15.  GROUNDNUT

16.  WATERMELON

  1. POULTRY
  1. GOATS
  1. SHEEP
  1. PIGS
  1. FISH FARMING
  1. GRASSUTTER
  1. RABBITS
  1. SNIALS
  1. CATTLE

10.  GUINEA FOWLS

11.  DUCKS

12.  TURKEY

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

STRUCTURE OF THE DISTRICT ECONOMY
Agriculture is the mainstay of the District economy employing about 70% of the active labour force.  Other economic activities that supports the Agric sector are; trade and commerce, industry and services (hotels, banking etc).

Achiase and Swedru are the main commercial centers in the District with Achiase being the busiest town.  Residents in Swedru, the District Capital mostly carryout their commercial activities in Oda the capital of Birim Central Municipality because of the short distance compared to Achiase.  Agriculture is bowever a rural based sector of the District economy.

AGRICULTURE

CROP FARMING
Farms in the district are, on the average, small in sizes and farm holdings are scattered.  The average farm size per farmer is about 1 hectare.  Agricultural production is near subsistence with very few of the farmers engaged in plantation farming.  Majority of the farmers are involved in crop farming and the main crops cultivated are:
•    Starchy staples like cassava, cocoyam, and plantain,
•    Legumes like beans; vegetables like tomatoes, okro, garden eggs, pepper, cabbage.
•    Tree crops like oil palm, cocoa, citrus, bamboo;
•    Cereals like maize and rice.

FARMING SYSTEMS:
The predominant farm practice is mixed cropping.  The crops grow in mixed stands are normally inter-cropped with vegetable, and cultivated for both home consumption and for sale.

Land Tenure System
(i)    Individual ownership or inheritance from family;
(ii)   Rent or hiring from landowners;
(iii)  Mortgage
The land tenure arrangements include:
a.     Owner occupancy, where the farmer is the owner of the land on which he/she     works and provides all the necessary inputs for production.
b.    Shared tenancy – This is the “Abunu” or the “Abusa” share cropping system,     where the owners lease the land to the farmer, and the farm produce shared     equally (Abunu) or a third goes to the landlord, while two-thirds goes to the     tenant (Abusa).

PLOTS AND FARM SIZES
A feature identified in the District during the baseline survey was the multiplicity of plots of land per farmer.  These plots of land, all small in size, were scattered over the area, often at considerable distance from one another.  A greater percentage of the farmers have 2 or more farm plots with farm sizes ranging between 1 – 5 hectares.

Such distribution of farm holdings in different places means farmers do not practice block farming.

TYPES OF CROPS CULTIVATED
Crop production is mainly traditional and generally near subsistence level as majority of the farmers do not have access to machinery for farming.  The major crops cultivated are cassava, maize, citrus fruits, cocoyam, plantain, vegetables, oil palm, cocoa, etc. Maize is planted twice during the year, that is, during the major and minor seasons.

A greater percentage of the maize cultivated are harvested when dry, stored in cribs and barns and disposed off in the lean season.  The greater part of the maize cultivated is consumed, with a little going for the preparation of animal feed.

FARM TOOLS
The farm implements used are cutlasses, hoes, axes/mattocks, and equipment like spraying machines and prunes.  Based on the survey, almost all the farmers use both cutlasses and hoes.

The use of modern agricultural technologies is very limited.  Traditional practices such as bush fallowing, slash and burn etc. are still widespread.  This and many others have limited the farmer’s ability to increase the size of their operations and discouraged them from adopting new and modern agricultural technology.

FARM LABOUR
Another crucial farming input is labour.  Considering the simple farm tools in use, there is the need for a high degree of manpower.  A factor in labour is the age of the farmer.  The average (modal) age of the farmers range between 40 and 72 years.

Farming in the area is, therefore, undertaken by the old people who do not have the necessary energy to work and manage the farms.  They depend heavily on household and hired labour.  Hired labour is, however, scarce and expensive.  Farmers use a combination of household, hired and co-operative labour.  The use of hired labour is evident during the peak labour period, especially during land clearing and weeding.

Labour cost is high for most farmers, above their limited resources.  As a result of limited financial resources, the farms are not properly maintained and these, in the long run, affect output.

APPLICATION OF SEEDS AND AGRO-CHEMICALS

The farmers use two types of seeds.  These are local seeds and improved seeds.  These seeds are acquired from three main sources, namely, from previous crop harvest, private traders and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The use of organic manure, chemical fertilizers and other agro-chemicals is on a limited scale though increasing steadily.  In the use of fertilizers, for example, over 50% of the farmers do not apply any kind of fertilizers.  The types of fertilizers, applied are compound fertilizers (15:15:15),  Sulphate of Ammonia and Urea.

Few farmers apply herbicides (weed killers) pesticides and fungicides.

STORAGE FACILITIES
Modern storage facilities such as silos, warehousing with dry facilities, etc, are not in existence in the district. The main types of storage facilities in use are the traditional barn, a few improved cribs and roof storage.

