PHYSICAL AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
Location and Size
The Atwima Mponua District of agriculture is located in the South-Western part of the Ashanti Region covering an area of approximately 894.15 square kilometers. The District shares boundary with four (4) districts, principally in the South with the Amansie West District, Ahafo Ano South to the north, Atwima Nwabiagya in the East and Bibiani – Anwhiaso – Bekwai District of the Western Region.
Relief and Drainage
The District has undulating topography dissected by plains and slopes with average height of 76 meters above sea level. Irrigation is an untapped potential in the District especially around Adiembra where there are large expanse of flat lands around River Offin and the Tano, around Tano Dumasi.
The District is marked by double maxima rainfall seasons. The major rainfall period begins from March to July peaking in May. The average annual rainfall for the major season is about 170 centimeters – 185 centimeters per year. . The minor rainfall period begins in August tapering off in November with an average minor annual rainfall of 100 centimeters- 125 centimeters per year. Mean annual temperatures of 27oC are recorded in August and in March.
The climate in the District is ideal for the cultivation of cash and food crops as cocoa, cola, oil palm, maize, cocoyam, plantain, cassava, rice and all kinds of vegetables. Even though the rainfall is adequate for agriculture, its erratic and unpredictable nature and concentration have adverse implications for rain fed agriculture.
Vegetation and Forest Resources
The vegetation is basically of the semi – deciduous type. The flora and fauna is diverse and composed of different species of both economic and ornamental tree species with varying heights and game and wildlife. Forest occurs along the major rivers and streams. There are four (4) forest reserves in the District stocked by such valuable timber species as wawa, sapele, esa, asafena etc. The reserves include the Asanayo, Gyemara, and Tano – Offin Forest Reserves.
The vegetation of the District has been extensively disturbed by human activities depriving the district of valuable tree species and other forest products. There are however on-going programs to replant some of the degraded lands as shown in the table below
Table 1: ATWIMA MPONUA FOREST RESERVES
|Name of Reserve||Total Area (Ha)||Area Planted||Area Planted||Area To Be Planted|
Source: District Forestry Services Office, Nkawie
The diverse flora and fauna is a very vast economic potential for timber based value adding industrialization and ornamental purposes. However the dense forest makes land clearing for indigenous agriculture difficult and expensive.
Soils and Agricultural Land Use
The soils in the district are generally suitable for agriculture. The soils in the District are deep and can support a wide range of crops; they are subject to erosion and leeching when exposed to the direct vagaries of the weather.
There are about two hundred and sixty (260) farming communities in the Atwima Mponua District. To make extension work in the district much easier, these communities have been divided into 32 operational areas, however only fourteen (14) operational areas are being supervised by Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs).
Again, the operational areas have been sub-divided into four (4) zones, namely:
The above-mentioned zones are supervised by a District Development Officer (DDO) each.
ACTIVITIES IN THE VARIOUS OPERATIONAL ZONES
Zone one (1) shares common boundary with Atwima Nwabiagya in the Eastern corridor of the District. This zone has about seventy (70) farming communities which have been grouped into eight (8) operational areas. These operational areas are being supervised by only three (3) Agric Extension Agents instead of eight (8). The zone has a farmer population of about 12,800.
There are only three (3) seed producers here who cultivate maize and cow pea. A total land area of about 60 acres is under cultivation.
This zone comprises communities such as, Mpasatia, Mansaso, Kyenkyenta, Abompe, Beposo, Bedabour, Amadukrom, Anyinamso, Serebourso, Saakrom, Kotokuom, etc.
Crops commonly grown are:
Animals reared extensively are cattle, pigs, sheep and goats while we have only three poultry farms that averagely rear 500 birds each.
There are 14 fish ponds at Mpasatia and two at Bedabour. A total of 20,000 tilapia, 1,900 mudfish and 4,000 cut fish are reared in these periods.
(Item & Qty)
(Item & Qty)
|Mpasatia||Rice cultivation||20 arcs||Seed Rice-4bags
|20acs||Crops are at the reproductive stage.|
PROCESSING/ AGRO INDUSTRIES
Oil palm processing facilities are at Srebuoso in the zone. They are being managed by a group comprising 18 females and 1 male, whiles an individual owns one at Nkrumah Nkwanta.
MARKET CENTRES & MARKETING OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE
The marketing centers farmers in the zone, where farmers sell their produce are Kumasi, Abuakwa, Nkawie, Anyinamso and some times Nyinahin, the district capital. However, there are small local markets in the various communities where farmers sell their produce in small quantities
The zone has a very poor road network except the main 1st class road from Mpasatia through Nyinahin to Bibiani. The roads in this zone are rough and are very difficult to ply by motorists, especially in the rainy season.
FARMER BASED ORGANIZATIONS
There are ten (10) active FBOs comprising 276 males and 110 females who engage in processing and cultivation of vegetables, rice and maize.
NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION ACTIVITIES
JICA in collaboration with MOFA is under taking a rice project at Mpasatia. This is to equip our farmers with modern technology in rice production. Really, participants involved have achieved adept knowledge in this venture. As of now 70acres of land has been utilized for rice production. And it is hoped that beneficiaries shall have a bumper harvest.
