The Lambussie-Karni District Assembly being the youngest in the Region and almost certainly the smallest with the recognition that the most secured democracy is the one that assures the basic necessities of life for its people by ensuring food security a fundamental precedence, exists primarily to improve upon the living standards of the people through the effective and efficient mobilization and utilization of resources with a direct participation of the people (beneficiaries) in a friendly environment and sustainable basis.
This however is being achieved through the collaborative efforts of other stake holders including the Ministry of Food And Agriculture among others through the,
Formulating, executing, and monitoring of plans and policies.
Providing basic socio-economic infrastructure
Maintaining law and order
Effective revenue mobilization
Effective co-ordination of decentralized departments, sub-district structures and NGOs.
Promoting private sector development
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DISTRICT
PHYSICAL AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
1.1.1 Location and Size
The Lambussie-Karni District was carved out from the former Jirapa-Lambussie District Assembly in the Upper West Region of Ghana on the 29th of February, 2008 as part of Ghana’s Decentralization programme initiated in 1988.
The Lambussie –Karni District is consequently located in the North Western corner of the Upper West Region of Ghana. It lies in the region of between Latitudes 10.250 and 11.000 North and Longitudes 20.250 and 20.400 West. It is the youngest and smallest District in the Region and covers a total land area of 1,356.6 sq km. The District is very young, and contributes about 6% of the Region’s land area which is 18,476 sq km. It extends from Hamile in the North to Karni in the South.
The district is bounded to the South by the Jirapa District, to the North by Ghana’s boundary with Burkina Faso, to the West by the Lawra District and to the East by the Sissala West District. The District’s capital, Lambussie is about 92 km away from Wa, the Regional capital.
1.2 Topography and Drainage
The landscape of the District in the main is flat and low-lying with an average height of about 300 meters above sea level. The topography is predominantly undulating, with slopes less than 1%. Even though the slopes are gentle, about 80% of the district is subject to moderate to severe sheet and gully erosion. There are a few plateau surfaces ranging between 300-350 meters found in communities like Bawon, Lambussie and Billaw.
The District is not well drained as there are no major rivers except the discontinuous tributaries of the Black Volta. The only noted major stream is the ‘Bugbele’ located at Piina. In the dry season, this steam dries up leaving the District with no surface water for domestic and agricultural purposes. There are however valleys which are found in the District that are suitable for the development of small-scale irrigation dams and dugouts for dry season gardening, fishing and watering of animals especially small ruminants and other livestock.
1.3 Geology and Soils
There is an extensive Birimian soil formation in the District with a concentration of granite rocks around, Lambussie, Bawon and Billaw areas. The soils are mostly ground water laterites (and Sudan ochrosols (LWM, 1998). An unconfirmed geological survey carried out by a mining company in 1998 indicates that the rocks around these areas contain gold and other mineral deposits. The granite rocks have high water retention capacity and therefore can store considerable quantity of ground water which has the greater potential for the sinking of boreholes and hand-dug wells.
Gravel and clay deposit also abound in the District providing a promising potential for the construction, of brick tile, paint and pottery industries.
The soil of the District for the most part is sandy loam with underlying hard iron pans. There is however, narrow strips of alluvial soils along the dry valleys of the tributaries of the Black Volta River suitable for rice farming. The sandy loam is susceptible to severe sheet and gully erosion caused by surface run-off during the peak of the wet season. The wide spread erosion in effect adversely affects not only the fertility of the soil but also causes silting of the few small-scale dams and dug outs in the District.
In totality, the sandy loam is fertile and enhances the cultivation of cereal and leguminous crops such as maize, millet, guinea corn, groundnuts, cowpea, and soya beans among others.
Table: Fertility Status of Soils in two Northern Regions
|Region||Soil pH||% Organic matter||%Total Nitrogen||Available Phosphorus
Source: Soil Research Institute, CSIR-Kumasi
The District falls in the Guinea Savanna climatic zone and experiences two major seasons with a single maxima –﴾ short rainy season and a long dry spell). The rainy season starts from June to October each year and gives way to the dry season from November to May. The rainfall distribution in the District varies from year to year sometimes with intermittent droughts and floods mostly peaking in August. Mostly, the rainfall ranges between 900 – 1,000mm per annum. The occurrence of drought or floods affects crop growth thereby culminating in reduced crop yields each year, as optional nutrients intake by the crops is impaired. Day and night temperatures range from 180\c – 400c. During the dry harmattans in October, the humidity is so low that the rate of evapo-transpiration is high, favored by the dry winds. During this period of extreme warm weather, there are high mortalities caused by outbreak of various diseases and ailments, among which are Cerebrum-Spinal Meningitis (CSM) and other diseases frequent in the District.
