GEOGRAPHIC, CLIMATIC, SOILS AND GEOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DISTRICT
LOCATION AND SIZE
The district lies between latitudes 6° 47’ N and 7° 02’ N, and longitudes 2° 26’ W and 2° 04’ W. It shares common boundaries with Tano South and Asutifi Districts of Brong Ahafo and Ahafo Ano South District in the Ashanti Region.
According to the Ahafo Ano North District profile of 2009, the total land area of the district is 57,340 ha.
RELIEF AND DRAINAGE:
The District is characterized by gentle rolling landscape drained by many rivers, the major one being the Tano River. It has been said that the River Tano can be dammed for irrigation and hydro electric power. Below are maps of the District showing its relief and drainage and also vegetation and crop pattern.
The district is in the wet semi equatorial zone with double maxima rainfall in June and October. It has a mean annual rainfall of 1,750mm, with fairly high temperatures of between 26° C in August and 30° C in March. These conditions favour the cultivation of cocoa, citrus, oil palm and many food crops like maize, rice, cassava, plantain, as well as vegetables like egg plant, tomato, okro, pepper, cabbage etc. The bi- modal rainfall pattern therefore conducive conditions for major and minor cropping seasons.
District Annual Rainfall Distribution (2005 – 2010)
Source: SRID/MOFA (DADU)
The district exhibits three (3) major soil types and these are: Adjaso Hwidiem Association, Susan Simple Association and Biri Chichiwere Association.
The soils in the district are generally fertile and support the cultivation of the so many cash, food and vegetable crops as already listed above under climate.
GEOLOGY AND MINERALS
The Birimian and Dahomeyan formation underlie the land area, with the Birimian rock so far being the most important geological formation in the district, as it is known to contain most of the mineral deposits. Sources indicate that Asuhyiae, Mabang and lately Subriso areas have some amount of gold deposits which must be prospected to ascertain their feasibility and viability of exploitation. There is also some amount of clay deposits at Subriso
POPULATION GROWTH RATE, SIZE AND DISTRIBUTION BY SEX
Current population of the district is about 93,916 (2009 projection).Between 1994 and 2009 the population increased from 44,799 to 93,916.
The district has more males than females. Figures for 2009 are given as:
Total population – 93,916
Male – 49,118
Female – 44,798
Those in the labour bracket (i.e. ages between 15 and 64) are about 54.0% of the total projected population.
Population density of the district is 125 persons per square kilometre. This is lower compared to Ashanti regional figure of 148 persons per square kilometre, but higher than the national figure of 79 persons per square kilometre. The average district household size is 5.
AGRICULTURAL LAND USE AND OTHER FEATURES OF AGRICULTURE
Out of the total land area of 57,340 ha, agricultural lands are 45,872 ha. A survey in 2002 gave:
- Area under cultivation as 3,061.96 ha
- Area not cultivated as 1,513.78 ha
- Area under inland waters as 860.1 ha
The main occupation of the people is farming, which according to the AHAFO ANO NORTH DISTRICT PROFILE, employs about 83% of the total labour force, both direct and indirect.
Agriculture in this District is mainly rain fed and takes the form of crop cultivation, poultry and livestock rearing. The environmental conditions in general favour the cultivation of cash crops like cocoa and oil palm as well as food crops like plantain, maize, cocoyam, rice, cassava. Vegetables cultivation is done generally all over the district but it is a major activity in communities like Asuhyiae, Tepa, Manfo, etc where some irrigation is done on small scale during the dry season.
The forest vegetation and steep slopes seem to discourage mechanized operations with tractors, making slash and burn the common practice. The use of power tillers for ploughing in the low lands for rice cultivation is being embraced by farmers. The use of weedicides for land preparation is also now very common. Mixed cropping is commonly practiced but some mono cropping is also done. Mixed farming is also practiced in Ahafo Ano North.
LAND TENURE SYSTEM
The land is vested in chiefs, family heads and individuals and structured into share cropping of Abunu and Abusa. Also practiced are cash rent and lease. These however lead to land fragmentations, hence major impediments to large scale commercial farming.
