Afigya Kwabre

INTRODUCTION

Key functions of the District Agricultural Development Unit

  • Ensure general agricultural development in the district
  • Dissemination of improved technologies to farmers
  • Conduct listing, measurement of farms and yield studies to have quality data for the district
  • Collate and transmit market information
  • Conduct home and farm visits
  • Capacity building for staff
  • Sensitization of farmers on gender issues
  • Create awareness on HIV/AIDS and bird flu
  • Undertake veterinary activities on poultry and livestock
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to deal with other cross cutting issues

Objectives of the District Agricultural Development Unit (DADU)

DADU operates to contribute to achieving MOFA’s overall vision of having “a modernized agriculture culminating in structurally transformed economy and evident in food security, employment opportunities and reduced poverty”. The DADU therefore ensures the effective implementation of overall MOFA objectives for agricultural development and for the improvement in the general living conditions of the people in the district.

Narrative profile of Afigya-Kwabre District

Afigya-Kwabre is a newly created district carved out of the then Afigya-Sekyere and Kwabre Districts (now Sekyere south and Kwabre east Districts respectively). The District was established by legislative instrument (L.I.) 1885 of 1st November, 2007.

Kodie is the District capital and houses the District Assembly and other departments. However, the District Agricultural Development Unit (DADU) and the District Police Head Quarters are located at Boamang; a major town in the district. The District has assumed a dormitory status serving the Regional Capital in Kumasi.

It is bordered by Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to the south, Sekyere South District to the North, Offinso Municipality to the west and Kwabre District to the East.

Political and administrative structure

The District Chief Executive is the political head of the district and he is assisted by the District Coordinating Director.

At the district administration level, there are 11 decentralized departments that work hand in hand with the central administration for the overall development of the district. The following Decentralized Departments as prescribed by the Act 462 can be found in the district.

  • General administration
  • Finance
  • Education, youth and sports
  • Agriculture
  • Physical ( Spatial) Planning
  • Social Welfare and Community Development
  • District Health  Department
  • Works
  • Disaster prevention

Location and size

Afigya-Kwabre is located in the central part of Ashanti Region of Ghana and spans a total of 342.3 square kilometer forming about 1.44% of the total land area of Ashanti Region. The location of the district in the central part of Ghana and also, along the highway which runs from the south to the north makes it easily accessible.  Its closeness to the second largest city in Ghana, i.e. Kumasi makes it a dormitory district and is responsible for its high population growth rate as well as its fast growth of settlements.

The district has a total cultivable area of about 53,250 hectares excluding pastures and forest reserves.

Population

Figures from secondary sources, i.e. the 2000 population and housing census put the entire population of the District at 89,967 with a growth rate of 4.6% per annum. The population was projected to be 127,213 by 2008.This population is found in ninety (90) communities and Hamlets.

Ethnicity

Ethnicity in the district is heterogeneous, these include: Gas, Ewes, ‘Northerners’ and other Akan groups. However most of the people are Ashantis.

Population in Agriculture

As at the year 2000, the population of the district stood at 89,967 with annual growth rate of 4.6% per annum. About 80% of the district’s economically active population is engaged in agriculture.

Climate

Rainfall

The Afigya-Kwabre District is located in the semi-deciduous forest zone. The zone is characterized by relatively high rainfall (about 1400mm per annum) with a binomial pattern. The major season rains occur between March and mid-July with a peak in May /June. There is a dry spell from mid-July to mid-August. The minor rainy season starts from mid-August to the end of October with a peak in September. A long dry period is experienced from November to February with possibilities of occasional rains.

Temperature

Temperatures are normally high throughout the year with very little variations. The mean monthly temperature ranges between 25oC in July/August and 28oC in March/April.

Humidity

The District experiences relative humidity ranging from 90 – 98% during the night and early mornings of the rainy season. Day-time humidity falls below 75% during the dry season.

The climatic conditions favour the cultivation of diverse variety of cash and food crops which are of tropical nature.  Again, the relatively high temperatures and sunshine favours the drying of most crops such as cocoa, maize etc.

Vegetation

The original vegetation is forest and this has largely been degraded by lumbering, expansion of settlements and farming. The closed forest consisting of a continuous canopy of tall and medium – height trees with little or no undergrowth no longer exist. The area now largely consists of farm patches with isolated stands of individual trees or small areas of tree-clusters.

Crops cultivated in the district include, cocoa, oil palm, citrus, avocado, pear, coffee, plantain, maize, cassava, cocoyam, cowpea, vegetables etc.

The District has 3 forest reserves namely; Afram Head Waters forest reserve, Gianima forest reserve and Asufu Shelterbelt forest reserve. Species of tropical trees of high economic value such as wawa, sapele, odum, and mahogany abound in the forest.

Relief and Drainage

The landscape is a dissected plateau with heights reaching 800m to 1200m above sea level.  The plateau forms part of the Mampong-Gambaga scarp. The landscape is predominantly undulating resulting in erosion along the slopes.

The relief in the district is generally undulating with altitude ranging between 800 and1000 ft. However, the northern part reaches up to 1,200ft above sea level. Isolated hills in the south around Buoho also have altitude of up to 1,200ft.

