Atwima-Kwanwoma District Assembly is one of the newly created districts in Ashanti Region with Foase being its capital.
LOCATION AND SIZE
The District is located on latitude 6 24″N and 6 43` North and longitude 1 15′ and 1 46″ West. The district is located in the central portion of the Ashanti region, bounded in the North by Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, South by Amensie west, East by Bosomtwi District and west by Atwima Nwabiagya district. The district has a total land size of 340.9km constituting 1.4% of the total land area of Ashanti Region. The district capital, Foase is approximately 20 kilometers from Kumasi. Other major settlements include Ahenema Kokoben, Trede, Twedie Trabuom, Nweneso 1 and Kromoasi. The district is divided into two (2) Area Councils and subdivided into 21 electoral Areas.
RELIEF AND DRAINAGE
The district forms part of the Ashanti plateau. The topography is generally undulating; there is no prominent feature with a height of about 200 feet above sea level.
The drainage pattern of the district is dendretic. Dwanyen Kankamayem and their tributaries drain the district. The persistent clearing of the catchment areas of these rivers and streams for farming purpose has adversely affected their level of flow/volume. They have virtually become seasonal rivers. During the dry season when the rivers and streams dry up, the communities that rely on these rivers for their water supply face acute water shortage. The situation is further compounded by the climate change with it’s prolong dry periods and excessive heat.
The climate of the district is wet semi – equatorial type. The mean monthly temperature is about 20c. A maximum temperature of about 28c is recorded in March and April just before the onset of the rainy season. The rainfall pattern consists of two (2) rainy seasons. The major season is usually between March and July with June as the peak period. The minor season is between late September and November.
The mean annual rainfall ranges from 140 – 170 cm. Rainfall totals and incidence vary widely from year to year. The number of rainy days average about 100 – 120 days per year with 75% of this occurring during the major season. The months of December through March are virtually dry. The relative humidity is high especially in the rainy season and early mornings. The climate change has actually altered this climatic pattern such that one cannot determine the known patterns with accuracy. This actually affects farming activities, the major economic activity in the district. This is so because the farming activity in the district like any other part of Ghana is climatic dependent.
The district lies within the green belt. The over bearing vegetation is moisture laden semi – deciduous. The typical vegetation is basically determined by rainfall and ground water supplies. The forest is rich in tropical hard woods like Wawa, Esa, Kyeakyen etc.
The vegetation has been degraded into secondary forest in areas like, Trabuom, Hwidiem Deikrom and Chichibon. This degradation is as a result of illegal chain saw activities, bush fires and shortened bush fellow periods because of increased population pressure on the land for farming purpose.
SOILS AND AGRICULTURAL LAND USE
The district has six main soil types that are described as follows:
Soil developed over granite and associated rocks. i.e
Kumasi – Offin Compound Association
Bosom – Offin Compound Association
Soil developed over the upper and lower Birimian Rocks
Bekwai – Oda Compound Association
Bekwai – Akomadan – Oda Compound Association
Kobeda – Bechem – Sebenso – Oda Compound Association
Atukrom – Asikuma Association
The Kumasi – Offin and Bosom – Offin Compound Associations have similar characteristics. They are well drained and made of quartz gravels and iron – stone nodules in the sub-soil. They are mostly found in the western end and middle – belt of the district respectively
The soil types in the district have been found to be ideal for the cultivation of cash crops and indigenous food crops.
GEOLOGY AND MINERALS
The district is endowed with a number of resources, which are potentials for development. Some of these resource potentials are tapped whilst others are untapped. The resources include gold deposits, rock, sand and stone deposits, clay deposits and forest resources.
Gold deposits are located in Adjuampong, Ampabame No. 1, Ahenema Kokoben, Nkoranza, Trede, Trabuom, Kyekyebon and Adu – Wamase, The district however, cannot be said to be a mining district since information gathered was only on specific mining pits that have been abandoned. Sand deposits are located at Konkori, Trabuom, Twedie, Adwamase, Dida, Gyekye, Afrancho, Asaago. Stone deposits are located at Mpatasie, Ampabame No. 1 and 2. Kwanwoma, Aboabo and Ahenema Kokoben. Rock deposits on the other hand are located at Ampeyoo, Kokoben and Nwineso.
IMPLICATION OF PHYSICAL FEATURES/CHARACTERISTICS ON DEVELOPMENT
The location of the district presents both opportunities and challenges. The district’s proximity to Kumasi promises ready market for farmers and other economic activities. The value for land is increasing steadily because of trickle-down effect from Kumasi metropolitan area. The other side of proximity to Kumasi is the issue of how to manage rural – urban interface.