Distribution by Agro-ecological zones
Table: Rainfall Distribution
|Growing Period (Days)
Major season Minor season
|Guinea Savanna||1,000||150 – 160||* *|
Source: Meteorological Services Department, Accra.
*Rainfall distribution is unimodal; (Guinea Savanna and Sudan Savanna), the unimodal distribution gives a single growing season.
REGIONAL RAINFALL DATA in mm (2001 – 2009)
|REGION||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||9-YEAR AV.||30-YEAR AV.||% Change 2009/ 30-Year Average||% Change 2009/ 2008|
|Source: Ghana Meteorological Agency|
The vegetation of the Lambussie-Karni District is the Guinea Savanna Wood land with light under growth and scattered trees with grassland sparsely distributed with short fire resistant economic trees like Shea, Dawadawa Baobab and Neem species.
The District has three forest reserves with a total coverage of about sixty hectares, located at Lambussie, Nabaala and Samoa. Although the Department of Forest Services protects these reserves, there are reported cases of encroachment by the people for charcoal production. Under the Savanna Resources Management Project, a collaborative approach between the community and the project management, a system has been worked out to ensure the responsible use of the forest resources, to minimize the wanton encroachment of these reserves
1.6 Environmental Situation
Human activities such as bush burning, tree felling for fuel wood, unorthodox agricultural practices such as, sand and gravel wining contribute immensely to the destruction of the vegetation. The Savanna vegetation, characteristic of short trees and grasses constitute the significant element of the natural environment in the District. Over reliance on fuel-wood for cooking, charcoal production, hunting, pito brewing, bush burning, constitute the major human activities which degrade the natural environment thereby making it incapable of supporting plant and animal live.
Additionally, the effect of human activities on the environment such as housing, and road construction is also enormous. There is therefore the need to institute proper land management and administration systems to ensure that the above human activities which degrade the environment are minimized if not completely eliminated. These calls for the timely intervention of the Town and Country Planning Department, Environmental Protection Agency, the Land Commission Department and other co-operate bodies.
1.7 Water Situation
Lambussie and Hamile both have Small Town pipe water systems which are in operation and their source of power is the National Grid.
The District has a major stream called ‘Bugbele’ at Piina. In the dry season, this steam dries up leaving the District with no surface water for domestic and agricultural purposes. There are however, valleys which are found in the District that are suitable for the development of small-scale irrigation dams and dugouts for dry season gardening, fishing and watering of animals, especially small ruminants and other livestock.
There is a dam used for irrigational purposes at Karni. In 2008 another dam at Piina which served Piina and its environs broke away and has since not seen any rehabilitation work. A few boreholes and dug-outs have been dug in various locations in the District which serve for domestic consumption
2.0 DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
There is dispersed nature of settlements in the various communities, which is mainly due to land tenure system and ownership, where each settler stays some distance away from the other in order to have enough farming land space. However, in some towns like Hamile, Piina and Lambussie, there are nuclear settlements though not well planned.
2.1.0 Age and Distribution of the Population Size
The 2000 National Population and Housing Census results put the District’s population at 37,063. This is made up of 18,574 females and 16,489 males. The projected population for 2008, 2009, 2010, are: 41,963.6, 42,722.3 and 43,253.2 respectively.
2.2 Sex and Rural Distribution of the Population
The Youth between the ages of 15 to 25 forms about 50 % of the population engaged in agriculture. Women population which forms about 80% of the total population is mostly engaged in agriculture and trading, even though they do not own land The District is a rural farming community, hence the spatial distribution of the settlements indicating a dispersed type of population distribution.