INVESTMENT POTENTIALS OF THE DISTRICT
A number of investment opportunities exist in the district in both agricultural and non agricultural areas as seen below;
a) Cash crop production:
There is available suitable land for the cultivation of cash crops like cocoa and oil palm. The climatic conditions of the area as indicated earlier, also very much favour the cultivation of these crops. There is ready market and processing opportunities for the produce of these crops.
b) Low land Rice production:
There are over fifty (50) communities in the district where rice cultivation is done in the valleys, but productivity is often low due to improper land development
Serious cultivation of vegetables like tomato, egg plant, cabbage etc. is done in the major and minor cropping seasons in and around Manfo-Asuhyiae areas. Meanwhile rivers Tano, Abu, Bone, and Kwasu are said to have the potential of irrigating over 1,800 ha of land. This could be an area of investing in dry season vegetable cultivation in the said areas.
d) Agro Processing:
Majority of the working population are into the production of cocoa, plantain, cassava, citrus, cereals and vegetables, but due to the limited capacity to process farm produce, a chunk of harvests are sent outside the district without value addition, thereby yielding little dividence to the farmers. Agro processing of excess harvests delivered to the local market to avert waste during bumper harvest is therefore an investment potential worth considering.
– Oil palm could therefore be processed into palm oil and palm kernel oil.
– Cassava; into gari, flour and chips
– Plantain; into flour and chips.
The Ahafo Ano North district, being the leading cocoa producer in the Ashanti region has abundant cocoa farms from which surplus broken pods can provide adequate raw materials that can be semi-processed into quality ASH (DOR) for subsequent conversion into the manufacture of ALATA soap and other detergents.
Similarly the huge clay deposits at Subriso could also be exploited and processed into a secondary raw material for the production and manufacture of tile bricks for the housing industry.
It must however be noted that investment in these areas will benefit the district and prospective investors tremendously, as the district will be put on a higher pedestal and at the same time help solve unemployment problems, increase the standard of living of the people and ultimately result in increase in per capita income of the district.
OBJECTIVES OF THE DEPARTMENT
DADU operates to contribute in 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”
DADU therefore ensures the effective implementation of overall MOFA objectives as presented below, for agricultural development and for the improvement in the general conditions of the people.
SUMMARY OF MAJOR ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT BY THE DISTRICT (DADU)
Major activities carried out by the District Agricultural Development Unit are summarized under the following areas:
RTIMP (Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme)
It got started in the District in 2008 with an initial number of 14 farmers as cassava secondary multipliers, where 16 acres of Bankyehema and little of Nkabom (40 bundles) were planted. By 2010, a total number of 400 tertiary multiplication farmers had been supplied with the improved cassava planting materials.
STCP (Sustainable Tree Crop Project)
This commenced in the District in 2009 with the main objective of assisting cocoa farmers to increase cocoa production through increased yields. It initially began with 6 communities and increased by 6, bringing to 12 the total number of communities involved in the STCP. Under this, beneficiary groups of farmers are exposed to improved technologies through Farmer Field Schools and Video Viewing Clubs (VVCs).
In the Ahafo Ano North District support was extended to 38 rice farmers to cultivate 50 acres of rice at three (3) sites in the district.
AEA FIELD DEMONSTRATION
From 2008 to 2010 demonstrations were conducted to introduce farmers to improved innovations and technologies in crop and livestock production. In all 187 demonstrations were conducted.
IVRDP (Inland Valleys Rice Development Project)
The project is being operated from Ahafo Ano South with one valley located at Odikro
Nkwanta in Ahafo Ano North.
The District (DADU) received 4,500 bags of Cocoa fertilizer (1,500 of Asaase Wura and 3,000 bags of COCOFEED) from Ghana Cocoa Board and by December 31st. 2010, 2,302 bags of the Fertilizer were sold to cocoa farmers with a balance of 2,198 bags.
WIAD (Women In Agric Development)
Routine WIAD activities were carried out where farmers were generally sensitized on food safety, nutrition, income generation etc.
The cockerel project started with the first phase in the Ashanti Region in the fourth quarter of 2010 and DADU took delivery of 280 eight weeks old cockerels from RADU. These were later distributed to 14 small holder farmers who received 20 cockerels each after training at DADU on basic husbandry practices. More farmers would be reached out to if the district is included in subsequent phases.
The four (4) key activities that were undertaken during the year under review
included: vaccination, local slaughter (meat inspection), treatment of sick animals and disease surveillance
HOME AND FARM VISITS
These involved daily, weekly and monthly visits carried out by AEAs in reaching out to farmers,
as well as monitoring and supervision by DOs and DDA.