There is high demand for land in the district in such areas like Ahenema Kokoben, Brofoyeduro, Ampayoo, Krofrom, Tredre and other emerging peri-urban areas.
This implies that the nature of Peri-urban interface is one of the constant changes, with the people affected experiencing continuous shifts in their livelihoods and in the problems and opportunities they face.
Poor people, especially women are less able to take advantage of the new opportunities, but interventions that support the poor, for example by increasing their access to capital, skills, and information can help them. Although the land available for natural resource based activities declines with the rural urban-change, these activities remain important, particularly to the poorest people. This would mean that continued support for good natural resource management is therefore critical.
Farming and trading, often in agricultural produce, have crucial roles in peri-urban situations providing income and allowing risk taking ventures. These activities can be usefully supported.
The climate is good for variety of crops as the district experiences double maxima rainfall. This provides great potential for plantations crops such as citrus, cocoa and palm.
The soils in the district support different kinds of crops. There is therefore a potential for investment in agriculture, the mainstay of district’s economy.
POPULATION GROWTH, SIZE AND DENSITY
The population of the district in 2000, according to population and Population and Housing Census is 73,014 representing 2% of the region’s total population of 3,612,950. The current projected population of the district is 85,932.50 using growth rate of 3%. Atwima Kwanwoma District has an average of about 214.2 persons per square km as against 147.6 and 78.9 persons per square kilometer for Ashanti and the nation respectively
The structure of the district’s population indicates 49.2% males and 50.8% females. This phenomenon is a true reflection of the Regional and National situation. The age structure of the economy depicts that of a typical developing economy. The broad age structure indicates 43.8% for the 0 – 14 age cohort, 48.2% for 15 – 64 age cohort and 8% for 65+ age cohort.
Table 1: Age distribution of population
|0 – 14
15 – 64
Source: 2000 Population and Housing Census report
The district have an average household size of 8, house occupancy rate of 15, room occupancy rate of 4.3 and habitable rooms per house at 5.3
The major occupation in the district is agriculture, which employs 62% of the labour force. Of these crops farming employs about 75%, 24% engage in animal husbandry and less than 1% in fishing. Industry and service/commerce employs 8% and 30% of the labour force respectively. About 50% of those engaged in industry and commerce still take up agriculture as a minor occupation.
Table 2: The table depicts the structure of the district economy.
|SECTOR||PERCENTAGE OF LABOUR FORCE (%)|
Source: 2000 population and Housing Census Report
The district is basically agrarian. Economic activities are therefore low with farming as the most important productive activity with respect to output, income and employment. About 62.6 percent of the working population is estimated to be engaged in agriculture. However, small holder farmers who use traditional methods dominate these activities. This implies that any meaningful development effort must necessarily be based on improved performance in the agriculture sector.
The district lies in the forest zone and has vast track of arable land and favourable rainfall patterns. The major crops produced in the district include maize, cassava, vegetables, yam and plantain and tree crops (citrus, cocoa, oil palm). The tree crops are grown mainly for commercial purposes.
The farmers in the district enjoy ready market for their produce because of the district’s proximity to Kumasi.
The common system of farming is the slash/-stump and burn due to its location as a semi-deciduous forest zone. Two main systems of farming are adopted in the district and these are permanent cultivation ( involving perennial crops such as cocoa, citrus, oil palm, sugar cane, plantain) and shifting cultivation/fallow (involving arable crops such as maize, cassava, vegetables, yam, ginger, cocoyam). The arable crops are either grown as a sole crop (monocrop) or mixed crops.
There have been a number of technologies that are being impacted to the farmers to increase their yield and improve their living standards. These include no-tillage, row planting, application of poultry manure and chemical fertilizers and construction of narrow cribs for maize storage.
The systems employed in the rearing of animals are mainly the intensive (where animals are kept in a confined area and fully fed) and the semi-intensive (where animals are allowed to go out during the day and brought indoors in the evening). Over 60% of the farmers practice semi-intensive. The types of animals reared include sheep, goat, cattle and poultry. It is important to note that no farmer solely practice animal husbandry.
All lands in the district are vested in the state but are held in trust by the respective traditional authorities who act on behalf of Otumfuo, the Asantehene. There are three forms of land acquisition in the district. These are family (inheritance), self and by lease/hiring. About 60% of the farmers use family lands. This is followed by hiring (25%). Those who own the lands constitute only 15%.