Maize is the only grain with an elaborate storage system.  Facilities for the storage of other farm products are not available resulting in high post harvest losses.  Processing as a means of conserving output is at a very low level and the traditional methods used are not efficient.  These compel the farmers to sell their farm produce at low prices during the harvest.

MARKETING SYSTEM
Urban-based middlemen within and outside the district undertake marketing of farm produce.  Most of the farmers sell their produce at the nearest local market to these middlemen who in turn send them to other marketing centers especially the Oda market for sale.  The pricing of agricultural produce, which is determined by supply and demand but negotiated by the middlemen, is unfavorable to the farmers.  Prices of farm produce are therefore, very low especially when during harvest time when there is a glut and serve as disincentive to the farmers.  The poor roads to farming areas have also created for the farmers limited access to the bigger markets, which can offer better price for their crops.

ANIMAL PRODUCTION
Most of the farmers engaged in crop farming also keep livestock.  The types of animals reared are sheep, goats, pigs, cattle and poultry.  These are reared as supplementary activities to meet part of the protein requirements and to earn additional income.  The largest animal production activity is poultry.  The animals reared are kept in stys, pens and hen coops. The goats, sheep and pigs are fed through the free grazing method – that is grazing on the open vegetation, while the others, especially poultry are fed in enclosed areas.  . Veterinary Services is offered by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the District.

Marketing/Services Sector
Commerce in the district is centered mainly on trading.  This involves wholesalers and retailers in primary commodities. The commercial activities are undertaken at the markets and serve as income generating avenues for the District Assembly.  These markets are trading outlets for agricultural produce and inputs.

The district  has 7 daily markets and 3 periodic markets that are geographically distributed in the district. Greater volume of trade takes place at the Akim Swedru, Achiase and Aperade markets.
The biggest of these markets is the Akim Swedru market.which covers an area of 1 Acre.
The area of influence of the market includes the Eastern, Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, and Greater Accra Regions.  The main items of trade are agricultural and industrial produce.

Agricultural Extension Services
The main aim of the MOFA Extension Service  is to assist farmers  to increase agricultural production through the transfer of improved production and post production technologies that would support better living standards. This is normally done through seminars and demonstrations.

FARMER-BASED ORGANISATIONS IN BIRIM SOUTH DISTRICT (F.B.Os)

F B O LOCATION REMARKS
1. Adom Farms Aperade Crop Production
2.  Hashford Farms Achiase Crop Production
3.  Blackie Farms Akim Swedru Fish / Poultry Production
4.  Matthew Brew Farms Achiase Crop Production
5.  Presby Church Frams Achiase Fish Production
6.  John Quayson Farms Achiase Crop Production
7.  Methodist Church Farms Aduasah Crop Production
8.  Kristo Asafo Group Atuntumerem Vegetable / Maize Production
9.  Amponsah  Farms Akenkensu Crop / Pig Production
10.  Paul Gorman Prakrom Crop / livestock Production
11.  Birim South Unity Poultry Farmers Assoc. Achiase Poultry Production
12.  Robert K. Amoah Farms Achiase Poultry Production
13.  Isaac Nyarko Farms Achiase Poultry Production
14.  Bomdwen Nyankomase Crop Production
15.  Anidaso Rice Growers Akim Swedru Crop Production
16.  Fapimpa Akim Swedru Crop Production
17.  Dinpa Rice Growers Akim Swedru Crop Production
18.  Boafoo Akim Swedru Crop Production
19.  Kuapa Rice Growers Akim Swedru Crop Production
20.  Nyame Bekyere Oil Processing Anamase Oil Processing Enterprise
21.  Akim Awisa    Youth Co-op. Food Farming & Marketing Society Ltd. Akim Awisa Crop Production
22.  Adwumapa Youth Farms Akim Awisa Crop / livestock Production
23.  Peace Farmers Assoc. Nyankomase Crop  Prod. & Corn Mill
24.  Bo Woho Mmoden Womens’s Group Aperade Gari Processing
25.  Progressive Osorase Crop Production
26.  Asomdwoe Processing Group Osorase Palm Oil Processing
27.  Adoe Kuo Osorase Palm Oil Processing
28.  Palm Oil Producers Assoc. Osorase Palm Oil Processing
29.  God is Great Osorase Crop Production
30.  Welfare Dev’t Oil Processing Grp. Osorase Palm Oil Processing
31.  Odoo Kuo Achiase Palm Oil Processing
32.  Nyame Bekyere Achiase Crossing Palm Oil Processing
33.  Oli Palm Growers Assoc. Akenkensu Crop Production
34.  Ideal Woman’s Group Achiase Palm Oil Processing
35. Cassava and Oil Palm Processing Group Anamase Gari and Palm Oil Processing
36.  Kodadwin Cassava Processing Group Aperade Cassava Processing
37. Aqua  Cassava Processing Group Akenkensu Cassava Processing
38.  Akim Swedru Rice Farmers Assoc. Akim Swedru Rice Production

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