Normally conducted to demonstrate to farmers appropriate technologies that needed to be
adopted. These were fora organized to expose improved technologies to more farmers.
M & E ACTIVITIES
These mainly involved monthly meetings of DADU staff to deliberate on technical issues.
- The annual celebration of the District Level National Farmers’ Day was on schedule.
- The District Agricultural Development Unit (DADU) also ensured effective collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
MAJOR TOWNS IN THE DISTRICT
The district has 20 major settlements with about 1,867 hamlets and villages.
Top 20 Communities and Their Farming Population
Below are the top 20 communities and their farming population
|NO.||TOWN||TOTAL POPULATION||FARMING POPULATION|
DETAILED INFORMATION ON MAJOR CROPS PRODUCED:
Lying in the wet semi-equatorial zone with double maxima rainfall, the district has a mean annual rainfall of 1,750mm. The evenly distributed rainfall favours the cultivation of major food crops like; plantain, cassava, maize, cocoyam, rice, tomato, pepper, garden eggs, cabbage and also economic tree crops such, cocoa, oil palm and citrus. Other non-traditional crops like black pepper, ginger, pineapple etc are also being grown as emerging crops.
CROPPED AREA OF MAJOR CROPS (hectares)
CROP PERFORMANCE, i.e. District production figures for selected food crops ( mt)
Source: SRID (DADU)
Crop performance and production recorded a general improvement and increase over the years. The favourable environmental conditions and dissemination of improved technologies through interventions such as RTIMP, Block Farm, Inland Valleys Rice Development Project to farmers by DADU field staff are reasons attributable to this development.
District Cocoa Production Figures: (2002 – 2009)
|YEAR||PRODUCTION (BAGS)||TONNAGE (M/TONS|
Source: District Cocoa Quality Control Unit – Tepa
The general increase in production from 118,986 to 163,319 bags might be attributed to adoption of improved technologies such as good agronomic practices, impact of cocoa mass spraying exercise under CODAPEC and the cocoa Hi-Tech Programme.
DETAILED INFORMATION ON LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION
|Type of Livestock||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010|
Source: SRID (DADU)
As seen in the above table, there is a general increasing trend in livestock population in the District. The favourable environmental conditions added to growing public interest in livestock rearing might have accounted for this phenomenon.
Another reason for these increases, especially for sheep and goats is the improved data collection by DADU staff.
- 2009 pets population: Dogs = 4,235 Cats = 3,882
- 2010 pets population: Dogs = 4,256 Cats = 3,901
DETAILED INFORMATION ON FISH PRODUCTION (Aquaculture)
Fish production in the District is done in fish ponds mainly in the valleys by interested farmers.
The table indicates details of current fish pond owners in the District.
|LOCATION||NO/ SIZE||TYPES OF FISH||NAME OF FARMER|
|AKWASIASE||4 (45ft x 90ft )||Tilapia & cat fish||Nana Atta|
|ASENKYEM||1 (100ft x 120ft)||Tilapia & cat fish||J. O. Mantey|
|AKROFOSO||3(64ft x 100ft)||Tilapia & cat fish||Kwaku Duah|
|TEPA||1(20ft x 25ft)||Tilapia & cat fish||John Alale|
|TEPA||1(12ft x 20ft)||Tilapia & cat fish||Nana Kwaku Oppong|
|TEPA||2(20ft x 25ft)||Tilapia & cat fish||Yaw Boafo|
INFORMATION ON FERTILIZER SUBSIDY PROGRAMME:-
The Programme was instituted in 2008 by the Government to reduce the high cost of fertilizers in the country. At the end of 2008, eighty-two (82) booklets of fertilizer coupons were issued to 3,488 farmers (3,131 males and 351 females) to purchase fertilizers for use in the District.
The Programme continued in 2009 and 2010 with the following details:-
|TYPE OF FERTILIZER||NO. OF BAGS ACCESSED BY FARMERS IN 2009||NO. OF BAGS ACCESSED BY FARMERS IN 2010||TOTAL BAGS ACCESSED|
The programme had a general positive impact on yields and production levels of e.g. maize, rice and vegetables as farmers were able to access and use the fertilizers more than before
INFORMATION ON SPECIAL PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES:-
CSSP II: From the inception of the project in 2009 to date, twelve (12) communities have been involved. The project is now focused on 2 main modules; VVC (Video Viewing Clubs) where video shows are used to teach farmers on cocoa agronomic practices, FFS (Farmer Field School) also concentrated on practical approach to coca agronomic practices.