2.3 Labour Force
Migration is very common in the District. The incidence of out migration to the southern part of Ghana in search of menial job opportunities is extremely high among the economically active group of the population i.e. 15-50. Whilst some return home during the wet season to better their lives and improve upon their living standards with whatever gain they might have made, others also worsen their already deplorable conditions by contracting diseases and illness such as guinea worm, mental derangement, HIV/AIDs and other STDs which adversely affect production and productivity.
Agriculture remains the main economic activity in the District. Nearly 90% of the population is engaged in agriculture in the District which is largely subsistence in nature Even though there are commercial farmers around Lambussie, Billaw and Samoa areas, a hand full of farmers is engaged in large-scale production of cereals and leguminous crops in the District. Some few farmers are however, graduating into small-scale businesses in the transport sector.
Even though there had been an introduction of modern farming tools and methods, most of the farmers still depend heavily on traditional implements such as the hoe and cutlasses in farming. However, a good number of farmers use tractor services and animal traction for tilling the land. Mixed farming is mainly practiced all over the area and the farm unit is the family, although individual family members can have small holdings of cash crops, the proceeds of which are used to settle personal economic obligations. Average holdings is about 2.5 hectares, but often broken up into smaller parcels of land scattered over compound and distant farms
Cash crops cultivated in the District include Shea nuts, cotton, groundnut and cashew. Major staples cultivated include maize, millet, cowpea, sorghum, groundnuts, Bambara beans, rice, and yam. The continuous dependence of farmers on rain-fed agriculture adversely affects crop yields due mainly to the erratic nature of the rains. There is therefore the need for the adoption of realistic alternative methods such as irrigation to augment crop production during the dry season. This in the long run will create employment opportunities for the youth, especially the girl child, thereby preventing them from embarking upon out migration for non existence menial jobs1
3.1.2 Principal Agricultural Produce
Industrial Crops: Shea nut, and Cashew nut.
Starchy and Cereal Staples: Cocoyam, Yam, Maize, Rice, Millet, Sorghum. Frafra potatoes
Fruits and Vegetables: Cashew, Pawpaw, Mangoes, Tomato, Pepper, Okro, Egg Plant, Onion, Asian Vegetables, Akeapple Dawadawa
4.0 FARMING STSTEMS
The main system of farming is traditional. The commonest farming systems in the District include mixed farming, land rotation as well as bush fallowing. Due to population pressure on the scarce land, the system of farming which used to be communal in nature has gradually been giving way to individual land tenure system with its associated short-comings i.e. insufficient soil fertility, hence low outputs.
Soil factors are also important. Most food crop farms are intercropped. Mono cropping is mostly associated with larger-scale commercial farms.
The hoe and cutlass are the main farming tools. There is little mechanized farming, but animal traction farming is practiced in most parts of the district. Agricultural production varies with the amount and distribution of rainfall in the district.
(a) Tree crops – The district is endowed with traditional tree crops which include Dawadawa (39.6 tons), Shea trees 88 tons), cashew (2.8 tons), mango (20 tons) average yields per year. Those of ebony, baobab, Kapok, Black berry akeapple are in larger quantities but their produce is not measured.
(b) Roots and Tubers
Averagely 1,800 mounds are cultivated around the southern belt of the district. These include Kpare, Piina, Taayaguri, Kulkanri and Karni areas. Average yields recoded per acre is about 9 tons
However, other areas especially Lambussie, Suke, and Chum areas equally produces yam but in lesser quantities.
Other root crops like sweet potatoes and frafra potatoes are mainly produced in smaller quantities for family consumption.
Types of cereals produced and recorded yields for the two districts are stated below from 1997-2009
Table: Percentage of distribution of size of holdings under agricultural activity
|AGRICUTURAL ACTIVITIES||SIZE OF HOLDINGS||% DISTRIBUTION|
Table: Area Planted to Selected Food Crops (‘000 ha.) (Jirapa-Lambussie district)
Table: Mean Annual Growth Rates for Area Planted to Selected Food Crops (Jirapa-Lambussie)
|Crop||Average Area (‘000 ha.)
|Growth Rate%||Av. Area (‘000 ha.)
|Growth Rate %|
Frequency of cropping (especially for annual crops): the district has only one major season; hence, there is only one cropping season.
