The Ketu North District was one of thirty two (32) newly created districts in 2008. It can be found in the south eastern corner of Volta Region of the Republic of Ghana. The district, having Dzodze as the administrative capital, was carved out of the former Ketu District.
The district covers a land area of 754 kilometers2 with an estimated population of 98,571 in 2010. The district has a labour force constituting 52.5% of the population. The population is dominated by females (53.7%).
The Ketu North district is noted widely in the West African sub region for its production and marketing of exclusive quality palm oil, gari and the famous Afife rice (Togo Marshal).
The new ECOWAS international Highway linking Ghana to the neighboring Republic of Togo passes through Dzodze the district capital and through Akanu, the border post all in the Ketu North district on the Ghana side and to Noepe on the Republic of Togo end. The district is an agricultural production oriented due to the overwhelming natural geo-climatic endowments it possesses.
LOCATION AND SIZE
The District is located at the South Eastern corner of the Volta Region of Ghana and lies between latitudes 6º 03’N and 6º 20’N and longitudes 0º 49’E and 1º 05’E. It shares boundaries on the North with Akatsi District, on the East by the Republic of Togo, to the South is the Ketu Southand on the west by Keta District. The district capital (Dzodze) is located on the main trunk road linking the regional capital (Ho) to Aflao eighty (80km) kilometers away from Ho. The district has a surface area of 754 square kilometers. Figures 1.1 and 1,2 illustrate the district within the national context and its administrative divisions respectively.
POPULATION The population of the Ketu North District has its own unique features. It has always experienced growth in numbers over the years and has a large youthful population which is male dominant. The population of the district is not evenly distributed, and the number of persons per square kilometer is also on the increase.
Population Size and Growth Rates
The population size, growth rate, structure and distribution of the Ketu North District have been estimated from various census figures of the Ketu District which has now been split into the Ketu South and Ketu North Districts. Based on estimates from the 2000 population census, the Ketu North District has a projected population of 98,512 as at 2009. The population of the District has always been experiencing growth over the years. From 1970 to 1984, the District experienced a population growth rate of 1.9%. This growth rate remained unchanged for the1984 – 2000 censal year (See Table 1.1).
Table: Trend of Population Growth Rate in the District
|Year||Population||Growth Rate (%)|
Source: 2000 Population Census Reports (Estimated)
The population sizes for the various communities are grouped according to Area Council in appendix 1.
Age – Sex Structure
According to the 2000 population census, the district has a relatively large Female population compared to that of Male (See Table 1.6). This structure is not different from that of the Volta Region where the district is located.
Table: Male – Female Split
|Ketu North District||38,515||46.3||44,646||53.7|
Source: 2000 Population and Housing Census (Estimated).
In terms of age structure, the district has a large youthful population. The two cohort that contains most of the people are the 0-14 group and 15 –64 group (See Table 1.8).
Table: Age Structure
|Age cohort||Ketu North District (%)||Volta Region (%)||Ghana (%)|
Source: 2000 Population and Housing Census (Estimated).
Another significant feature of the district population is its large labour force. The cohort that falls within the active labour force constitutes 52.5% of the district population. This is a bit lower than the national active labour force of 55.2% and higher than that of the regional figure of 52.2%. This large active labour force could be positioned to harness and maximize the vast agricultural potentials of the district.
The population density of the district has never been stable nor has it experienced any decline over time. The increase in population over time is reflected in the high population densities recorded for the period 1970, 1984 and 2000 (See Table 1.9) The number of persons per square kilometer (density) as at each of the population censuses has increased from 60.2 persons in 1970 to 81.6 persons in 1984 and to 110.4 persons in the 2000. The increasing density in time shows the increasing pressure of the district’s population on the land and its resources. This may be an indication of growing pressure on the district’s fragile environment which may gradually result in environmental degradation.
Table: District Population Densities
|Year||Population||Land Size Sq Km2||Density Sq/Km|
Source: 2000 Population Census Report
There is high concentration of people in the two major towns of the district; Dzodze and Penyi. There are also pockets of concentration in the settlements in Afife, Ehi and Weta.
The population of the District is basically rural. About 70.7% of the people reside in the rural areas. The remaining 29.3% of the people can be found in the only two main towns of the District, Dzodze and Penyi. Apart from these two towns, the other settlements have their population figures below 5000 as at 2000 (2000 Population and Housing Census).
Table 1.10: Settlements with 5,000 or More People
SOURCE: 2000 Population and Housing Census
Out-migration is not very prominent in the District. This could be attributed to the fact that about 70% of the total populations are farmers who have access to fertile lands for farming.
