The Jirapa district is located in the North Western part of the upper west region of Ghana. It lies approximately between latitude 10.2 “and 10.11 North and latitude 20.25 and 20.40 West.
The Jirapa District which was formally Jirapa Lambussie district was carved out of the then Lawra district in 1988 and Lambussie district also created in 1999 out of the Jirapa –Lambussie district. Currently the district has one constituency which is the Jirapa constituency with the capital located in Jirapa
The 2000 national population and housing census results put the former district population at 96.834 which is made up of 51.334 female and 45.500male .Fifty three (53%) and forty seven (47%) respectively. This has not yet been demarcated for the population to be computed for the two districts. However the District Assembly Area Council population records have put the population of the Jirapa district to be approximately 58,601 / people.
SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION AND HUMAN SETTLEMENT.
The population in the district is distributed among 170 settlements. Most of the communities are small and dispersed in areas with population size ranging between 500 and 1000 people. The only town in the district is Jirapa. Other fast growing communities are Han, Ullo, Tizza, and Sabuli.
The longest distance across the district is from Gbetuori, a community in the south west of Jirapa and boundary to Burkina Faso along the White Volta, to Nindorwala which is in the East of Jirapa boundary to the Sissala West district to the east. The length is about 45km.
PRINCIPAL NATURAL RESOURCE.
There is a concentration of granite rocks around Yagha and Jirapa areas. These are said to contain gold deposits. However later studies would have to be conducted to establish the economic viability and feasibility of exploitation. These granite rocks store considerable qualities of ground water and therefore have high potential for digging bore holes and hand dug wells. Gravel and clay deposit abound in the district providing a promising potential for construction, Brick and tile, paint and pottery in the district.
The soil of the district is mainly sandy loam with under lying hard iron pans
Generally the sandy loams are suitable for the cultivation of groundnuts and cowpea.
Large tracts of fertile soils abound in Han, Somboro and Mwankuri areas.
CLIMATE AND VEGETATION
The vegetation of the district is guinea savannah woodland and light under growth and scattered trees. The major economic trees are Shea, dawadawa and baobab with cashew springing up of late. Neem is also prominent in the district. Human activities such as bush burning, tree felling for fuel, inappropriate agricultural practices sand and gravel wining contribute immensely to the destruction of the vegetation and consequently the environment.
The district has no forest reserve. However measures are being put in place by the district Assembly to establish forest at the eastern part of the district where there is vast land.
TOPOGRAPHY AND DRAINAGE
The land scape of the district is generally flat and low lying with average height of about 300meters above sea level. There are few plateau surfaces ranging between 300-350 meters. These can be found in Yagha and Jirapa.
The district is not well drained as no major rivers are found except the White Volta that is found along the Gbetouri, Tuolon and Orifani area. There are also intermittent tributaries of the Black Volta at Ullo, Bakpong at Baazu, Dazuuri and Telenbe at Tizza.
The major and only ethnic group in the district is the Dagaabas A few Sissala are settled around Kpare and Hain areas. The Fulani’s, Walas and some few Ashanti’s are the minority in the district.
The taboos of these ethnic groups are the reptiles/animals that are their totems which include monkeys, crocodile, pythons and some other types of monitor lizards which they taboo to eat or kill. There are two major festivals in the district. These are Bongo and Bogri festival which are facing a lot of problems due to leadership and economic problems.
The only paramount chief on the district is the Jirapa Naa. However there are also eight sub-chiefs located in some of the fast growing communities. There are eight area councils in the district. These are Jirapa, Ullo, Hain and Sabuli. The rest are Tuggo, Douri, Gbare and Tizza.
Some tourist attraction centers can also be found in this district. The python sanctuary at Sigri, the mushroom rocks at Wulling, the Bayoung foot prints on the baobab tree at Ullo-Dantie and the buttocks print of the famous worrier on the rocks at Gbare.
Type of farming system being operated in the district include monocroping, crop rotation, mixed cropping, land rotation and compound farming
LAND TENURE SYSTEM
The system of holding land in the Jirapa district is by inheritance. Family lands are inherited by their children after the death of their father. Women do not own land, however they are giving some plots when they request for land for farming purposes especially ground nuts and rice.
PROJECTS IMPLEMENTED IN THE DISTRICT
.2009 PRODUCTION RECOVERIES (NERICA RICE)
The Nerica Rice block farm was situated at Gbetuori. A total number of thirty seven (37) farmers participated in the programme.
