Kwahu West Municipal

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Geographical Location and Size

The Kwahu West Municipal is one of the newly created Municipalities in the Eastern Region of Ghana and lies between latitudes 6°30° North, and 7° North and longitudes 0° 30° West and 1° West of the equator. The Municipal capital, Nkawkaw, is located about 165 kilometers North–West of Accra.

The Municipal is bounded to the north by the Kwahu South District, to the West by Asante-Akim South District. It is bounded on the East, by the Fanteakwa District and to the south by Birim North and Atiwa Districts. It has a total land area of 414km².

Demographic characteristics

Population Growth

The 2000 National Population and Housing Census put the Municipal’s population at 201,542 with population growth rate of about 4%. The growth of the population is mainly due to the influence of migration of people to the Municipal’s capital. The structure of the population is made up of about 49% males and 51% female with an average household size of 4.6.

There are about 220 settlements in the Municipality with Nkawkaw, a well known commercial town as the capital.

The population is concentrated mainly in the municipal capital (about 80,000 people) and located along the urban and peri-urban areas of the municipality particularly along the Accra –Kumasi High way.

Rural-Urban Split

According to the 1984 National Population Census, only 21.9 percent of the population lived in urban areas and the rest (78.1%) lived in rural areas.  Currently, 36.2 per cent of the population lives in urban areas whilst 61.8 % live in rural areas.

The Municipality can therefore be described as being predominantly rural.

(

dependency ratio is 1:0:8. The economic dependency ratio of 1:0:8 as obtained from field investigations mean that an employee is close to taking care of another person who is unemployed.

A high dependency ratio puts a lot of pressure on the employed in the light of high per capita consumption expenditure and rather low per capita income as well as its distribution. This implies low savings which could be channeled for investment to employ more people to reduce the burden.

Occupational Distribution

The predominant occupation in the Municipality is subsistence agriculture.

Agriculture employs about 52.5% of the total labour force.

PHYSICAL AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

Climate

The Municipality lies within the wet-semi equatorial region. As such, it experiences a double maxima rainfall pattern with average monthly relative humidity ranging between 75% and 80% during the two rainy seasons with average annual rainfall of between 1,700mm and 2,000mm

Mean monthly temperature values as high as 30oC are often recorded between the months of March and April but declines to 26oC in August.

The Municipality comes under the influence of two air masses namely the tropical maritime air mass (MT) and the tropical continental (CT) air mass. The tropical maritime air mass hits the Municipality twice a year thereby causing the two rainy seasons. The two occasions are May to August and then September to October. Between the months of November and March, the Municipality is affected by the tropical continental air mass making the area warm and dry.

Vegetation and Forest Reserves

The Kwahu West Municipality lies within the semi-deciduous forest zone, which belongs to the Antiaris – Chlorophora association. The vegetation is dense and consists of major economic trees such as Odum, Wawa, Mahogany Ciderella, Ceiba petandra, Sapele etc.

The forest is made up of three layers with most of the trees in the upper and middle layers exhibiting deciduous characteristics during the dry season, which starts in November and ends in March. Unfortunately, few of the virgin forests in the Municipality remain today due to the negative effects of human activities such as timber extraction, farming and bushfires. Most virgin forest lands have been replaced by other vegetation or secondary forest, which is easily distinguished from the climatic climax vegetation.

There are three forest reserves in the Municipality with the southern scarp forest reserve, which covers an area of 15,460 hectares being the largest. Others include: the Kade Bepo, and Nkawanda.

The total land area is 171.56km2.

Soils and Agricultural Land use

Soils in the Municipality belong to a category called Forest Ochrosols and consist of clay loamy soils.  These are sub-divided into various groups comprising, fine sand loams, clay loams, Recreational loams, non-gravel sandy clay loams, sandy loams and iron pan soils.These soils possess the good chemical properties of clay and appreciable amounts of humus making them generally fertile and a great potential for cash and food crop production.  Each of these soils has its peculiar characteristics and the type of crops as shown in Table 1.2. .

Soil Characteristics

Soil Classification Series Characteristics Crop Suitability
Swedru-Nsaba-Offin Compound Swedru series

Nsaba series

Offin series

Red silty clay loam.