The indigenes are the Anlos and the Avenos with Ewe as the language widely spoken throughout the district. However, the district is composed of the following percentages of settlers and indigenes: the Ewes largely constitute population accounting for about 95% of the total population, the Hausas , Akan, and others who mainly are workers transferred and traders can be found in the district but form insignificant percentage of about 4.5%.
The major occupation of the population is farming, with trading largely confined to the marketing and rice producing communities.
The District experiences the dry Equatorial type of climate. The average monthly temperatures vary between 24℃ and 30℃, which are generally high for plant growth throughout the year. The mean annual rainfall for the District is around 1,270mm. The rainfall is of double maxima type occurring from April to July and September to October. The dry season, which is mainly dominated by the dry harmattan winds, extends from December to February in the district. Generally rainfall in the District is considered low and erratic particularly during the minor season.
The major soils found in the district range from sandy to clay loom with majority being sandy loom and clay loom. This group of soil support most crops suitable in the tropical regions eg. maize, groundnut, cowpea, cassava, Rice plantain Oil-palm mango pear and most vegetables.
The area of the district is underlain by 3 main geological formations. Viz the Dahomenyan formation to the North made up of soils such as Tropical Grey and Black Earths, the Regosolic Groundwater Laterites, the Recent Deposits of the littoral consisting of marine sands and the Tertiary formation comprising Savannah Ochrosols for its soil type. These soil types are suitable for the cultivation of different types of crops.
In terms of relief, Ketu North District is relatively low lying with altitudes around 66 metres. The plain nature of the terrain makes movement within the district easy. The Drainage of the district is towards the South and is dominated by several seasonal streams that flow in wide valleys between Ohawu and Ehie to end in the swamplands of Afife. The major rivers include Kplikpa and Tsiyi. There are about 6 large fresh water reservoirs (dams) -Ohawu, Kporkuve, Dzodze, Tadzewu, Dekpor-Adzotsi and Larve as well as a few small community dugouts in the district.
The Ketu North District lies between the Northern part of the central upland with hills ranging between 850m to 1000m above sea level around Asukawkaw and Katanga areas.
The Northern part of the district is part of the North Western Savanna Zone of the Volta Region which is characterized by almost flat relief with slopes ranging between 85m and 300m above sea level.
The Ketu North district is drained by two major rivers, Kplikpa, and Gali. These two rivers are the source of water into the two separate dams for the Afife irrigation project in the district. There are other numerous small annual water bodies/streams located throughout the district but make tributes of the two major ones. Generally, the land is well drained except some few portions located close to the rivers and streams that become waterlogged and utilized for rice farming by the peasant farmers on seasonal.
The original vegetation of the District is Savannah woodland made up of short grassland with small clumps of bush and trees as well as Mangrove forests in the marshlands are found in the District.
However, the extensive farming activities in the district have, over the years, reduced the natural vegetation. Amid these are cultivated holdings of cassava, maize, coconut, oil palm, and black berry trees and the occasional baobab and fan palm. The decimation of the vegetation by population pressure may have adversely affected rainfall in the district. However agro-forestry interventions are in place
Implications for Development
The physical characteristics of the Ketu North District contain a basket of potentials that can be tapped for the socio-economic development of the area.
In terms of relief and drainage, the vast expanse of flat land is a potential for large scale mechanized farming. Road construction and other activities are also relatively less costly.
The water resources in the district could also be harnessed for irrigation purposes, especially for rice cultivation and dry season gardening aside its current use for the supply of potable water for some communities in the district. The high intensity of the sun in the area provides abundant solar energy, which is already being used by farmers for preservation and storage purposes.
The district’s population derives a lot of benefits from the savanna woodlands, including housing and energy. However, these often lead to overexploitation of the vegetation, which consequently results in environmental degradation. The soils, vegetation and climate of the district constitute suitable ecological conditions for both arable farming and livestock rearing. However, the excessive rainfall experienced sometimes could cause flooding, rendering feeder roads unmotorable.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the Ketu North District economy. It employs about 70% of the economically active labour force. Nearly every household in the District is engaged in farming or agricultural related activity. Farming in the District is largely carried out on small-scale basis. The average acreage cultivated ranges between 4-6 acres for all crops.
Despite its importance in the District economy, much of the agricultural potentials in the District remain unutilized. The District’s irrigation potential remains fully untapped. Apart from the Afife irrigation Project nothing concrete has been done to develop irrigation potential that have been discovered in the District taking into consideration the numerous dams and dugouts in the District.