With increasing demand for land for building there has been mounting tension between the families that farm on those lands and the care-taker chiefs. This impedes effort to enter into large scale production. The average farm size is as low as 1.5 acres per farmer as against the national average of 5acres. The small farm sizes affect production and consequently income and therefore the standard of living of farmers.
MAJOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE
The major agricultural produce in the district are food crops (60%), tree crops (14%), industrial crops (0.5%), poultry/livestock (25%) and non-traditional (0.5%). The non-traditional commodities include grasscutter, ginger etc.
AVERAGE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AND YIELDS
Table 3: Average agricultural outputs/production (mt)
Source: MOFA office, Foase – 2009
Table 4: Crop yield in mt/ha
Source: MOFA office, Foase – 2009
Table 5: Livestock
Source: MOFA office, Foase – 2009
The District Agricultural Development Unit (DADU) provides the vision for the district agricultural development by designing district agricultural development strategies in the contest of the district and the national agricultural frame work.
The district directorate is headed by the District Director of Agriculture and supported by the following staff;
- District Crops Officer 1
- District Extension Officer 1
- District Veterinary Officer 1
- District Women In Agric Development Officer 1
- District Animal Production Officer 1
- District Management Information System Officer 1
- Agric Extension Agents 15
- Accountant 1
- Secretary 1
- Driver 1
- Cleaner 1
- Watchman 1
- Massinger 1
ZONES AND OPERATIONAL AREAS
The zones are manned by district officers supervising the field activities of the AEAs. Each operational area may consist of 4 – 8 communities.
CROPS / EXTENSION
PLANNING SESSION The planning session which involved meeting of all stakeholders in agriculture in the district (including farmers, researchers, MoFA staff, market women, financial institutions and agro-chemical dealers) was held to in January to sort problems and challenges confronting agriculture in the District. This led to the development of a comprehensive work and action plan for the year.
COLLABORATION WITH West African Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP)
District Agricultural Development Unit (DADU) collaborated with WAAPP in multiplication of improved cassava planting material for distribution to farmers through extension.
A total of one thousand, one hundred and forty (1140) farmers have been train on good agricultural practices. The breakdown is as follows:
- 150 farmers trained on the relevance of improved varieties of maize at Darko.
- 120 farmers trained on the relevance of improved varieties of cassava at Afrancho.
- 150 farmers trained on plantain paring and plantain bud – manipulation technology at Trede.
- 220 farmers trained on vegetable nursery techniques at Nwinsa and Dentekrom.
- 500 farmers trained on safe use of agro-chemicals Konkori.
HOME AND FARM VISITS AND MONITORING BY AGRIC. EXTENSION AGENTS (AEA), DISTRICT OFFICERS (DO) AND DISTRICT DIRECTOR OF AGRIC (DDA):
Three thousand six hundred and sixty-six (3666) visits and monitoring were been carried out. The breakdown is as follows:
- 15 AEAs made 2800 visits to farmers in their homes and farms (Education on good farming practices and HIV/AIDS). The AEAs are also involved in the registration of farmers. 1,251 farmers have been registered so far and the exercise is ongoing.
- 6 DOs made 860 monitoring and supervision visits to the 15 operational areas.
- DDA made 90 monitoring and supervision visits to the 15 operational areas
LIVESTOCK / VETERINARY:
The underlisted activities were carried out by the two departments.
- 5000 local birds were vaccinated against Newcastle Disease
- Sensitization on African Swine Fever ( farmers were advised on the existence of the disease and report to the veterinary on any symptom of it)
- Sensitization on bird flu disease particularly on commercial poultry farms
Treatments on animals
- 1243 Small ruminants 665 small ruminants
- 203 Cattle 20 cattle
- 1,107 Pigs 800 pigs
- 441 dogs 78 dogs
Ectoparasite control Diarrhoea
- 520 small ruminants 500 small ruminants
- 112 cattle 150 pigs
- 1721 pigs 5 dogs
- 441 dogs
- 20 Small ruminants 50 small ruminants
- 15 cattle 50 dogs
WOMEN IN AGRIC DEVELOPMENT (WIAD):
This department seeks to ensure better health and life expectancy. The Department carried out the activities below
Diet and nutrition
- Demonstration on the use of high protein maize (golden jubilee) in diets at Chichibon.
- Demonstration on the use of soya bean into “khebab” and soya banku at Foase.
- A talk on the importance of iron and iodine in diets to address problems of goiter and iron deficiency diseases at Ampeyoo.
- Trained 56 farmers in the processing of cassava into High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) for pastries to generate income at Adum Afrancho.
- Trained 32 farmers in the preparation of “khebab” to generate income at Nwinsa