Rapid internal drainage

Medium to rapid run-off

Fairly high water holding capacity

Moderately slow permeability

Good physical conditions for plant growth

Yellowish red silty clay loam

Medium internal drainage

Medium to rapid run-off

Moderately slow permeability

Fairly high water holding capacity

Grey to pale alluvial sands

Developed on nearly flat valley bottoms

Very slow internal drainage

Very rapid permeability

Very low water holding capacity

Usually flooded or water-logged for most parts of the year

Cocoa, coffee, Oil palm, citrus, cocoyam, plantain, maize

Cocoa, oil palm, coffee, citrus, plantain, cocoyam, banana, cassava, maize

Low land rice

Soil Classification Series Characteristics Crop Suitability
Kintampo-Damango-Tanoso series Kintampo series

Damango series

Tanoso series

Low nutrient content

Top soil consist of brown fine

sandy soil

Deep to very deep brown to yellowish red sandy loam

Allow adequate root growth and penetration

Moderately acidic

Moderate water holding capacity

Well to moderately well drained

A major member of the floodplain soils

Strongly acidic at the top

Low to slightly low organic matter content

Easily saturated during the rainy season

Generally poor in plant nutrients

Not suitable for agricultural purposes

Beans, maize, millet, guinea corn, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, citrus

Tomatoes, okro, garden eggs, carrots

Atewa-Atukrom-Asikuma-Ansum compounds Atukrom series

Asikuma series

Atiwa series

Ansum series

Yaya-Pimpimso- Bejua series

Redish brown, deeply weathered sedentary soil

Usually found on Upper slopes and summits

Very deep and well drained

Very poor moisture retention during dry seasons

Top soil easily eroded

Pale brown to orange brown in colour

Well drained oils

Deep red to brown sedentary soil

Well-drained, deep and easily worked liable to erosion

Poor moisture, retention during dry season

Occurs on dairly steep sloped

Yellow-brown colluvial soil

well drained

Easy to work and free from stones

Cocoa, coffee, cocoyam, plantain, maize

Cocoa, food crops

Cocoa and food crops such as cocoyam

Root crops such as cocoyam,

Cassava etc.

Yaya serIes

Pimpimso series

Bejua series

Lithic leptosols overlying partially decomposed sandstone

Occur on gentle to moderately steep Middle and Upper slops

Dark brown sandy clay loam

Well drained

Prone to moderate to severe sheet erosion

Parent material is colluviums

Yellowish brown sandy loam

Imperfect drained

Slightly moist

Parent material derived forms and stones

Maize

Tomatoes

Source: Soil Research Institute, Kwadaso.

Water Resources

The Kwahu West Municipality has very rich groundwater resources and rivers. These could be developed for irrigation purposes, particularly in the rural communities, to boost agriculture in the Municipality.

Notably among these rivers are Asuboni, Pra and Akaworonsu

Agricultural Sector

Agriculture is the major economic activity in the Kwahu West Municipality and employs 60% of the labour force. A baseline survey revealed that generally large-scale farming activities are limited in the Municipality.  Agriculture in the Municipality is on subsistence level, and very few farmers engage in large plantation farming.  Production situation in the Municipality is shown in the table below:-

Agricultural Production Situation In The Municipality

CROP ESTIMATED AREA (HA) ESTIMATED YIELD (MT/HA) PRODUCTION (MT)
Maize 3,435 1.7 5,840
Cassava 8,868 16.0 141,888
Plantain 2,380 10.8 25,704
Cocoyam 1,131 6.80 7,693
Yam 130 14.,3 1,859
Cocoa 8,000 0.6 4,800
Cola nut 2,125 0.4 850
Citrus 712 8.98 6,393.8
Oil palm 656 3.95 2,5912
Ginger 566 5.45 3,086
Vegetables 250 3.40 850
Animals Estimated No/Stock size
Cattle 250
Sheep 28,021
Goats 35,412
Commercial poultry 55,000
Pigs 4,400
Rabbits 2,600
Grasscutter 532

CROPS SECTOR

Maize

The Municipality has potential in maize production. The crop is cultivated throughout the Municipality. It is estimated that about 4,000 hectares of maize are cultivated annually producing about 6,000 mt.

However, the farmlands are of small holdings varying between 0.4 and 0.8ha.

Though storage of maize poses a challenge for a meaningful productivity, Farmers are able to produce enough for sale.

Marketing of the produce does not pose a big problem in the Municipality except when there is production glut in the country where surpluses from other areas like Techiman, Nkoranza and Afram plains tend to flood the market.

About 60% of annual production is consumed locally.

Cassava

The crop is also produced extensively in the Municipality. It is intercropped with maize.

Most of the soils in the Municipality are suitable for the cultivation of cassava hence the high production yields.

