Capital : Somanya
It falls approximately within latitudes 6000’N – 0030’N and longitudes 0030’E – 1000’W.
It covers an estimated area of 805sq.km, constituting 4.2 percent of the total area of the Eastern Region.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Main Area of Cultivation
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
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.
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 Population (Million)
|Type of Livestock||1993||1994||1995||1996||1997||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003|
Source: MOFA, Somanya
|Type of Livestock||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010|
|Type of Livestock||1991||1993||1994||1995||1996||1997||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002|
Source: MOFA, Somanya
|Type of Livestock||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010|
Source: MOFA, Somanya
- Fertility rate of animals
- Cattle – Twice in 3 years
- Sheep – Twice a year
- Goat – Twice a year
- Litter size per type of animal
- Cattle – 1
- Sheep – 1, 2 or 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.
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.
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.
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
|Water Harvesting (Dam)
Water Harvesting (Dam)
|5 & 10
600 sq. 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.
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.
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.
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
|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
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