The project supplied cocoa pods, cocoa seedlings and economic tree seedlings to be planted by farmers on their cocoa farms as well as poly bags for healthy nursery establishment, all aimed at boosting cocoa production in the District. Twelve (12) facilitators from beneficiary communities and two (2) AEAs from the District Agricultural Development Unit (DADU) received a month training that enhanced their capacity to handle the project.
JICA/MOFA RICE PROJECT (Sustainable Development of Rain-Fed Lowland Rice Production Project)
This got started in the district in 2010 in two (2) communities (Tepa and Anyinasuso). The two (2) AEAs manning those operational areas and the DO- CROPS are involved in the project activities.
Three (3) model demonstration plots were established with the involvement of three (3) groups located at: Katabo, Frenchman’s site and Anyinasuso.
RTIMP: Started in 2008 where 14 farmers were identified by the District for the RTIMP Programme and established 16 acres secondary multiplication fields of Bankyehema.
At the close of 2010, four hundred (400) tertiary farmers were supplied with cassava planting materials from secondary sites in the District.
2009 SPECIAL MAIZE SUPPORT PROGRAMME: Assistance was extended 31 farmers to enable them increase production in the face of the then harsh global economic situation. It has also been part of MOFA’s food security strategies.
FARMER REGISTRATION PROGRAMME: This exercise commenced in 2009 however, due to certain inadequacies and shortcomings associated with the exercise it was withdrawn and new software, the Agricregisoft introduced. Following this, training was conducted for DADU staff to build their capacity for the exercise. The farmer registration exercise resumed at an initial slow pace as AEAs found the forms rather complex and had initial difficulties but the situation improved as reflected in subsequent reports.
Following the initial challenges encountered which were later resolved, the exercise achieved modest success with a total of 1,713 farmers; 999 males and 714 females registered so far.
BLOCK FARM PROGRAMME: In line with government policy of accelerating Agricultural
modernization for food security and job creation particularly for the youth, the block farming concept was being pursued.
In the Ahafo Ano North District support was extended to 38 rice farmers to cultivate 50 acres of rice at three (3) sites.
Farm inputs were therefore supplied by DADU to the respective farmers for the purpose. The package per acre included; 2 litres of Sarosate weedicide for land preparation, 20kg seed rice (Jasmine 85),1 litre Pronil Plus as post emergence herbicide, 2 bags of NPK 15:15:15 and a bag of Sulphate of Ammonia fertilizer. It was envisaged that this would contribute to increased rice production in the country at large.
INFORMATION ON NEW INITIATIVES:-
NATIONAL COCKEREL PROJECT: The cockerel project was formally rolled out as DADU took delivery of 280 eight weeks old cockerels from RADU and these were later distributed to 14 small holder farmers who received 20 cockerels each after training at DADU. The cockerels will be raised under the semi-intensive system of management and the notion is to enable farmers spend less on the birds and maximize income. The main aim of the project is to reduce poverty and increase the protein intake of households.
The programme is under close monitoring and supervision of the District Livestock Officer whilst AEAs offer technical support to beneficiary farmers to ensure the success of the programme for its subsequent extension to other farmers in due course.