Unfortunately, almost all the varieties produced are of the traditional types.

However, efforts have been made to introduce the industrial types like bankyehemaa, Abasafitaa etc. from RTIMP project for the purposes of setting up small-scale agro-processing units.

The crop farm sizes range between 0.4 and 0.8ha.

Average production is about 16 mt/ha and the estimated annual cultivable Hectareage is 1,200.

Plantain

Plantain one of the food crops is found everywhere in the Municipality even at backyards of most houses in the Municipality. Though the soils in the Municipality are suitable for the cultivation of the crop on large scale basis, cultivation of the crop is on subsistence basis of small holdings between 0.2 and 0.4ha.

Average production is about 10.8Mt/ha and annual production level of about 26,000Mt.

Cocoyam

The Municipality produces about  8,000 Mt of the crop annually. The crop is an intercrop in cocoa and plantain farms. It is produced extensively on steep slopes in the Municipality. Average annual production is 7Mt/ha.

Oil palm

Oil palm is one of the potential crops in the Municipality. It has the potential of becoming an industrial crop in the Municipality, if the PSI on oil palm project in the Municipality is fully implemented.

The palm fruits are processed into palm oil and palm kernel oil through the local processing methods. The products are sold in the local markets and also outside the Municipality’s markets.

Citrus

Citrus is also fast gaining recognition in the Municipality. Most farmers in the Municipality took advantage of the ADRA Agroforestry Programme and therefore own some citrus farms. Farm sizes range between 0.4 and 0.8 ha for small scale farmers and 4ha and 14 ha for large scale farmers.

Marketing of the crop used not to be a problem at all in the Municipality but for some three years now (2007-2010), marketing of the produce has reduced drastically. Actually, the citrus crop used to provide substantial revenue to those farmers who own them.

Cocoa

Cocoa, which is an exportable crop and a major foreign exchange earner for the country, is widely produced in the Municipality.  The Municipality used to be a cocoa-producing area, but has lost that glory due to the intensive bush fire, which occurred in 1983 and upsurge of swollen shoot disease in the Municipality, but for the Mass cocoa spraying exercise currently being carried, the Municipality has seen a tremendous increase in the tonnage of cocoa produced. About 8,000 hectares of cocoa farms are sprayed annually against capsid and black pod diseases resulting in significant increase in production.

The average farm size of the crop is 0.8 hectares.  Marketing of the product is done mainly through the Ghana Cocoa Marketing Company of COCOBOD and on a limited scale through private organizations such as OLAM, KUAPA etc.

Cola

Cola is also one of the plantation crops that give revenue to most farmers. The crop is either an intercrop in cocoa farms or sole crop.

Cola business in Kwahu West is very lucrative. About 90% of the cola produced in the Municipality is exported to Nigeria.

Two (2) indigenous varieties are cultivated in the district; the white and the red varieties. Farmers who expressed interest in establishing new plantations were advised to obtain exotic seedlings from CRIG at Tafo

The estimated established plantations are about 2,200ha. with annual exportable production of 1,000Mt.

Ginger

Ginger is fast establishing itself as the non-traditional crop in the district. Currently, the crop is being produced on a very small scale due to its initial high capital investment. Ginger production, if promoted in the Municipality could be one of the topmost crops that can reduce rural poverty among farmers in the Municipality.

A social survey conducted indicated that a farmer is able to harvest 300% of the quantity of the crop cultivated. This translates into 200% profit whilst holding on to the initial quantity of crop cultivated.

Ginger can be stored for a very long time; for over 6 months to 1 year when harvested or can be left to grow irrespective of the climatic conditions for a very long time when market prices are not favourable.

An initial capital of about GH¢2,400 is required to cultivate one (1) hectare of the crop. Annual crop production in the Municipality is 4,000Mt.

MAJOR FOOD/TREE CROPS AND THEIR AREAS OF PRODUCTION

Crop Production

MAJOR FOOD/TREE CROP MAJOR AREAS OF PRODUCTION
Maize

Cassava

Cocoyam

Vegetables

Plantain

Oil Palm

Citrus

Cocoa

Ginger

Cola

Ekowso, Asuboni Rails, Jamasi

Setekese. Asuboni Rails, Ekowso, Aweregya

Ekowso, Wawase, Asuboni Rails

Nkawanda, Fodoa, Asuboni Rails

Ekowso, Asuboni Rails, Odumase, Aweregya

Abepotia, Nkawkaw, Asuboni Rails

Asuboni Rails,Nkawkaw,Abepotia,Oframase,Amperkrom

All over the District

Oframase,Monsie,Amanfrom

All over the district

LIVESTOCK SECTOR

Cattle

Cattle rearing are of small holdings in the Municipality due to the forest vegetation.