The crop sub-sector accounts for about 60% of agricultural activities in the District. The crops in the sub-sector can be categorized as arable crops, plantation crops and vegetables.
The soils in the area favour the production of a variety of crops. Currently, crops grown in commercial quantities in the District include Maize, cassava, Sweet Potato, cowpea and rice.
The major arable crops grown in the District are maize, cassava, cowpea and sweet potatoes. Maize and cassava are virtually grown at every part of the District. The mode land size holding for maize and cassava fall within one to two hectares (1-2ha) range.
As a result of the cross-border inter-phasing with farmers from the Republic of Togo, there are several varieties of cassava in the District. Penyivi, Bazooka, Hushivi, Dogbevi, Busumsia and Biafra are some of the local varieties of cassava in the District. These varieties are good for the production of cassava dough and gari. The improved cassava planting materials abound in the Ohawu area because of the Crop Research Institute trial stationed over there. The popular improved varieties are Afisiafi and Abasafitaa.
Besides, there are two improved seed maize varieties produced in the District known as Obatanpa and Mamaba. However, there are some local varieties namely, Gbowunefa, Ablivi and Aditsibli amongst others.
Cassava and maize are cropped in the maize-cassava inter-crop system. The current yield of maize is 1.6 tons/ha and that of cassava is 10.0-12.0 tons/ha (2009).
Table: Estimated total crop area for major crops in the District
|Major Crops Cultivated||Area Cultivated per Crop (Ha)|
Source: Source DADU, Ketu North, 2009.
Cowpea and sweet potato production is concentrated in the Ohawu, Tadzewu and Devego areas. There are several varieties of both cowpea and sweet potatoes in these areas because of the Crop Research Institute trial station at Ohawu. The popular local variety of cowpea is called Avakli and some improved varieties such as Black eye and Asentenapa whilst Faara and Sauti are the improved varieties of sweet potatoes cropped in the District. Both cowpea and sweet potatoes are normally planted in pure strands. Whilst the former is planted on flats, the latter is planted on moulds. Demonstrations are being carried out on the cultivation of sweet potato on ridges with farmers since this has proved to be higher yielding. The adoption of this technology is slow because implements like ridgers are not available and it is very tedious to make the ridges manually on large scale.
Table: Average Yields of Crops
|Crops||Average Yield Tons/Ha|
Source: Source DADU, Dzodze, 2009.
Continuous cropping is generally practiced here. Few farmers engaged in crop rotation to improve on the soils and break diseases and pests cycle. 86.2% of the total population in the agricultural sector practice mixed cropping while 13.8% practice mono-cropping. The soil quality which is loamy and rich in nutrients is able to support the production of varieties of crops at the same time.
The main technology used in farming is the traditional or crude method of farming. This method involves the clearing of farm lands with cutlass, hoe, and axe together with burning of farm lands and depending on seasonal rain as the only source of water to the soil.
Modern farming technologies which include; the use of fertilizer, irrigation, knap-sack spraying machine etc. are scarcely practiced on their farms. Moreover, there is limited access to agriculture extension and financial services in the District.
Rice production in the District, which is solely the Afife Irrigation project, is under the management of Ghana Irrigation Development Authority and the developed area under production is 880 ha out of the total land size of 1,650. The farmers have formed themselves into a very strong Co-operative Society for input credit acquisition for production as well as inventory credit mobilization system for loan repayment. There are a total of 1,024 farmers on the project with an estimated yield of 6.5 tons/ha.
Table: Production levels of irrigated rice
|Year||Area cropped (ha)||Average yield (ton/ha)||Total production|
Source: Source DADU, Dzodze, 2009.
Fig: Afife Rice Farm
Mango, Palm tree and Sugar cane production are the major plantation crop which is cultivated in the marshy areas of the District. The palm tree and the mango plantation can be found in Dzodze. The major sugar cane plantation areas are Agorve, Afife, Klenormadi and Xipe. The sugar cane is mainly harvested for its direct consumption as well as processing into Akpeteshie.
Fig: Showing palm tree and mango plantation farms
Rain-Fed Vegetable Production
Purely commercial rain fed vegetable production is carried out at Devego, Tadzewu, Ehie and Xipe areas of the District. Here, they mainly cultivate garden eggs, pepper, tomato and watermelons. A quasi-rain fed vegetable production also takes place at Afife irrigation site. After the harvest of the irrigated rice, farmers take advantage of the high soil moisture and its fertility and cultivate okro in August, which does not involve irrigation.