The undulating nature of the relief of the district makes flow of water easy.  Besides the river valleys, there are very few waterlogged areas.  This again supports the growth of hydrophytes such as cocoyam and rice. The high point serves as observations for people who enjoy sceneries.

The District is drained by three main rivers and their tributaries.  The rivers are Offin, Oyon and Abankro.  Continuous human activities along these rivers and streams have adversely affected their flows.  Almost all the rivers experience seasonal flows.

Soils and Geological formation

The District has two geological formations, namely Voltarian and Dahomeyan.  The Voltarian formation consists of shale, sandstone, mudstone and lime-stone.  The Dahomeyan formation consists of metamorphic rocks such as gneiss and schist.

The mass presence of granite rock in the district supports the quarry industry.

The soils of Afigya-Kwabere District are developed over granite, Lower Birimian Phylite and coarse-grained Voltarian Sandstone. Soil associations or mapping units over each of these parents materials are listed as follows:

Soil developed over granite and associated rocks

Kumasi – Offin Compound Association
Bomso – Offin Compound Association

Boamang – Soko Simple Association

Nyanao – Opimo Association

Soil developed over voltarian rocks (sandstone)

Bekwai – Oda Compound Association

Soils developed over lower birimian rocks

Bediesi – Sutawa Association

Yaya – Pimpimso Association

The soil types consist of Kumasi-Offin Compound Association, Bomso-Offin Association, Jamasi Simple Association, Boamang Simple Association, Bediesi-Sutawa Association and Yaya-Primpimson Association.

The Kumasi-Offin Compound Soil is good for tree crops such as citrus, cocoa, coffee and oil-palm.  They are also good for food crops like, cocoyam, plantain, cassava and yam.

The Boamang Simple Association is good for agriculture but it is highly susceptible to erosion.

The Bediesi-Sutawa Association has high water holding capacity and is suitable for mechanized agriculture.  They support crops like maize, yam, legumes, cassava, plantain and groundnuts.

The soils are very rich and good for agricultural purposes.  The lower horizons have slightly heavier textures while the valley bottoms are clayey textured.

Conclusions

Generally, the district is endowed with good soils for agricultural development. Over 90%of the soils are developed from granite except a small area to the north – east and south – west where they are developed over sandstone and lower Birimian Phylite respectively.

The topsoil’s are mainly sandy loams and so are susceptible to erosion. Erosion Prevention measures are important in the cultivation of the soils. Practices such as cover cropping, mulching, avoidance of burning etc., to protect the topsoil are very useful.

The rocky hills of the Nyanao – Opimo association around Buoho is important with quarries established in the area.

Economic Characteristics

Road network

The district has a total of 180.2km length of road network.  About 70% of roads in the district are not tarred but are routinely maintained.  The table below depicts types of roads in the district.

Roads in the district

NO. ROADS TYPE
1 Amoako-Tetrem Feeder Road
2 Ahenkro-Amoako Feeder Road
3 Tetrem-Aworaye Feeder Road
4 Kyekyewere Town Surface Feeder Road
5 Denase-Penteng/Pataase Feeder Road
6 Nkwantakese Jn.-Nkwantakese-Pampatia Feeder Road
7 Bedomase-Boamang Feeder Road
8 Bepoase Jn. – Bepoase Feeder Road
9 Kofi fofiekrom Jn. –Kofi fofiekrom Feeder Road
10 Banko Jn.-Banko Feeder Road
11 Tetrem-Abidjan Feeder Road
12 Afrancho – New Kyekyere Feeder Road
13 Bible College – Bronkron Feeder Road
14 Main road Junction – Chrase Feeder Road
15 Afrancho – Krobo Town Roads Feeder Road
16 Afrancho – Kodie – Ahenkro Surface road
17 Kodie – Mowire Feeder Road
18 Brofoyedu – Atrama Feeder Road
19 Agyarko – Buoho – Essin Feeder Road
20 Essin – Besease Feeder Road
21 Kodie – Aduamoa – Aduman Feeder Road
22 Nkwantakese – Habitat Surface road
23 Maase – Adubenso – Abduman Surface road
24 Bomfa – Adumakasekese Surface road
25 Aboabogya – Swedru- Wawase Surface road
26 Ankaase- Mpobi Surface road
27 Kodie – Apagya Surface road
28 Maase – Adubenso – Abduman Surface road
29 Bomfa – Adumakasekese Surface road
30 Aboabogya – Swedru- Wawase Surface road
31 Ankaase- Mpobi Surface road
32 Kodie – Apagya Surface road
33 Brofoyedu – Buoho Surface road
34 Atimatim – Nkwanta Surface road

Telecommunication

Currently, there are postal services in most of the communities. The installation of digital radio multiply access subscriber system has improved telecommunication in the district. Most mobile pre-paid services are also available.

Electricity

Most communities are connected to the national grid. Few are yet to be linked.

CROP SUB-SECTOR

Farming method

Farming systems practiced in the district include mixed farming, mixed cropping and mono cropping. The table below shows the percentage of the major farming systems in the district.

