Capital : Kade
Location : between Latitudes 1 degree 0’W and O degree 35.’E and Longitudes 6 degrees 22’N and 5 degrees 75’S.
Land Area : has a land area of about 1,230 km² (472.4 sq miles),of which is 917.6 square kilometres or 80% is suitable for agriculture.
it is bordered on the west by the Birim North District, on the North East by Atiwa and on the East by East Akim District, on the south East by the South East by Suhum Kraboa Coaltar District, to the South by West Akim District, and on the South-west by the Birim South District
The district is undulating with gentle slopes.
The major mountain range, the ATIWA RANGE, is found in the North-west of the District around Dwenase and Apinamang. Apart from this area, the general climb in the District is less than 500 meters. In between heights are extensive marshlands.
The Birim River traverses the District from the North to the South. It is also traversed by many rivers and streams among which are:
One major feature of these rivers, except the Birim, is that large tracts of low-lying lands that are liable to flood in the rainy season bound them.
Temperature ranges between a minimum of 23.50C and a maximum of 33.00C.
The District lies within the semi-equatorial climate zone with a double maximal rainfall regime. The seasons are the major season, which starts from mid March to July with the peak in June. The minor season starts from September to mid December with the peak in October. The district however experiences some amount of rainfall in each month of the year. The dry seasons are therefore mild and not severe due to the vegetation.
The highest relative humidity of 75% to 80% is recorded during the major rainy season whilst the lowest of 65% to 75% are recorded in the minor season.
The District lies on the semi-deciduous forest zone and the vegetation consists of low-lying species of hardwood. Large plantations of teak have been cultivated outside forest reserves. The District has two (2) forest reserves Ayaola Forest and Atiwa Reserves.-
The predominant occupation in the district is Agriculture, which engages 76.8% of the economically active labour force. The next after agriculture is Commerce, which accounts for 11%. Industry and Services employ 8.5% and 3.7% respectively. The table below shows the occupational distribution as per the sampled population.
Source: 2000 population and housing census
Major Soil Types
The dominant soils are clayey and loamy. The clayey loams soils are found in the North West, South east and Eastern parts of the district whilst the sandy loamy clay soils are mostly in the northern, middle, and southern parts of the district.
Soil Characteristics of the Kwaebibirem district
|Bekwai – Oda Association||Bekwai||Kwae/Otumi||Red well drained and developed soils found on summits and upper slopes|
|Nsema||Asuom||Yellowish red moderately well drained middle slope associates, coarse, gravelly and clay|
|Kokofu||Kade||Yellowish brown imperfectly drained, very deep, non-gravelly clay and silty clay loams, developed|
|Oda||Okumaning||Moderately deep to deep poorly drained grey non-gravelly silty clays, loamy clays developed from stream valley found in valley bottoms|
|Temang||Okumaning||Fine-textured loamy sandy soils found on valley bottoms|
|Kakum||Nkwantanang||Yellowish brown to brownish yellow deep imperfectly to moderately well drained alluvial silty clay found on almost lands medium internal drainage, slow to medium run-off, moderately permeable and fairly high water holding capacity|
|Atiwa-Atukrom-Asikuma-Ansu Compounds||Atukrom||Pramkese/Takyimang||Reddish brown, deeply weathered sedentary soil. Usually found on the upper slopes and summits. Very deep and well drained, very poor moisture retention during dry season. Top soil easily eroded|
|Asikuma||Dwenase||Pale brown to orange brown in colour and well drained soils.|
|Atewa||Apinamang||Deep red to brown sedentary soils, well drained, deep and easily worked, liable to erosion, poor moisture retention during dry season. Occurs on fairly steep slopes|
|Ansum||Apinamang||Yellow brown alluvial soil, less well drained, easy to work and free from slopes|
|Birim-Chichiwere Association||Birim||Akwatia-Boadua-Adankrono-Anweaso||Very deep moderately well drained brown sandy loam to clay within rarely flooded bottoms|
Land Tenure Systems:
1. Outright purchase
2. Share cropping (Abunu or Abusa)
Stool Lands form (75%) and families (25%) of total land acquisitions.