INFORMATION ON ACHIEVEMENTS AND CHALLENGES 2008 -2010
|MAIZE FOLIAR FERTILIZER
|Six (6) field demonstrations of foliar fertilizer on Maize were conducted in all 3 agricultural zones in the District to show the relative performance and yield from three different fertilizer treatments for farmers’ adoption. In the end, the treatment of bulk starter fertilizer plus foliar topdresser proved more superior.|
|2008 AEA DEMONSTRATIONS||Twelve (12) AEAs each conducted five (5) field demonstrations during the year 2008. Three out of the five were on food security crop (maize) and the other two on income generation (livestock and plantain). One of the AEAs was a veterinary AEA who used her funds provided as revolving fund for the treatment of livestock diseases and so was not to be recovered. The purpose of the demonstrations was to improve food security and enhance income generation of farmers through adoption of improved technologies introduced|
|2009 SPECIAL MAIZE
|Twenty five (25) male and six (6) female farmers are beneficiaries of a total of GH¢3,100.00 loan facilities granted them to assist them increase production, raise their standard of living. Current recovery rate stands at 67.03%|
|2010 AEA DEMONSTRATION||Eleven (11) AEAs conducted 25 maize demonstrations of an acre each and involved 25 farmers throughout the District. The purpose of the demonstrations was to demonstrate; Minimum tillage, maximum plant density, timely weeding, application of chemical fertilizer (NPK and Sulphate of Ammonia) to farmers.|
|2010 BLOCK FARM PROGRAMME||38 f rice farmers at Katabo II & III as well as Kotei Nkwanta received support in the form of inputs totaling GH¢120.00 each to cultivate rice, of which 5 were women. Total support received amounted to GH¢5,600.00 and currently four thousand four hundred and fifteen Ghana cedis (GH¢4,415.00) has been recovered representing 78.8%|
|RTIMP||Currently the exercise has reached the tertiary phase where improved cassava planting materials have been supplied to 400 farmers; 265 male and 135 female.|
|CSSP II||From the inception of the project in 2009 to date, twelve (12) communities have been involved. The project so far supplied cocoa pods, 19,125 cocoa seedlings and economic tree seedlings to be planted by farmers on their cocoa farms as well as poly bags for healthy nursery production all aimed at boosting cocoa production in the District|
|NATIONAL COCKEREL PROJECT||DADU took delivery of 280 eight weeks old Cockerels from RADU and these were later distributed to 14 small holder farmers who received 20 cockerels each.
The 14 beneficiary farmers received training at DADU on the management of the birds
|JICA/MOFA PROJECT||Three (3) model demonstration plots were established with the involvement of three (3) groups located at: Katabo, Frenchman’s site and Anyinasuso. 4 shovels, 20 hoes and sickles were provided to farmer groups.|
|SRID||Yield studies have been conducted over the years under (MRACLS) and data from it analyzed and submitted to RADU for computation into production estimates and also served as MOFA working documents.|
|VET ACTIVITIES||A total of 39,358 livestock were vaccinated against diseases such as CBPP, PPR, Newcastle, Rabies etc.
It comprised of 1,900 Cattle, 7,134 Sheep, 4,296 Goats, 720 Dogs, 308 Cats and 25,000 Poultry birds. Also 3,035 livestock have been slaughtered.
|AEAs HOME AND FARM VISITS
|A total of 5,516 visits were made by AEAs with 31,217 farmers reached. The regular AEA home and farm visits helped to disseminate new innovations, improved technologies as well as carry out surveillance on crop pests and diseases on farmers’ fields.|
|Both DDA and DOs carried out 715 monitoring and supervisory visits of AEAs activities and interacted with 3,606 farmers.|
|M & E ACTIVITIES||A total of 536 reports were prepared, 38 backstopping sessions held, 36 technical review meetings conducted|
|FIELD DAYS||A total of 218 field days were conducted with 6,647 farmers reached. Topics discussed were diverse and included: fertilizer application, black pod screening, safe use of agro chemicals, post harvest losses, supplementary feeding of small ruminants, record keeping, row planting, control of black sigatoka etc.|
DADU WITH CARE INT
|The District achieved a lot of success in extension delivery as a result of the collaboration. Activities undertaken included facilitation of FBO groups, cocoa agronomy and farmer study tour to Tafo (WACRI) as well as organization of seminar on child labour in cocoa production, capacity building for women on micro finance.|
|DADU WITH DISTRICT ASSEMBLY & OTHER STAKEHOLDERS.||A lot of success was achieved in collaboration with other stakeholders as well as the District assembly in the organization of the National farmers’ Day celebration|
|OTHERS:||Besides the field demonstrations conducted by AEAs, technologies were also demonstrated to farmers and include the following; save use of agro chemicals, knapsack calibration, pruning of infested sigatoka leaves, cocoa nursery practices, mistletoe removal, disease control, animal nutrition, improved housing for livestock, sensitizing butchers on harmful effects of singeing, records keeping and bush fire prevention and control. From 2008 to 2010, a total of 52,345 beneficiary farmers were reached with the above technologies|