The Kplikpa River dammed to irrigate rice farms at Avalavi also serve as site for inland fishing at Dekpor. Currently, there are ten fishponds with a total area of 13.03 acres. These ponds were constructed by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture but presently on lease to a company by the name Dekpor Farms & Co. The company is into fingerlings and table-size fish production. The main species of fish are Oreochromis Niloticus (Tilapia), Heterotis and Clarias. Fish farming is integrated with vegetable production (pepper and okro). There are other water bodies at Tadzewu, Devego, Dzodze, Ohawu and kporkuve, which are used for fishing purposes.
Figure: Showing fish pond at Dekpor
Access to Extension Services
The essence of extension services is to upgrade the knowledge of farmers in improved techniques and modern methods of agriculture with a view to improving upon incomes and output. Extension services have not been within easy reach of the prospective farmer. According to the District Directorate of Agriculture, the District is zoned into 18 agricultural operational areas. For an efficient extension service delivery, one operational area needs to be manned by one agricultural extension agent (AEA).
There are currently 6 Agric Extension Agents (AEA) in the District this necessitated the district to be demarcated into two zones and three operational areas each. If the entire District should be covered, then one operational area would be just too big for one AEA to cover. The District agricultural development unit is doing everything possible to reach out to every farmer with extension delivery.
More innovative methods are adopted to reach out to all farmers. These include E extension, Radio transmission group and communal methods. Farmers who benefited from the Millennium Challenged Account (MCA) Programme also benefit from extension services and training on a variety of relevant technologies.
MAJOR CROP LOCATIONS IN KETU NORTH
Table: MAJOR CROP PRODUCTION LOCATIONS IN THE DISTRICT
|CROP||MAJOR LOCATIONS OF PRODUCTION|
|1. Groundnut||Produced throughout the District|
|2. Maize||Produced throughout the District|
|3. Cassava||Produced throughout the District|
|4. Rice||Produced along the Afife, Dekpor Tadzewu and Weta areas|
|5. Cowpea||Produced throughout the district|
|6. Vegetable||Produced throughout the district|
|7. Plantain||Produced throughout the district but on small scale|
|8. Oil palm||Produced along Dzodze, Penyi, Kave and Ehi areas|
|9. Mango||Produced along Dzodze, Penyi, Tadzewu, Ohawu and Afife|
Table: Location of Dams and Dugouts
|Location||Type Constructed||Size (Ha)||Utilization|
|Irrigation||Domestic||Watering Crops||Watering Livestock|
Source: Source DADU, Ketu North, 2009.
Most of the Dams, if not all, need rehabilitation for them to be able to store and hold adequate water for their intended purpose.
Figure: Showing dam at Dekpor
Some efforts have over the years been made in the District to add value to the agricultural produce through processing. Agro-processing is currently on a small scale. The only few crops that are processed to add value include Cassava, Pepper, Maize, Cowpea, Palm nut, Groundnuts etc.
Livestock production forms an integral part of agricultural production in the District. Livestock and poultry are a source of food, income, recreation and also an important element in the socio-cultural context. They are also a means of storing wealth in times of bumper harvest of crops and provide cash reserves for emergencies and guarantees of food security in times of crop failures. The main types reared in the District include cattle, sheep and goats, pigs, poultry and quite recently, grasscutters.
These are mainly the West African breeds such as Sanga. They are reared mostly in Atiteti, Ohawu, Xipe, Devego, Tadzewu, Afife, Weta, Zomayi, Ative and Dzodze hinterlands.
PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMMES
|Priming of FBOs
Trainig od FBOs
Construction of Awalavi to Awlikope road.
Collection of data.
Yield data collection.
|All the 17 FBoOs have been trained.
All the 17 FBOs supported with starter pack.
Two FBOs received credit.
Staff of MOFA wre trained in various fields. Eg Use of GPS machine.
|Sensitization of farmers in the need to improve on the size of the breeds.
Mobilizing funds from the farmers to procure the birds from Kpeve
Monitoring or the birds and offering technical support to beneficiary farmers.
|300 cockerels were distributed to 30 farm families to improve their stock and to increase protein intake.|
|3||Block Farm Program||Dekpor
|Sensitization of the public.
Suply of the onput.
Supervision of the program
Retrieval of the loan.
|347 farmers have beem supported with inputs to cultivate 89.2 Hactres of maize and 218.7 Ha of rice.|
Sheep and Goat
They form the majority of livestock reared in the District. Almost every crop farmer owns some form of livestock and poultry. However, concentrations are at Ative, Penyi, Tadzi-Horme, Devego and Tadzewu. The main system of production is the traditional backyard system of mixed sheep and goat. There are two main types this system being operated;
(a) The village Flock/Herds system (also known as the free range system) under which animals belonging to small scale farmers are generally left to their own fate. Supplements like household wastes are given when available. Health care is minimal in this practice.