Another common feature identified in the District is that many of the farmers have more than one plot of land of medium sizes. The model farm size is about 5 acres. These are scattered over the areas often at considerable distance from one another.
The acquisition of land by GOPDC and OBOOMA Farms for large scale oil palm plantation has resulted in scarcity of land in some areas like Okumaning and Kwae. The prevalence of large plantation farms such as citrus and oil palm for individuals has reduced the acreages of land available for food crop farming in areas like Okumaning, Nkwantanang, Kade, Subi, Abaam, Abodom and Asuom.
The small medium-size farms also make it uneconomical to introduce the process of agricultural innovations like mechanization and irrigation.
The farming systems adopted in the district are;
1. Mono cropping
2. Mixed cropping
3. Crop rotation
4. Land rotation
5. Mixed farming.
However the main systems used extensively due to pressure on land are the mono cropping, mixed cropping and mixed farming.
Crop Farming Pattern
The major crops in the district are Oil Palm, Citrus, Cocoa, Vegetables, (Garden eggs, Pepper and Okra). The food crops include rice, Maize, Cassava, Plantain and Cocoyam.
As a result of the high demand for land for plantation crops sedentary agriculture is practiced with no fallow period.
Source: District Directorate of Agriculture, January, 2010
In terms of occupational structure agriculture employs 76.8% of the labour force. Food crop farming in the District is gradually shifting from the subsistence level towards commercial food crop farming. There is minimal application of modern agricultural technologies and over dependence on the weather as a result agricultural production is generally low.
The average size of farm holdings in the District ranges between 1.2ha – 2.0ha per farmer.
AVERAGE FARM SIZE OF CROPS
|Crop||Av. Farm Size (Ha)|
|Commercial||Large scale||Small Scale|
Perishable produce e.g. vegetables and fruits cultivated in the District are sold fresh since there are no storage facilities for the staples and fruits, maize is however stored in traditional barns and roofs of kitchen.
The unavailability of appropriate storage facilities for food crops consequently results in post harvest losses in the District. The bulk of agricultural produce such as cassava, plantain, and oranges are sold unprocessed.
However, storage facilities for oil palm exist in Kusi, Kwae and Darmang and are operated by private companies like GOPDC and Obooma Farms.
Agricultural produce forms the major commodity of trade between markets and settlements within the District whilst manufactured goods form the bulk of good inflows into the District. The major marketing centres include, Kade, Asuom, Takyimang and Akwatia.
Markets And Activity
|NAME OF MARKETS||ACTIVITY DAYS|
|Akwatia||Mondays and Thursdays|
|Asuom||Tuesdays and Fridays|
|Kade||– do –|
|Takyimang||Mondays and Thursdays|
Animal farming in the District is in either one or a combination of these categories::
1. Free range
4. Semi Intensive
The District has a high potential for the Livestock industry due to the evergreen vegetation throughout the year. The Oil Palm, Citrus and the growing Rice industries are also a huge potential sources of feed for the Livestock industry in the District
LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY IN THE KWAEBIBIREM DISTRICT 2005 TO 2009
|Type of Animal||Av. Farm Size (Ha)|
MAJOR PESTS OF LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY IN KWAEBIBIREM DISTRICT
|Foot and Mouth||–||–||–||–||x||–||–|
|Peste des Petit Ruminants (PPR)||–||–||–||–||–||x||x|
|Contagious Pustular Dermatitis||–||–||–||–||–||x||x|
The District is traversed by many streams and also inundated with numerous abandoned surface diamond pits. These offer the district an advantage and the potential for the development of an aquaculture industry. The number of fish ponds is increasing gradually.