Forty acres of rice was cultivated and farmers were supplied with seed and fertilizer.
Major crops produced
The major cereal crops cultivated in the district include Maize, Sorghum, Millet, groundnuts and rice. The rest include Cowpea, Soybean and Bambara groundnuts.
Vegetable crops are Tomatoes, Pepper, Okra, and Onions. Cabbage and lettuce are not produced in significant quantities in the district.
Tree crops that are cultivated in the district include mango and Cashew. Some tree crops like dawadawa and the Shea trees are naturally grown on the farms. These are then protected taken care of till they are producing fruits.
Root and tubers like Yam, Cassava, and sweet potato are grown in smaller acreages throughout the district. The fertile soils of the eastern portions of the district support the cultivation of Yam in larger quantities.
The only industrial crop grown in the district is cotton. This is found in the eastern belt of the district.
Cropped area of major crops (Ha)
Information on performance (Mt)
Source: SRID RADU
Detailed information on Livestock Production
African swine fever resulted in the loss of pigs in 2006 to 2008.
Source: DADU Livestock census.
There is no organized fish production taking place in the district since 1988. There are however dams and dugouts were fishing is done by the local fishermen throughout the year.
Data on the fish catch is difficult since these fishermen do their own thing both at night and day . Appropriate fishing methods and nets are not being used in fishing.
There is no staff attached to the fishing unit due to lack of staff.
Sometimes the regional fisheries department comes occasionally to fish in these dams with difficulty since the local fishermen in the communities would not understand why they should come from the region to fish in their waters.
FERTILIZER SUBSIDY PROGRAMME
Government Fertilizer subsidy program was well embraced by all farmers in the district. The subsidy resulted in more farmers being able to purchase fertilizer thereby resulting in the increase in the yield of crops and consequently increase in the production of maize in the district.
In 2009 Ninety three (93) booklets of NPK fertilizer was allocated to the district and was all patronized by farmers. 86 booklets SA fertilizer was supplied while 6 booklets Urea was allocated to the district.
LIVESTOCK DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
This special project was started in 2004 in the district. At the initial stages of the project, educational programmes were organized for staff and farmers. Over 10,000 farmers have been trained on various ways in livestock production techniques, housing, nutrition and disease control practices.
Credit was also given to farmers to improve upon their local breeds and also expand their production.37 farmers groups received loans worth about Ninety three Thousand and fifty Ghana Cedis (GH¢93,050.00).
Another package given to farmers was small ruminants as credit in kind. These were also given to farmers as loans so that they will pay back in kind for re allocation to new beneficiaries. Forty beneficiaries took 400 sheep while 19 others took delivery of 190 goats. This indicates that 59 beneficiaries were supplied with 590 small ruminants.
Participating breeders were also selected and trained to handle the breeding aspect of the livestock. These breeders were 6 for cattle, 6 for sheep, 7 for goats, and 7 for pigs.
AGRA SOIL HEALTH PROJECT
This project assisted farmers to conduct two demonstrations in 2010. These demonstrations were conducted with two farmer groups with 25 members per each group. Each group carried out an acre each of maize demonstration farm. This was meant to compare yields from these farms. The yields for the 2 demonstrations were 5.5 and 6 bags per acre. Samples of the Stover, cobs as well as the data collected were sent to SARI, Wa for analysis.
LAND AND WATER MANAGEMENT PROJECT
The project established two nurseries at Konzokala and Nambeg for tree seedling production For the dam catchment area protection and also to protect the environment in degraded areas.
They also undertook stone lining, Compost making and bush fire control activities in the district.
THE CASHEW DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
This project was launched in the district in 2003. Cashew farmers and staff were sensitized and trained and farmers were then supplied with improved seed to plant so that they can improve upon their yields.
More than 1,798 farmers have been involved in cashew production in the district from 2003 to 2010.
Farmers were also given loans to crop low growing crops among their cashew fields. The crops will give farmers income as well as control weeds among the cashew fields. An amount of 74,850 Ghana Cedis was disbursed as loans to farmers for this activity.
THE MANGO PROJECT
The Project engaged about farmers in four communities to cultivate grafted mango around their houses so that they can get income from the trees in the future. It is also meant to protect the environment from the approaching desert.Eight Thousand mango seedlings were distributed to farmers in the district.
