Yilo Krobo

Capital : Somanya

Location

It falls approximately within latitudes 6000’N – 0030’N and longitudes 0030’E – 1000’W.

Land Area

It covers an estimated area of 805sq.km, constituting 4.2 percent of the total area of the Eastern Region.

Boundaries

The district is bordered on the north and east by Manya Krobo District, on the south by Akwapim North and Dangme West Districts and on the west by New Juaben, East Akim and Fanteakwa Districts.

Administrative set up:

The district has about two hundred thirty seven settlements and its divided into seven area councils namely, Somanya, Oterkpolu, Boti, Nkurakan, Nsutapong, Klo-Agogo and Obawale.

Climate

The Yilo Krobo District lies within the dry equatorial climatic zone which experiences substantial amount of rainfall.  It is characterized by a bi-modal rainy season, which reaches its maximum during the two peak periods of May – June and September – October.  The annual rainfall is between 750mm in the Lower Yilo and 1600mm on the slopes of the ranges in the  Upper Yilo. In the district, temperature ranges between a minimum of 24.90 C and a maximum of 29.90 C.  A relative humidity of 60 – 93 percent is also characteristic.

Vegetation

The vegetation of the district is characterized by a semi-deciduous rain forest and savanna grassland.  The semi-deciduous rain forest stretches across a wider part of the district and occupies about 85% of the estimated area. It is mostly found in Upper Yilo.  The vegetation of Lower Yilo is savanna grassland with scattered tree species like Neem, Cassia, and Mangoes etc. It occupies about 15% of the estimated area and forms part of the Accra plains.

Topography

The district is about 80% mountainous.  The Akwapim Range stretches into the district from southwest to northeast across the district. It also has  numerous valleys which provide an undulating landscape.  The low lands are the southeastern part of the district (Lower Yilo).

The rocks forming the ranges are called the Togo series, which include quartzites, phyllites, sandstones, phyllonites and sandy-shades.    On the average, the height of the highlands in the district ranges between 300 and 500 metres above sea level.  There is a scarp rising up to 600 metres, which forms the boundary with the New Juaben District.  On the southeastern part of the district is the Krobo Mountains from where it is believed the Yilo people migrated to the present area.

Drainage

There are two main watersheds forming three river basins in the district.  One of the watersheds is located on the Akwapim Range where streams flow in an eastward direction on the lowlands of Lower Yilo into the Volta River.  On the west of the range, the streams flow into the Ponpong River, which empties into the Volta Lake..

Soils and their Suitability for Agriculture

The predominant soil in the district can be divided into three major groups.  These are,

  • Soils developed over sand stone (Yaya-Pimpimso-bejua Association)
  • Soils developed over Buem (Dewasi-Wayo Association)
  • Soils developed over Togo rocks (Menfe-Fete-Salom complex and the Oyarifa-Krobo-Memfe-Nyire complex).

Soil Types and Crop Suitability

Soil Type Characteristics Soil Suitability Location
Dewasi-wayo Association Poorly drained and less fertile Maize and cassava Sikabeng and Okrakwadwo areas
Menfe-fete-salom complex Moderately drained Maize, cassava and oil palm Obenyemi areas
Oyarifa-Krobo-Menfe complex Water-logged and periodic flooding Maize, okra, mango, pepper and garden eggs Somanya Zone
Yaya-Pimpimso-Bejua Association Well drained Oil palm, yam, maize plantain, cassava and pepper Huhunya, Akpo, Boti and Apersua

Source:  MOFA, 2000

Road Network

The district has estimated total road network coverage of 240 km. This includes 80km of first class roads linking up the district capital to Accra, Tema, Koforidua, Ho and Assesewa and Akosombo. There are also about 160kms of feeder roads linking up the market centres and major settlements.

PRODUCTION AND GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT

The main productive activities in the Yilo Krobo District are agriculture, small-scale enterprises and services. However, agriculture is the most important. It employs about 58% of the population in the District.

Agriculture

The main economic activity in the Yilo Krobo District is agriculture. A household survey conducted in 2002 indicated that 58.0% of the population were engaged in the sector.