The zone depends on two veterinary officers in the district who occasionally, and on invitation treat animals in the zone. Anti-rabbis vaccination is on-going. And there is no incidence of a new disease outbreak in this area.
There is a possibility of large scale maize and rice cultivation in this zone due to the availability of large secondary forests and many valleys, likewise vegetable production. There are about 423ha of citrus and 269ha of oil palm plantation which supply raw materials for processing of palm oil and orange syrup.
MAIN OCCUPATION OF THE PEOPLE
The main occupation of most of the inhabitants in the zone is agriculture. Crop farming is the main type of farming practiced. There are however, some farmers who are involved in animal rearing but their number is small. The traditional farming method in which hoe and cutlass are used predominates.
ACCESSIBILITY TO THE VARIOUS COMMUNITIES
There is only one major tarred road which passes through the whole length of the district. There are however, a number of untared roads that link the whole zone. This makes extension activities in the zone very difficult. Transport of foodstuff from the various communities to the district capital and other big markets for sale is always impeded by inaccessible roads.
Zone II consists of communities such as Kwanfifi, Betinko, Nyinawusu, Nkrumah, Koohia, Ampenkro, Amadaa, Adumasa, Bontomuroso, Adobewora, Sreso Timpon, etc .Since the major occupation in the zone is farming, most of the youth and adults are farmers. There are about four thousand and eight hundred (4,800) or more farmers in this zone.
Presently, AEA’s operate in only three (3) operational areas namely;
3. Sreso Timpon
This division makes supervision of farmers very easy. In spite of the large number of farmers in the zone, there are only three (3) Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) available instead of eight (8).
MAJOR CROPS CULTIVATED
Crop farming is the main type of farming practiced. Crops commonly planted are:
Fish farming potentials is yet to tap. There are a lot of suitable lands for fish farming but it has not been developed. There is no known aqua – culture farmer in the zone.
There is no well established market in the zone. The people in the zone sell their produce through middle men and women who come from outside the zone.
Processing centers are also springing up in the zone especially oil palm processing. We have 6 processing centers in the zone. Palm oil processing is predominant in this zone. Some processors are self financed while some are financed by NGOs.
The zone has the potential to produce raw materials for agro – processing if the needed attention can be paid to agric development.
There are two veterinary officers who take care of the sick animals in the zone. The services of the veterinary officers are a little bit limited since the officer’s work throughout the district.
FARMER BASED ORGANIZATIONS
The zone can boast of 4 active farmer based organizations whose activities geared at vegetable production and palm oil production.
NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
These are a few Non- governmental organizations that are involved in agricultural delivery but their activities are centered mainly on cocoa rehabilitation and production.
There is an NGO known as Agro- Eco which is about organic farming. Its activities are geared at ensuring proper use of organic fertilizer in agriculture. They are really supporting farmers involved in their farming activities.
ZONE III- NYINAHIN
MAIN OCCUPATION OF THE PEOPLE
Farming is the major occupation of most of the inhabitants in zone III, whereas crop farming is the most practiced type of farming. Animal rearing is however done by some of the famers but in a small scale.
Farming in these areas is normally done in the traditional way using hoes and cutlasses. Crops normally cultivated includes; cocoa, oil palm, citrus, plantain, cassava, cocoyam, maize; whereas vegetables such as okra and garden eggs are also cultivated on large scales.
ACCESSIBILITY TO THE VARIOUS COMMUNITIES
With the exception of the communities by main road, the rest are all poor. This makes extension work very difficult for AEAs since they do not have motorbikes.
The zone comprises communities such as Akantansu, Akantansu Nkwanta, Botrampa, Baakoniaba, Sebekrom, Ackyeampongkrom, Barimakrom, Adupri, Nyinahin, Otaakrom, Akotaa etc. Currently, a female DO supervises this zone.
Almost all the inhabitants are farmers, both the youth and the adults. There are about six thousand and four hundred farmers available in this zone. These farmers are supervised by only four (4) AEAs, instead of eight. This situation puts more pressure on the AEAs since they have to work extra hard to extend extension duties to all farmers concerned.
Zone III has also been divided into eight operational areas, but only three are being supervised. These are:
MAJOR CROPS CULTIVATED
Crops normally cultivated include;
Most of the farm produce are sold at the district market (Nyinahin), on Tuesdays. Some of the farmers send their produce to Kumasi and Bibiani where they believe would get good prices for their produce. However, due to poor road networks to the markets, some of the farmers find it difficult to frequently transport their produce to the district market for sale.
Oil palm and palm kennel proceeding predominates in this zone. Actually they are done on small scales. Due the traditional method used, they are not able to produce palm oil and palm kennel in large quantities.
Again, Adiembra is well noted recently for its irrigation potentials where there is large expense of flat lands around River Offin. An average area of ….. Ha has been developed for irrigation purposes. Farmers around utilize this facility to cultivate vegetables and maize. And really, it contributes immensely to their livelihoods.