THE JICA PROJECT
The JICA initiated the project activities in the district in 2009. Two communities were piloted in the district-Nyeni and Kogri for the Pilot Development activities (PDA)
Activities carried out in the communities were as indicated below;
-Agroforestry, with the supply no 100 grafted mango seedlings to 16 farmers
-The supply of 18 piglets to 6 farmers.
-Five demonstrations on compost making to 5 farmers.
-Fifteen rabbits supplied to 3 farmers.
-Three beehives supplied to 3 beneficiaries.
- Six tarpaulins supplied to 2 communities.
The district office was also supported with three bundles of fencing wire and some garden tools.
The CRS rice initiative programme started in 2009 in the district by the Catholic Relief center. In the region.. Three communities were selected to participate in this programme. The target farmers were the vulnerable and the poor. The two groups of farmers were given inputs accordingly and at a price, depending upon the group that you belonged. The vulnerable received inputs at a lower cost than the poor.
They produced quarter of an acre each of rice using the inputs given them. In all 250 farmers participated and yields from their fields were very good. No recovery was made from these farmers.
THE BLOCK FARM PROGRAMME:
This programme started in the district in 2009 with 126 acres of maize and 0 acres of rice.. In 2010, 375 acres of maize was cropped alongside 40 acre rice and 20 acres sorghum.
The result of the programme is explained in the table below:
The Nerica Rice block farm was situated at Gbetuori. A total number of thirty seven (37) farmers participated in the programme.
Forty acres of rice was cultivated and farmers were supplied with seed and fertilizer. The total yield of rice was two hundred and seventy nine three quarter bags (279.75) and the recovery was one hundred and twenty bags (120). 100% recovery was made.
2010 FARM ESTABLISHMENT (NRGP) JIRAPA DISTRICT
The Northern Rural Growth Programme started in the district in 2010 with dry season seed maize production of58.5 acres. It was handled by 8 groups comprising 54men and 12 women. The yield was very good despite a lot of challenges encountered.
During the major season an amount of fourteen thousand four hundred Ghana cedis(GH¢14,400.00) was disbursed by the Rural Bank as loan to the sponsored farmers to cultivate the under listed crops.
|No||CROP||NUMBER OF ACRES|
Source: RADU Reports
The NRGP has also sponsored a road to be constructed from Yagha to the river side for the production area to be accessible to the main town center.
Dry season activities during the 2011 year were
-Okra production, 3 acres
-Pepper cultivation, 11 acres
-Tomato cultivation, 5 acres
-Seed maize cultivation, 5 acres
Water melon production, 0.5 acres
Other activities carried out by the programme included capacity building of farmers and staff.
Two new initiatives have been introduced into the district; these are the mucuna production and processing into livestock feed and sweet potato production initiative. Training programmes have already been carried out for the staff and some selected farmers for the production to start in May/June. Nursing of the sweet potato is also in progress.
WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME
In 2010 8 women were selected and trained to assist AEAs in carrying out Extension messages to farmers. These volunteers were supplied with bicycles, boots , cutlasses, mobile phones and clothing. Five (5) more women were added in 2011.
INFORMATIONON, STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, CHALLENGES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
-Well trained motivated staff
-Available transport for staff
-Staff and Office accommodation
-Available training programmes
|-Weak motor cycles and Office vehicle
-Low extension officer farmer ratio
|-Good road net work
-Available supported projects
-Available sites for the construction of small scale dams
-Hard working farmers
-Vast land for livestock production
-Available land at the eastern corridor for commercial crop production
-Livestock for animal traction
-Extreme poverty levels of farmers
-Land tenure system
-High cost of inputs
-High illiteracy levels of farmers
Livestock disease problems.
|-The rehabilitation of six (6) small scale irrigation dams.
-The construction of the Guo Gurkpara road by the CDP
- The supply of small ruminants to farmers in the district
- The supply of chain saws, mist blowers, and computers by the CDP.
-The opening up of the river side to all year farming
-The adoption of technologies
-Increase in cashew yield
LOCATION OF OTHER OFFICE BRANCHES
The district has twelve Operational Areas that have administrative centers. These include Jirapa ,Tuggo, Duori, Yagha,Tampoe and Tizza . The rest are Tampaala, Gbare, Sabuli,Ullo, Han and Sigri.