Crop farming is the principal agricultural activity in the district. The main crops grown in the district are maize, cassava, yam, cocoyam and plantain. A wide range of vegetables like tomatoes, garden eggs, pepper and okra are also grown. All these crops are cultivated largely on small-scale.

Yilo Krobo has however, seen the emergence of medium to large scale farms within the last few years. Large scale plantation crop like mango has become a very important income generating activity as a result of interventions made by MOFA in collaboration with ADRA, TIPCEE, EMQAP, MIDA, KROBODAN, Hunger Project etc.

Major Farming Activities

There are three dominant farming activities in the district. These are Food crop cultivation, livestock rearing and establishment of mango plantations. Of these three, the most practiced is food crop farming,

The main farming areas in the district are Okwenya, Ogome, Akorley, Azza, Huhunya, Oterkpolu, Akpamu, Agogo Ahinkwa, Nsutapong, Obawale, Opersika, Perpetifi and Samlesi.

Major Crops grown in the District

Five staple crops: maize, cassava, yam, cocoyam and plantain are grown in almost all parts of the district. Yam and cocoyam are limited to Upper Yilo because the soils of Lower Yilo are not suitable for their cultivation. Mango is the major tree crop cultivated in Lower Yilo. It has both ecological and economic potential. A wide range of vegetables like tomato, garden eggs, pepper and okra are also grown. All these crops are cultivated largely on small-scale. The exportable commodities amongst them are pepper, okra, garden eggs and mango.

Crops and Growing Areas

Crop

Main Area of Cultivation

Oil palm

Tomatoes

Garden eggs

Pepper

Maize

Plantain

Yam

Cassava

Okra

Mango

Cocoyam

Akpo, Akpamu, Huhunya, Apersua, Obenyemi

Akpo, Akpamu, Boti, Huhunya

Akpo, Akpamu, Boti, Huhunya, Agogo

Oterkpolu, Huhunya, Sikabeng, Agogo, Akpo, Akpamu

Throughout the District

Ahinkwa, Nsutapong, Agogo mainly & around homesteads in all communities

Akpo, Akpamu, Boti, Perpetifi

Throughout the whole District

Perchiri, Okwenya, Akorley & currently throughout the District

Somanya mainly, & Upper Yilo to some extent

Huhunya Akpo, Akpamu, Agogo, Ahinkwa, Nsutapong (Upper Yilo in general)

Source: MOFA, Somanya.

The yields of the major staple crops and the area under cultivation in the district from 1993 to 2010

Table:  Crop Production output/yield between 1993 –  2004

Year Maize Cassava Plantain Cocoyam Yam Rice
1993 A 8,900 10,400 200 2,000
Y 1.80 11.4 8.0 6.6
P 16,000 114,400 1,600 13,200
1994 A 9,100 12,000 400 2,000
Y 2.4 11.4 8.5 5.6
P 21,800 135,600 3,400 11,200
1995 A 10,000 13,200 2,000 600
Y 0.8 10.6 7.0 8.3
P 8,000 140,000 14,000 5,000
1996 A
Y
P
1997 A 10,200 12,000 800 2,000 600 250
Y 1.7 12.7 8.5 6.5 10.0 2.0
P 17,400 152,000 6,800 13,000 6,000 500
1998 A 11,000 14,000 900 2,000 900 300
Y 1.8 12.1 6.7 6.5 7.8 2.0
P 20,000 170,000 6,000 13,000 7,000 600
1999 A 12,550 12,600 855 2,000 933 330
Y 1.8 12.3 7.3 6.5 12.8 2.0
P 22,590 154,980 6,240 13,000 11,923.74 660
2000 A 10,500 10,800 800 1,200 900 200
Y 1.7 11.4 7.3 6.2 10.4 2.0
P 17,850 123,120 5,840 7,440 9,342 400
2001 A 10,500 12,000 1,000 1,250 1,000 210
Y 1.3 10.4 7.3 7.0 15.5 2.0
P 13,700 124,800 7,300 8,750 15,500 420
2002 A 10,900 12,150 1,100 1,300 1,000
Y 1.7 11.3 8.8 7.0 18.5
P 18,530 137,295 9,680 9,100 18,500
2003 A 10,800 12,200 1100 1,300 1,000
Y 1.6 11.3 86.2 45.5 11.3
P 17,600 137,295 94,800 59,200 11,280
2004 A 8,121 11,007 662.4 14.3 2,229.0
Y
P
2005 A 8,556 9,953.5 1,580 2,812.5 1,656.5
Y 2.1 14.6 1.7 6.8 6.2
P 16,967.6 145,321.1 2,686 19,125 10,270.3
2006 A 9,040 8,534 780 1,447 1,350
Y 1.46 14.9 9.9 8.4 14.39
P 13,198 127,157 7,722 12,155 19,427
2007 A 8,470 9,130 700 2,009 2,133
Y 2.3 13.7 8.4 6.0 12.2
P 19,481 125,081 5,880 12,054 26,023
2008 A 6,787 8,425 440 2,468 1,735
Y 2.1 14.1 8.9 6.9 12.4
P 14,253 118,793 3,916 17,029 21,514
2009 A 6,007 7,920 440 3,137 1,161
Y 2.2 15.3 6.7 5.7 10.3
P 13,215 121,176 2,948 17,881 11,958
2010 A 8,516 10,684 553 3,084 1,375
Y 2.3 15.8 6.9 5.4 10.6
P 19,588 168,807 3,816 16,656 14,571
2011 A
Y
P

