Location & land size;
Metropolitan Agricultural Development Unit of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly operates within four designated zones consisting eleven (11) sub metros. It shares common boundaries with;-
- Ledzokuku-Krowor in the east,
- Ga West in the western corridor,
- Ga South in the south-western zone and
- Ga East in the north-eastern corridor.
It lies in the coastal zone of Ghana with a bi-modal rainfall pattern.
Accra Metropolitan Area covers about 230 to 240 km² with agricultural lands covering about 1,091 hectares.
- Estimated population for the Accra Metropolitan Area is about Two Million (2,000,000).
Weather : climate & temperature;
- The average annual rainfall records about 750mm to 810mm.
- The mean monthly temperature ranges from 24.7°c to 28°c with an annual average of 26.8°c
- The Metro Department of Food and Agriculture has a core mandate of providing technical education and innovative services to farmers, agro-processors, foodstuff sellers and other agricultural related stakeholders in the Accra Metropolis.
- Apart from the unit’s core objective to provide technical education and innovative services to farmers, agro-processors, foodstuff sellers and other agricultural related stakeholders, it specifically ensures:
- That, practical demonstrations of innovations are carried to stakeholders that fall under its ambit.
- The involvement of research institutions and other relevant stakeholders of the industry to develop modules of agricultural best practices for farmers. The unit is also happy to add that, it currently coordinates and facilitates an Accra Working Group on Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture made up of about 20 institutions that are committed to alleviating poverty in Accra and beyond.
- The consumption of wholesome and safe foods in our markets and our households through consistent education on food safety practices on our markets.
- That, opportunities are created for actors along the production to marketing chain through trainings on processing techniques of perishable food items to help reduce post harvest losses
- The promotion of the livestock industry through a Livestock Development Project to avail quality and affordable meat products for consumption to meet our protein needs.
- The promotion of non-traditional agriculture such as grasscutter and rabbit production, mushroom production, etc which require lesser spaces for production.
- The promotion of home gardening in the metropolis to augment household food security needs
- The protection and greening of the environment through education on safe environmental practices
- It is worth noting that, all activities planned at the unit are geared towards improving the livelihoods of mostly the vulnerable group (women and youth) and the physically challenged.
The Role of Agriculture in AMA
- Ensures consistent supply of raw materials to our industries
- Provides foreign exchange earnings to the economy
- Creates mass employment opportunities for the general population (currently about 65%)
- Helps to improve upon our ecological systems
- Protects the ozone layer from depleting through afforestation
- Provides herbs for the manufacture of medicinal substances
Agricultural Activities in MoFA-AMA
- Arable (Cropping)Land in AMA – 1,091 Ha
- Major Agricultural Activities – Crop Production, Fishing, Livestock and Poultry
Production, Processing of Cereal and Legumes, Fruits and Vegetables, Meat, Fish and Milk Products, Mushroom Production, Bee Keeping, Grasscutter and Rabbit Production and other non-traditional agricultural activities.
- Major Cropping Areas – La, Marteyman, Dzorwulu, Roman Ridge, Korle-Bu,
Marine Drive – Osu, Shiashie, Legon, Achimota and Burma Camp, Airport Area.
- Major Crops Produced – Exotic Vegetables (Lettuce, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrot, Mints,
Cucumber, Spring Onion, Raddish, Green Pepper, etc.), Local Vegetables (Okro, Tomatoes, Pepper, etc.), Staples (Maize and Cowpea)
- Major Fish Production Areas – La, Osu, James Town, Chorkor, Gbegbeisee and Glife.
Average Plot Size per Farmer – 0.1 – 0.2 Ha
Data on Crop Production in AMA
- Vegetable production contributes to about 80% of supply of fresh vegetables (mostly exotic) in Accra.
- AMA records about 1000 vegetable farmers operating on institutional and state lands.
- About 60% of the 1000 produce exotic vegetables while 40% produce indigenous (local) vegetables.
- Also, about 100 Hectares of vegetable farms undergo irrigation during the dry season with the use of tap, dug outs, boreholes and drains.
- About 680 Hectares of farmlands in AMA are used for seasonal maize and cowpea production.
- About 251 Hectares are cropped with mixed cereal-vegetable cropping systems.
- 60% of households numbering about 80,000 in the Accra Metropolis engage in Backyard Gardening . This covers about 50 to 70 Hectares of farmland.
Agricultural Potentials in AMA
- Vast existing markets for agricultural products
– ( Huge Markets, Hotels, Restaurants, Food Vendors, etc. )
- Nearness to Huge Export Channels to European Markets
– (Kotoka Int. Airport and closeness to Tema Harbour )
- Highly populated District with its high attendant demand for agricultural products
- Very good and accessible roads from farms to market centres
- Nearness to market centres
- Availability of technical and research institutions in agriculture
Considering the enormous challenges confronting the Department of Food and Agriculture in executing its duties, efforts were made to partner like-minded institutions with similar aims and objectives within its jurisdiction to help meet the pressing needs of the people in the Accra Metropolitan area. These include academic and research institutions (such as Univ. of Ghana, CSIR, IWMI, etc.), NGOs into Agriculture (e.g. Heifer Int., Enterprise Works Vita, etc.), Environmental Protection Agencies (e.g. EPA) and Agro Stakeholders (Farmer Representatives).
Also, the Department, with support from the International Water Management Institute represented by Resource Centers on Urban Agriculture and Food Security, currently coordinates a Multi-Stakeholder Process made up of 20 major institutions that matter in Agricultural Development in The Accra Metropolitan Area. The Multi-Stakeholder Platform which has culminated into The Accra Working Group on Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture seeks to develop a sustainable urban farming system and to contribute to urban poverty alleviation and enhance urban food security and empowering the socially excluded.
- Estate development taking over our farmlands and limiting food crop production in the Accra metropolis
- Lack of credit assistance for farmers and traders to expand their holdings
- Inadequate support from city authorities and Traditional Leaders to revamp agriculture as a development agenda. Ironically, agriculture in the city is seen as a nuisance.
- Unavailability of clean and potable sources of water for irrigation (especially in vegetable production )
The Way Forward
- In the face of all these challenges, the unit is poised to ensure that, best practices and standards in the agricultural industry are continuously relayed to all agro stakeholders in the industry.
- The unit is also enthused to implement, as part of its mandate, all policy directives from government which would benefit the grassroot level of citizens in the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.
- MoFA – AMA coordinates the Accra Working Group on Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture and intend to use the platform to address pertinent issues ranging from policy, technical or organizational confronting urban agro-stakeholders to meet our food security needs and help alleviate poverty especially in urban and peri-urban settings.