Table: Production of Selected Food Crops (‘000 Mt) (Jirapa-Lambussie)
Table: Average Yield of Selected Food Crop under Rain fed Conditions-2009 (Jirapa-Lambussie)
|Crop||Yield (Mt/Ha)||Achievable Yield (Mt/Ha)*|
This is done mostly as an off time business in the dams and streams during the lean season along the Bugbelle stream Fish farming is not therefore practiced in the district
Cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry are mainly produced as an alternative source of livelihood in times of crop failure. A few farmers however engage in large-scale livestock production in Lambussie, Piina Suke and Samoa areas.
4.3.1 Fertility rate of animals
Averagely 75% of animals in the district are fertile
Litter size per type of animal
The average litter size of the various species and livestock are indicated below:
Cattle – 1
Sheep – 1
Acreage of pasture development for farm animals is 12 hectares
Stylosanthes verano seed was used to develop one acre of pasture each in the 25 operational areas in 1998 – 1999 season. However of late due to bush burning and over grazing most of these pastures have degraded.
The mortality figures of the various livestock species in the district since 2005 are recorded as below.
Table: Mortality rate of livestock
|SPECIE OF LIVESTOCK||MORTALITY|
5.1 The Cashew Development Project took off in the Jirapa-Lambussie district in 2003, with lots of training activities, drawing of plans, budgets, group’s formations, and the introduction of improved seed for farmers.
Activities undertaken during these years were the formation of groups, planting of cashew, fencing ,field management, loans for intercrop production, canopy substitution and top-working.
5.2 Achievements: From 2003 to 2010, a total of acres 9, 74.5 of land were put under cultivation covering a total number of 740 farmers 520 males and 240 females made up of 45 groups. Due to bush fires these farms were refilled yearly to obtain the required number of 42 plants in an acre.
Training of participating farmers was done annually in and out of the district on cashew field management, as well as financial management. Participating AEAs were equally trained on cashew production techniques. Staffs were also supported with means to transport and fuel for field visits.
Credit granted to the beneficiary farmers was GH¢82,050.00. Cumulative repayment from 2003 to Sept. 2010 is 53,882.60 forming 65.6% recovery. A district cashew union was formed in the Jirapa district and registered with the Dept. of Co-operatives at the Regional level. The union is very active in the mopping up of cashew in the district for onwards sale to the agents.
5.3 LIVESTOCK DEVELOPEMNT PROJECT
The Livestock Development Project started in the PY 2003 and it is to end in the PY 2010. The project which was initially for six (6) year was extended for yet another two (2) years based on the recommendation of a mid-term review team. The sector’s goal is to contribute to poverty reduction, enhance food security and reduce imports of livestock and dairy products in an environmentally sustainable manner. The main objective is to increase the income of small holder livestock farmers.
5.4 Achievements A total of five hundred and ninety-six (596) sheep, one hundred and ninety (190) goats were given to individual farmers across the two districts under the credit-in-kind scheme (CIKS). A list of beneficiaries with their passport photographs and contract agreement forms are kept in the Jirapa office. Each farmer received ten (10) animals and would give back ten (10) progenies to be given to new beneficiaries after two years. However, the passing on of the progenies would begin next year with farmers giving back any progeny that is matured till ten (10) or the same number received is given. These off springs would be given to new beneficiaries who are on the waiting list.
Livestock mortality has been minimal as a result of the knowledge farmers received at various meetings, and workshops that were organized in the communities on both animal husbandry and health care. More livestock were vaccinated against PPR, Rabies, Anthrax, CBPP and Blackleg as AEAs assisted in mobilizing farmers for the veterinarian to vaccinate them. Disease situations were more detected and reported by farmers, AEAs and other stakeholders to the office for easy control. This has also led to the increase in livestock population in the district.
Milk processors at Hamile had their fair share as they saw the practical demonstration on pasteurized milk, flavored milk, yoghurt and local cheese (‘Wagahie’) been done in the hygienic way, and also learnt about the need for their personal health checks.