Above all, charcoal burning and its sales are also prevalent within the zone which mostly results in illegal logging.
Illegal mining, known as ‘Galamsey’ is also common in the zone which most of the youth (young men) do for a living.
The two veterinary officers for the district are also in charge of veterinary activities in the zone. Though they are always busy, they manage to take care of the animals available.
FARMER BASED ORGANIZATIONS
The zone has about 5 active farmer based organizations (FBOs) whose activities are towards increasing production of crops, processing and marketing of their input.
NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION (NGOs)
There are no NGOs operating in this zone.
ZONE IV- TANODUMASI
Atwima Mponua district directorate of Agriculture is divided into four (4) zones with operational areas. Zone four is located in the eastern part of Atwima Mponua district. The north-eastern part of this zone shares boundary with Brong Ahafo Region, while South-Eastern part shares boundary with Western region. The zone is sub-divided into eight (8) operational areas, namely;
The zone receives relatively high amount of rainfall for farming activities.
Most people residing in zone 4 are involved in at least a farming enterprise. Every operational area has an average of about 1,600 farmers making an average total of 12,800 farmers. Unfortunately the zone has 4 AEAs out of the eight (8) required due to low number of AEAs in the district.
Farming enterprises are widely cultivated in this zone. Farm commodities cultivated included cocoa, plantain, rice, cassava, oil palm, citrus cocoyam, yam, cowpea and vegetables (okra, pepper, tomatoes garden egg, etc)
Livestock such as sheep, goats, cattle and poultry birds (both local and exotic) rearing can be found in this zone.
(i) Tree Crops
Most tree crops widely cultivated in the zone 4 are cocoa citrus and oil palm.
Cocoa production is the largest and major activity which takes place in this zone and even across the entire district. Large tracts of lands under cocoa production can be found in place such as Debrah camp, Bayerebon and Kuffour camp operational area. In fact some individual farmers have up to 30acres of coca in Debrah camp, Dabo shed etc.
Citrus and oil palm production which follow suit are fairly grown across the zone (4) Notable areas for citrus production are Bayerebon No 3 and 5 Donkoto, Pipeline Dabo shed etc.
Oil palm production mostly can be found in place such as Ahyiresu operation area, Donkoto pipeline and Bayerebon operational area.
(ii) Food Crops.
Food crops such as rice maize, plantain, cassava, cocoyam yam as well as vegetables are extensively cultivated in zone (4) of Atwima Mponua.
Zone (4) has favorable conditions for plantain production, hence this farming commodity can be found in every part of this zone starting from Kensakrom, Kuffour camp, through Bayerebon, Debrah camp, Tanodumasi, Gyereso and Ananso. Almost every backyard in Zone (4) has plantain crop plant. In fact these parts of AtwimaMponua District contribute a lot to plantain Fruits that are carted to Kumasi.
Cassava, cocoyam and yam fairly grown in this zone and they can be found in almost all communities in this zone.
Apart from cocoa production which has become a traditional farming activity in the zone, the next in that respect is rice. The zone is endowed with a lot of valleys, which can locate in place such as Kensakrom, Atwi-Adjeikrom, Tanodumasi, and Jerusalem etc. Due to the good nature of valleys in the zone for rice production MOFA in collaboration with JICA are undertaking a rice project in Kensakrom. Again MOFA through the district directorate of Agriculture is undertaking block faming rice production through farmer groups in Kensakrom and Tanodumasi.
Vegetable such as garden eggs, pepper cabbage, tomatoes etc, are widely cultivated in areas such as Abofrem, Gyereso ,Tanodumasi and Bayerebon no 3 Major cultivation takes place in Abofrem where cargo trucks come to cart a lot of vegetable to major market centers in the country.
Apart from Gyereso cattle productions Kuffour Camp (poultry production exotic which are on a large scale , most livestock production exotic production in this zone are done on small scale such as in house and backyard rearing of sheep, goats and local poultry birds. At least an average estimate the zone can boast more than two hundred (200) cattle more than one thousand (1000) sheep, more than seven hundred (700) goats, more than one hundred pigs and more than seven thousand poultry (local) birds. In addition the District Directorate of Agriculture has veterinary officers who run activities to support the heath of livestock in the zone.
For the good main road which runs from Kumasi to Goaso through Bibiani and recent construction of Tanodumasi road, the road conditions in this zone are in a poor state and this affect movement from the interior of the Market center/marketing
Most farm produce apart from which has an existing market nationwide are sent to Bibiani market and sometimes Nyinahin market for marketing.
Farmer Based Organizations
This zone (4) has farm group of which some are presently undertaking block farming and JICA/MOFA project on rice production.
Most agriculture inputs for farming are obtained from this district office (MOFA). In addition there are a lot of individual with agro-chemical shops fairly spread across the zone (4). Processing takes place mostly in Bibiani and palm oil processing in small processing unit set up by individuals.
This zone (4) has a great potential for rice and oil palm production. These two in addition to other crops if enhance will greatly improved the quantity of local rice and palm oil needed in the country.