Source: MOFA, Somanya

Note:   A         =          Area Cultivated in (ha)

Y         =          Yield (tones/ha)

P          =          Total production in tones

The following table shows the different crops and areas in which they are grown

Land under cultivation

Records indicate that a total of 90,000 hectares is currently under cultivation in the district. The land is losing its fertility as a result of continuous cropping, bush burning, felling of trees by chain saw Operators, erosion etc.

Livestock Rearing

Apart from crop farming, livestock farming is also practiced in the district. The practice in the district is such that most of those engaged in cropping are also involved in livestock rearing. The main types of livestock reared in the district are cattle, goats, sheep, chicken and pigs. These animals are reared all over the district. However, the main livestock rearing areas are Akorley, Okwenya, New Somanya, Nam-Ogome, Obawale, Oterkpolu, Boti, Huhunya and Nkurakan. Most of the livestock rearing activities are meant to supplement nutritional requirements and to earn additional income.

Livestock Sub-Sector

Livestock Population (Million)

Type of Livestock 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Cattle

Sheep

Goat

Pigs

Poultry

2,002

6,764

9,752

3,589

8,129

11,266

3,600

8,311

11,412

4,260

8,494

12,288

4,270

8,501

12,290

4,278

8,510

12,310

2,047

8,621

12,620

753

20,500

2,174

18,222

20,418

286

25,908

2,302

8,334

9,743

2,414

9,713

11,747

2,422

9,911

12,243

Source: MOFA, Somanya

Type of Livestock 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Cattle

Sheep

Goat

Pigs

Poultry

790

27,561

28,313

714

11,755

1,087

4,637

6,152

104

7,917

1,194

4,956

6,823

971

4,678

1,852

34,879

43,851

1,081

173,900

1,986

20,657

30,574

4,136

165,511

2,449

34,592

40,443

5,335

184,640

2,523

35,011

40,823

5,674

185,013

Meat Production

Type of Livestock 1991 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Cattle

Sheep

Goat

189

75

78

132

108

96

987

35

30

1,211

72

76

1,426

148

147

1,376

70

209

1,339

104

317

1,124

105

141

Source: MOFA, Somanya

Type of Livestock 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Cattle

Sheep

Goat

800

106

66

904

156

118

736

125

104

807

102

94

777

77

76

892

89

90

892

130

164

1,212

92

86

Source: MOFA, Somanya

  • Fertility rate of animals
    1. Cattle – Twice in 3 years
    2. Sheep – Twice a year
    3. Goat – Twice a year
  • Litter size per type of animal
    1. Cattle – 1
    2. Sheep – 1, 2 or 3
    3. Goat – 1, 2 or 3
  • Acreage of pasture developed for farm animals – Nil
  • Mortality figures of farm animals (for last year)

It is also important to note that cattle rearing is mostly limited to Somanya area.