FISH FARMING IN THE KWAEBIBIREM DISTRICT
|No. of Fish Farmers||No. of Ponds||Total Pond size||Av. Pond Size||Type of Fish|
Tree planting as a farming system and a means of livelihood has not caught on well in the District. However there are pockets of plantation as shown in the table below:
|Location||Type of tree species||Total Acreage|
Source: District Directorate of Agriculture, June 2006
MAJOR TREE AND FOOD CROPS AND THEIR AREAS OF PRODUCTION
|Major Areas of production||crop|
Classification of Roads
The district has an estimated road network coverage of 300 kilometers. This includes about 37km of first class road linking up the district capital to Asamankese and Anyinam. There are about 273km of second and third class roads linking up the market centers and major settlements. In view of the district’s total land area of 1230km2, the district is seemed to have inadequate transport networks to optimally integrate the district economy.
The existing network does not facilitate easy connectivity due to limited availability of alternative links between the settlements
DISTRICT ROAD NETWORK
|Type of Road||Length (km)||Area of district covered (%)|
|Network density: 0.2 kilometers per square kilometer|
The statistics presented in above clearly demonstrates that the district’s road stock is inadequate.
Major economic activities included, Agriculture, Industry and Commerce.
Most industries in Kwaebibirem District can be classified under small-scale industries, i.e. Industries that have a total workforce of up to 30 persons each.
These are manufacturing activities carried out in or near the home. In this industry, family labour is used with the objective of providing basic needs and augmenting the family income. The production methods are labour intensive, and there is usually no division of labour. Included in this category of industries are palm and kernels oil extraction, cassava processing, handicrafts, and modern craft and basket weaving.
Palm oil production and cassava processing are the most organized household industries in the district. Some producers have formed co-operatives and some private individuals have acquired extraction plants, and individual oil extractors send their palm fruits and kernels to be extracted for a fee.
Large Scale Industries
Large and commercial oil palm plantations are owned by the Ghana Oil Palm Development Company and Obooma Limited. These two companies process their own palm fruits. They run an out grower system to support their processing mills. The GOPDC is involved in the refining of its palm oil. It is the largest single private employer in the District.
Agricultural extension services assists local farmers to increase agricultural production and introduce farmers to new and improved technologies through training and farm demonstrations
The Kwaebibirem District is endowed with two very important Research Institutes established originally to research into the two major crops that the district is known for i.e. Oil Palm and Citrus. Even though the two Centres have veered into other crops such as cocoa, coconut, plantain, cola, black pepper, bamboo, cocoyam, vegetables, rubber etc.etc. , they are still focussed on their core research areas.
|Name of Institution||Location||Area of Specialization|
|Forest and Horticultural Crops Research Centre (University of Ghana)||Okumaning – Kade||Citrus, Plantain, Mango, Small Ruminants, Cola, Cocoyam, Black pepper and Vegetables|
|Oil Palm Research Institute, (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research)||Kusi||Oil Palm and Coconut|
The district is currently participating in the Inland Valleys Rice Development Project (IVRDP) and the Export Marketing and Quality Awareness Project (EMQAP).
The IVRDP is to utilize the many valley bottoms inundating the district to boost the production of rice. The main variety being produced is Jasmine 85, which is perfumed. The District cumulatively has over 1,000 hectares of Inland valleys and low lying areas which are potentials for rice cultivation. These areas are fed by the numerous rivers and streams that traverse the District and the favourable rain fall which is evenly distributed.
The district can boast of 8 rice mills even though most of them are without de-stoners.
Food and Export Crop Projects
|Project Name||Area To be
|Inland Valley Rice Development Project||100.00||28.00||On going|
|Export Marketing And Quality Awareness Project||10.00||10.00||On going|
The total production of oranges, (Late Valencia), has risen from 40,500MT to about 80,000MT in 2010
|Name of NGO||Area Co-operation|
|Okyeman Environmental project||Forestation|
|Hunger Project||General Agriculture|
|Commercial Strengthening of Smallholder Cocoa Production Program (CNFA)||Cocoa|
|Convergence of Science Sustainable Innovative Systems (COS=SIS)||Oil Palm|