Farming Types Practiced

TYPE OF FARMING PERCENTAGE (2009) (%)
Mixed Farming 16
Mixed Cropping 65
Mono Cropping 10
Crop Rotation 7.5
Agro-Forestry 1.5
TOTAL 100

Generally, farmers practice shifting cultivation and mixed cropping with a few of them practicing mono cropping and crop rotation. Similarly, livestock and poultry keeping are practiced on extensive system with a margin keeping to intensive system.

Major crops cultivated

Major food crops grown by farmers include plantain, cassava, cocoyam, rice and maize. Cocoa is the main cash crop cultivated in the district. Major tree crops cultivated include oil palm and citrus. Vegetables such as tomatoes, garden eggs, pepper and onions are cultivated. In recent times, exotic vegetables like cabbage, carrot, sweet pepper are becoming popular. The district has comparative advantage in the production of plantain, cocoa, maize and cassava.

The table below shows the yield of some of the major crops produced in 2009 in metric tons.

Crop production (metric tons) 2009

MAJOR STAPLE CROP YIELD (METRIC TONS) 2009
Maize 32,198.0
Cassava 158,004.0
Plantain 128,066.7
Rice 2,477.9
Cocoyam 45,934.6
Yam 59,676.2

Farming indicators

The table below shows some important revelations in the agricultural sector in the district.

Some major findings.

ISSUE AVERAGE (2009)
Distance to farm 2.6km
Land under cultivation 38453
No. of farms under cultivation 3 per person

Land tenure

Land is owned by the traditional authorities who release them to prospective farmers under the share cropping system of which “abunu” and “abusa” are prominent. Other forms of land tenure systems such as individual ownership, communal ownership, and leasehold as well as land pledge also exist in the district. These however differ from one community to another. 

Livestock sub-sector

The livestock sub-sector of the district is at the subsistence level. Over the years, it has played an important role in the provision of reliable source of protein as well as income for people in the district. The vast grazing land in the district provides the potential for most household to engage in livestock production. The main animals reared in the district include poultry, sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, rabbits and grass-cutters. In all, there are twenty commercial poultry farms in the district.

Agriculture support services

Agricultural extension service

The district has extension units in thirteen (13) communities which deliver agricultural extension services to farmers. The district has a total of fourteen (14) extension agents who provide direct transfer of technology from researchers to about 6000 farmers. This gives a farmer extension ratio of 1:428.

Agro-chemical distribution

There are ten (10) agro-chemical dealers in the district most of whom are retailers. However, some farmers buy agro-chemicals direct from Kumasi since the city is the hub for agro-chemical distribution in Ghana. This makes the cost of chemicals there relatively cheaper.

Agricultural mechanization

Agricultural mechanization is of limited importance in the district. However, a tractor assembly plant is under construction at Kodie, the district capital. This facility, upon completion, will also deal with the servicing of tractors.

Storage facilities

One major problem facing the farmers in the district is that of storage. No storage facility is found in the district. Post-harvest losses of farm produce are on the ascendancy. Farmers are therefore not encouraged to produce excess of what they can market readily. Excess production forces them to sell their commodities at cheaper and unprofitable prices. This therefore discourages further production.

Farmer based organizations

A total of twelve (12) functional FBOs are operating in the district. These are made of developing and well developed FBOs.

They include agro-chemical dealers, crop/animal production groups, processors and marketing groups.

Financial institutions

There are three (3) rural banks located at Afrancho, Boamang and Tetrem. These banks provide agro-loans to farmers.

Weekly/periodic markets

The district can boast of six (6) periodic markets. Eighty per cent (80%) of the district has access to periodic markets.  The market centres are located at Ankaase, Wawase, Kwamang, Tetrem, Kyekyewere and Boamang.

Major stakeholders in agriculture

Major stakeholders in agriculture in the district include farmers, agro input dealers, financial institutions, Ghana National Fire Service, FBOs, traditional authorities, market women, transporters, NADMO and the District Assembly.

MOFA SPECIAL PROJECTS

Cocoa Diseases and Pests Control Program (CODAPEC)

This program began in 2001 and it is on-going. It however started in Afigya-Kwabre in 2010.  Hitherto, it was executed by the then Afigya-Sekyere and Kwabre Districts (now Sekyere south and Kwabre east Districts respectively). Since most of the communities covered by the project now lie in the Afigya-Kwabre district, the project has now been awarded to it.

Other Projects

Other special projects in the district include:

  • Rice and maize block farms at Kyekyewere operational area under the national youth employment programme.
  • Three thousand (3000) acres afforestation project at Wawase operational area.

POTENTIALS, OPPORTUNITIES

Potentials

Availability of:

  • Large track of fertile arable land.
  • Forest reserves.
  • Rivers that can be used for irrigation and catchment areas for fish pond construction.
  • Rocks that can be used for quarry and extraction of iron ore.
  • Skilled staff.
  • Youthful population (large labour force).
  • Large market centres.

Opportunities

  • Existence of collaborators.
  • External markets for some commodities e.g. Yam, cocoa, cashew, oil palm etc.
  • Close proximity of the district to the regional capital (Kumasi).

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