Grazing

The prominent way by which livestock grazing is carried out in the district is by open grazing.

Stray animals pose real threat to crops grown in backyard gardens.

Fishing

Lake fishing is seasonal at Bukunor during the rainy season when the Volta Lake overflows its banks. Both males and females are engaged in this type of occupation. Whilst the males are directly involved in fishing, the females are mainly fishmongers. Fish farming has not received much attention in the district even though it has great potential.

Irrigation Farming.

Besides Apersua, Perchire and Bukunor communities where irrigation farming is practised because they are situated along the Ponpong river irrigation farming  is not common in the district, even though rainfall is unreliable. The District Agricultural Development Unit is gradually promoting sprinkler irrigation farming in the district especially for the cultivation of vegetables during the dry season.

Below is a table indicating some individual farmers practicing irrigation farming

Irrigation Development

Farm(er) Irrigation Facility Location No. Size(Acres) Yield Remark
G.T. Ecological

Pentacom

Batsa

Virgin Valley

DAT Farms

Krony Farms

Mr. Osragbo

Yaw Amponsah

Water Harvesting (Dam)

Water Harvesting (Dam)

Well

Well

Dugout

Dugout

Dugout

Dugout

Ogome

Ogome

Trom

Akorley

Trom

Trom

New Somanya

Nyante

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

5 & 10

600 sq. m

9000cu.m

All these facilities are available throughout the year

Post-Harvest Losses and Storage

Most of the foodstuffs grown by farmers in the district are lost as a result of poor harvesting methods, poor storage, poor storage pest management, inadequate market and processing. For instance losses of tomatoes are estimated at between 35-40 percent and that for maize is estimated at 30-35 percent.

There are few private storage facilities in the district and most of them are used to store maize

The commonly used types of storage facilities are:

  • The improved ventilated narrow cribs.
  • The “ewe” barn
  • The “kitchen” barn
  • “Room” storage where the produce is loaded into sacks and placed on wooden pallets.

Most of the other crops are stored using traditional methods, and this is not always efficient.

The lack of storage facilities forces farmers to sell off their produce at very low prices. This is especially so if there is a bumper harvest and also in the case of vegetables such as garden eggs, tomatoes and okra which are perishable.

Farm Sizes

The average farm size in the district is 0.81 hectares. This is far below the national average of 1.2 hectares. This is as a result of land fragmentation which is explained by increasing population and the tradition of  fathers dividing land and sharing it amongst their  children. The more the children, the smaller the plots become.

Farm Labour

A very important factor in labour is the availability of Labourers to support agricultural activities. In the district labour is scarce and expensive during the peak periods of agricultural production (land preparation, weeding and harvesting). Most of the youngsters are not prepared to be engaged in physical labour.

However, some of the farmers are old and do not have adequate physical energy to maintain and manage their farms. For this reason, they depend very much on household and hired labour.

Farm Tools

The main farming tools used in the district are hoes and cutlasses. Most of the farmers cannot afford inputs that reduce the need for physical labour. This limits the ability of the farmers to increase the size of their operations, thus, discouraging them from trying new innovations in agriculture. Tractor usage especially for land preparation is receiving tremendous attention in Somanya, but the cost of tractor service is still high.

Farm Power for Land Preparation

ER
Household and land
No. Farm HH 14,265
Est. crop land in main season (ha) 22,800 ha
Estimated crop land in minor season (ha 16,536 ha
Machine in operation 231
Running machine to farm HH ratio 1:62
Acreage covered during the main season (ha) 5,200
Estimated land ploughed in minor season (ha) 3,900

Source:           Agricultural Engineering Services Directorate

Extension Services

Adequate extension services are available to farmers in the district. This is as a result of the adoption of effective extension methodologies. The methodologies used to enable Extension Agents reach out to many farmers are a combination of the individual and the group methods and the use of mass media (Rite 90.1 FM) located at Somanya. The services provided range from technical advice on new technologies e.g. The introduction and use of improved planting materials, application of fertilizers, effective and efficient use of agro-chemicals, veterinary services etc.

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