Currently, there are about 250-300 cattle in the Municipality Most of the cattle slaughtered at the Municipality’s abattoir are from the North or Afram plains.

Sheep and Goats

There are about 60,000 small ruminants in the Municipality

Livestock is mainly reared on free range system. There are no elaborate housing for these animals and no proper breeding methods for those animals. As a result of that the Animal Production Unit of MoFA in collaboration with the Municipal Development Unit has established demonstration of different livestock housing units for study and adoption by livestock farmers in the municipality

Animal production growth rate is about 25%.

Pig production

Estimated number of 5,000 pigs is reared annually in the Municipality. Pig production is carried out by individual farmers on subsistence level. There are no large commercial pig farmers in the Municipality.

Pork produced is consumed locally.

Grasscutter production

Grasscutter production is gaining acceptance by many farmers in the Municipality.

Though the initial capital investment is relatively high, farmers are seriously involved in Grasscutter rearing. There is in place a Grasscutter Association in the Municipality with about 150 members.

It is estimated that about 550 Grasscutters are being reared in the Municipality. The number is expected to go up by about 10% annually.

Poultry production

Poultry is also one of the leading agricultural ventures in the Municipality. There are about 25 commercial poultry houses.

Marketing of poultry and poultry products are done locally.

There is more room for improvement and expansion in the poultry industry in the Municipality. The Agricultural Development Unit also embarked on rural poultry improvement programme to, as it were, improve upon the size and genetic make up of the domestic poultry by producing about 3000 exotic cockerels annually for sale to farmers to enhance cross breeding. It plans to go into sustainable cockerel production to improve the rural/domestic poultry.

MAJOR LIVESTOCK AND COMMERCIAL POULTRY AND

THEIR AREAS OF PRODUCTION

Livestock Production

MAJOR LIVESTOCK AND COMMERCIAL POUTRY MAJOR AREAS OF PRODUCTION
Cattle

Sheep

Goats

Commercial Poultry

Local poultry

Grasscutter

Nkawkaw

All over the District

All over the District

Nkawkaw

All over the District.

All over the District

OTHER SECTORS

Women in Agriculture Development (WIAD)

Women play vital role in agricultural development particularly in areas of processing, cultivation and weed control. The WIAD unit has therefore put a lot of programmes in place to empower the women in agriculture in the Kwahu West Municipality to help accelerate agricultural growth. Notably among them are:

  • Home Garden Establishment
  • Processing and Preservation of Agricultural Produce
  • Promotion of local foods
  • Nutrition
  • Home management
  • HIV/AIDS awareness

Women in Agriculture need support in areas of Agribusiness and processing to enhance agricultural development in the Municipality.

IRRIGATION

Another challenge to accelerated agricultural development in the country is lack of irrigation facilities.

Kwahu West has a lot of lowland areas that can support small–scale irrigation. These lands when developed under small scale irrigation systems can provide all year round food and vegetables for local consumption at cheaper prices.

The surpluses can also be sold outside the Municipality to earn additional revenue for the farmers. This development can lead to rural poverty reduction. It could also encourage the farmers to produce more as well as remove the risk of crop failure, due to lack of rains, should a farmer borrow from a financial institution to conduct farming.

AQUACULTURE

The Municipality is endowed with lowland areas which could be utilized for aquaculture development. There are a lot of farmers who have expressed interest in aquaculture. However, the Municipality lacks competent staff to handle this discipline. In spite of this handicap, there is close collaboration between the aquaculture group in the municipality and the Regional fisheries unit.

There are few commercial and recreational fish ponds in the Municipality.

These ponds are located at Nkawanda No 1, Nkawkaw, Amanfrom, Old jejeti and Adansua.

Fish from the ponds are sold to the general public or the commercial cold stores. A commercial fish pond farmer produces fingerlings and mature fish for sale to farmers and the general public respectively.

The Municipality though has enormous potential in aquaculture; few farmers are engaged in this technology.

STORAGE

One of the challenges that face agriculture in the Municipality is adequate storage facilities for the farmers, particularly maize farmers.  These farmers produce about 6,000 mt. of maize annually but cannot store them when prices are not favourable. Those who attempt to store them lose about 30 -40 % of their harvested maize through improper storage facilities. The Municipality therefore requires financial and material support to train and also assist the farmers to construct simple but durable storage facilities for their produce.