VILLAGE MANGO PROJECT
5.5 The Village Mango Project was started in the district in 2008 till 2010. The project was designed to encourage farmers to put up mango plantations, but envisaging the problem of protecting the tree seedlings from livestock destruction the idea was shifted to rather supplying the individuals with few plants (5-10) so that they can protect them better to survive
5.6 Achievement. Over 10,000 seedlings were distributed to the then Jirapa /Lambussie district farmers especially Tangpuori, Kadelego, Liero and Talipuo. These communities were supplied with these seedlings in 2008. In 2009 another 5000 seedlings for the two districts were given out for replacement of wilted plants and also for new farmers. In 2010 7,000 seedlings were again supplied to new communities in the two districts.
5.7 Programmes: Programmes introduced in the district are the Upper west Agricultural Development Programme, The Northern Rural Growth Programme and the Block Farming Programme. These Programmes were introduced into the district in 1998 and 2009 and 2010 respectively. Upper West Agricultural Development Programme (UWADEP﴿ was concerned with improved breeds of livestock, Crop improvement Research and Extension delivery.
The Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP﴿ is linking farmers and other partners to various stakeholders along the value chain. Financial Institutions, Marketers, Input dealers and Producers are also involved in this Programme.
The Youth in Agric Programme involving block Farming is assisting farmers in land preparation, and inputs supply for increased yields
Table: Number and names of functional FBOs
|NAME OF GROUP||NAME OF GROUP LEADER||DISTRICT||TOWN/VILLAGE||ACTIVITIES||TYPE OF BENEFIT|
|Karni Blind farmers||Sivero||Lambussie-||Karni||Vegetable||Farming tools, seed, Irrigation system|
|Alhassan Enterprise||Alhassan Haruna||Lambussie||Hamile||Farming, trading||Credit|
|Hapa men group||Hille Dyaka||Lambussie||Hapa||Farming||Credit|
Samoa farmers group
|Stella Porekuu||Lambussie||Kangol||Farming||Credit, inputs|
6.6 Agricultural Infrastructure.
Fertilizer Depots: – The district had Two (2) fertilizer depots for the period of Upper Region Agricultural Development Project (URADEP﴿. These depots were built by the then Farmers Services Company (FASCOM﴿. However due to the privatization system by Government, these depots are not maintained and therefore not in use
Grain Silo Depots: – There is a modern Silo built in Lambussie since 1987 that can stockpile tons of grain if put to use. Other storage facilities available include (traditional improved, communal or private). The communal silos are located at Samoa, Piina and Billaw. These were built by TECHNOSERV.
Input retailing shops:- There are a few input retailing shops in the district. These shops are not solely for farm inputs but sold with other merchandise. Farmers mostly buy their inputs from neighboring Nandom in the Lawra district
Office accommodation for DADU: – The district has no permanent office accommodation. The District Assembly however, provided a single room as office accommodation, which houses all staff including stores. There is a quarantine station at Hamile, but no single room accommodation for DADU apart from a few AEAs quarters
Number of quarters for AEAs and other staff: – There are five AEA quarters located at Lambussie, Karni, Samoa, Piina and Billaw. These buildings have seen no rehabilitation since they were built 14 years ago.
Livestock centers There is a livestock center at Hamile at the quarantine station, built to carter for the movement and mass vaccinations of livestock. It has a borehole and a loading unit.
Tractor services centers: – There is no approved tractor service centre in the district. However with the incoming of the subsidized tractor scheme, farm tractor services are arranged for all beneficiaries in the district.
Post harvest losses for major crops:- Post harvest losses technologies for small holder farmers have also been introduced in the district. These are the construction of improved mud silos, the use of polythene dryers’ three bagging system, and aluminum storage silos.
These are Tools and Equipment:-
6.7.1 Sources of energy: – The district has no other source of energy either than electrically energy generated from V.R.A. However machines in the district are tractors and power tillers.
The number of tractors in the district cannot be quantified for now. However, the district benefited from about five AMSEC Tractors last year
POTENTIAL INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES
The potential investment opportunities in the district centered on agro processing and plantation agriculture are.
►Shea butter processing,
►Groundnut paste Shea butter and soya oil processing.
►Soya weenie mix processing.
►Mango and cashew plantations
Major markets and market days
The major markets in the district are Hamile Zongo and that of Burkina Faso, Piina, Karni and Samoa; These Markets do not have specific days as they come every six days, thereby moving the days backwards. For example when Piina market comes on Friday then the next market will be on Thursday.