(b) Pen-urban Flocks/herds are generally confined in backyards for most of the time and allowed out for grazing for only a few hours in the day. When feed supplementation is inadequate, nutritional deficiencies do occur under this semi-intensive system. The two main breeds are the West African Dwarf and the Nyalonko. Chicken is widely reared than livestock because it is relatively easy raising them this is shown in Table 1.22.
Both crop and livestock productions in the District are affected by the inadequate agricultural extension services. The District has only 6 Agricultural Extension Officers out of the required 18 spread over 18 extension operational areas. This situation is compounded by the lack of motorbikes and other logistics that hinder their mobility to most parts of the District.
Agricultural Land Acquisition
Land in the District is vested in individual families. For agricultural purposes, the land can easily be accessed by both natives and non-natives, and this is a great potential for agricultural development. In line with the customs and traditions of the area, non-natives in need of land for agricultural activities are required to approach the appropriate landlords for negotiation. Farm lands are either acquired by outright purchase, lease or on share cropping basis. For outright purchase, farmers buy the land and make the necessary documents of ownership on the land. Lease term differs from area to area. Land is leased on annual terms or on a fixed amount of years after which agreement is renewed. In some areas, share cropping is practiced (Abusia) where farm produce is shared into 3 equal parts. The farmer takes 2/3 while the landlord takes 1/3.
Current Government Policies
Youth in Agriculture
Youth in Agric is the current agricultural development policy of government to engage the Youth in agricultural activities by providing opportunities that facilitate production, reduce youth unemployment and poverty alleviation. Currently, the District is registering farmer groups towards implementation of the Policy as a major contributor towards Government’s food security policy under the Better Ghana Agenda. Two major crops are targeted in the programme in the District. These are maize and rice. Currently, 10 groups (made up of more than five (5) members in a group) have submitted application for registration. Recently the District received fertilizer from MiDA for distribution to the farmers under the MCA programme who have undergone training in group dynamics and technical training. The only limitation to the programme has to do with acquiring stipulated land size.
Agricultural Training Institution
The District has one Agricultural training College situated at Ohawu. The college is one of the oldest training institutions in Ghana. The college trains post secondary graduates in general agriculture leading to the award of Diploma in General Agriculture.
Facilities in the college are
Dormitory capacity of 200 students
Other training facilities also adequate for the 200 students
Well qualified staff strength of 44
Plant Protection and Regulatory Services
The District has one major border post leading to The Republic of Togo. A unit of the ministry’s staff responsible for protection and regulation duties in agro related wares is stationed at Akanu border post.
The need to expand economic activities and to produce more food, fibres and other raw materials to feed, clothe, house and improve the living conditions of the rapidly expanding population of most agro-ecological area/zones has commonly led to the mismanagement of natural resources and to the degradation of the physical and biological environments, such that the long term, sustained yield use of renewable natural resources will be impossible. The physical environment of the District exhibits Savannah woodland made up of short grassland with small clumps of bush and trees as well as Mangrove forests in the marshlands.
Ketu North District has rapidly expanding environment for agro-processing industries, both in the animal and crops sectors, but currently this activity is limited to the subsistence level with very little improved technology utilization.
CASSAVA PROCESSING FACTORY
The District produces about 250,000 metric tons of cassava annually. It has the potential to increase the yield to over 500,000 metric tons within the next three year. Therefore, investment in the establishment of a Cassava Processing Factory or facility to process raw cassava into the following products should be a very profitable business:
i. Starch for industrial use
iii. Tapioca and biscuits
iv. Animal feed – for livestock and poultry.
MANGO PROCESSING FACTORY
With the enthusiasm and physical development the Ketu North district has received over the last two years and with the collaborative interventions SNV a German Development Agency the mango output in the district will witness more processing entrepreneurs. Currently Only few exporters and local traders cannot absorb the produce.
RICE PROCESSING FACTORIES
Ketu North produces the a very good natural perfumed rice which has the highest market demand in the west African sub region. Traders purchase paddy rice from Afife in the Ketu North district to Aveyime for processing. This is because inadequate and higher standard required by the traders is not available in the district. The Chinese entrepreneurs have visited the site for visibility studies and there is the hope that modern processing factories will soon be established.