RURAL ROAD NETWORK

Road is the only means of transport in the Municipality. This implies that, the overall improvement of the rural road network, maintenance and rehabilitation will facilitate and lower transportation cost of foodstuffs and farm inputs to and from the urban towns. Good rural road network will integrate the rural economy with the urban economy to reduce rural poverty.

However, rural road networks in the Kwahu West Municipality is so poor that transportation cost on goods and services to and from the rural areas is very high and as such tend to affect the prices of goods and services in the market centres.

Financing Agriculture

Financing of Agricultural holdings in the Municipality are to large extent from the farmers own resources. About 90% of the farmers in the Municipality finance their own farms. This makes effective and efficient agriculture in the Municipality very cumbersome to accomplish. About 10% Agricultural financing in the Municipality is by the banks and government. Farmers are unable to access credit to undertake meaningful farming due to high interest rates, lack of collateral and short term pay back period of the loans.

NGOs

In the quest to address the challenges in Agricultural Development in the Kwahu West Municipality, a number of Non–governmental Organization are also assisting farmers in the Municipality. Notably among these are ADRA, HUNGER PROJECT and WORLD VISION.

ADRA

ADRA assisted farmers to undertake agro-forestry plantations in the form of citrus and also assisted communities with boreholes, toilets and Moringa seedlings.

Hunger Project

This NGO also assisted farmers with epicenters where farmers were given technical advice and some level of training to enhance their farming.

World Vision

World Vision also assisted a lot of farmers to embark on Agro- forestry projects and also to improve upon the micronutrient intake by providing fruit crop seedlings, rabbits, goats and chicken to the rural farmers in the Municipality. However, project came to an end in 2007 but the NGO is still operating in the municipality but ADRA is no more.

These NGOs in one way or the other involved the agricultural staff of MoFA, MADU Kwahu West to help achieve their objectives. MADU, Kwahu West therefore welcomes any other NGO that would like to work with the Directorate and the Municipal Assembly to address the aforementioned challenges to help accelerate agricultural Development.

EXTENSION DELIVERY SERVICES

The objective of the Municipal Agricultural Development unit (MADU), Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Kwahu West, is to assist farmers with technological innovations through trainings and demonstrations to achieve optimal agricultural development in the Municipality.

MADU since its inception in 2005 has embarked on some programmes and projects to achieve the set agricultural objectives. Notably among these are:

Food and Agricultural Budgetary Support (FABS) 2006

Under this programme, DADU provided GH¢20,000 cash to assist 10 Grasscutter farmers groups and 9 individual poultry farmers to rear grasscutters and guinea fowl respectively.  The FABS fund also provided additional GH¢1,500 to 3 farmers to construct three (3) maize cribs for the storage of maize.

Furthermore, the Fund assisted three (3) Oilpalm processing groups to acquire processing equipment worth GH¢20,500.

FBO Fund

The FBO Fund also in 2004, spanning 2005, released an amount of about

GH17, 000 to three (3) farmer groups located at Nkawanda 1, Asuoso Jejeti and Kwahu Jejeti to purchase Agro –processing equipment.

Food and Agricultural Support Programme (maize project, 2005-2007)

MoFA, Kwahu West under this Programme, supported about 279 individual farmers and 16 farmer groups with farm inputs to undertake maize production.

BLOCK FARMING (2010)

MAIZE

Size: 42 hectares in 3 operational areas namely

Kofi Dede -18 hectares        Asuboni Rails- 14

Awenade -10 hectares

RICE

Size: 32 hectares at Asuboni Rails

Work on the Block farming project is progressing steadily.

The Directorate in its quest to render extension services to the farmers has mapped out the Municipality into 15 operational areas to ease monitoring of field staff In its day to day extension delivery, MoFA, Kwahu West embarks on some of the following programmes annually to technically assist its farmers not only to increase agricultural production but also improve upon their standards of living.


Interventions

The Kwahu West Municipal Agricultural Development unit (MADU) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in collaboration with the Kwahu West Municipality Assembly have put in place interventions to address the above challenges in order to enhance agricultural development in the Municipality

However, their efforts will require the collaboration of other stakeholders to address these challenges.

MoFA, Kwahu West Municipality therefore welcomes stakeholders who are willing to assist in this direction.

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