Administrative capital: Bekwai.
The administrative headquarters is Asiwa. It is now one of the 27 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in Ashanti Region.
The Bosome Freho District is located in the rural forest ecological zone of Ghana at the South Eastern part of the Ashanti Region. It is bounded on the north by Bosomtwe and Ejisu-Juaben Municipal as well as water body named Lake Bosomtwe; on the East by Asante Akim South District, South by Adansi South District and Birim North District in the Eastern Region and on the West by Bekwai Municipal and Adansi North District. (Appendix Figure 1-Map).
The district covers a land area of 630 square kilometres with the North-South stretch from Bosomtwe District to Adansi South District being the longest.
The towns and villages are depicted in picture below.
LOCATION AND SIZE
The Bosome Freho district is positioned within latitude 6000’N and 6026’N and longitude 1000W and 1030W. It covers a total land area of about 630 square kilometres of the land area of 24,389 square kilometer of Ashanti region representing about 2.6% of the regions total land size.
The district land size is located in the south eastern part of the Ashanti Region and shares boundary with Bekwai Municipal to the west, Ejusu-Juaben Municipal and Bosomtwe District to the North, Asante Akim South to the south and Birim North to the south.
Demarcation of the Bosome Freho District Directorate of Agriculture into zones and operational areas and officers assigned to them.
In consideration of the land size, location and distribution of towns and villages/communities in the district, agricultural activities are carried out through the demarcated zones and operational areas. Four zones namely Asiwa, Tebeso, Nsuta and Mmorontuo are in place. 16 operational areas exist. Each zone comprises of 4 operational areas.
Officers are assigned to the zones and operational areas with their towns and villages/communities.
TOPOGRAPHY/RELIEF AND DRAINAGE
The topography consists of lowlands, undulating lands (hilly, rocky and even lands) however, the topography is predominantly undulating with some slopes being less than 1%.
Even though part of the relief has gentle slopes run-off water causing sheet and gully erosion are prevalent due to high torrential rains. The undulating rocky uplands around the natural inland water body, Lake Bosomtwe could rise between 200 and 400 metres. The district is drained by four principal rivers and tributaries. The rivers are Pra on the northern section, Fre in the middle portion, Sunsu and Anuru occupying the southern part with north eastern corridor being drained by Lake Bosomtwe. The rivers offer opportunity for all year round agriculture to farmers especially vegetable production (cabbage, okro, tomatoes and garden eggs) while the Lake stand out as a great potential for fishing for the people living around it depending on it for their livelihoods and also tourism which is gradually developing for their advantage.
SOILS, AGRICULTURAL LAND USE AND TYPE
The soils in the district offer ideal conditions for the production of cocoa, oil-palm, tubers, cereals and other food and cash crops. Oil Palm and Cassava could be relied on for industrial crops in the district since the soil has the potential to support them.
The district which is located in the forest zone of Ghana has layer of ancient rocks which contains large amounts of quartzite made up of granite and gneiss. Hence the dark colour of the surface soil which is rich in nutrients, water and considerable quantity of organic matter which supports crop and animal production.
The soils have in light textured surface horizons in which sandy-loams and loams are common. The lower soil horizons have slightly heavier textures while the valley bottoms are clayey textured. The soil texture and structure are favourable for agricultural production.
The soils in the district offer ideal condition for the production of tree crops cocoa, oil palm; fruits (citrus, pineapple, banana; Tubers, cassava and yams), cereals (maize and rice), legumes (cowpea and groundnuts), vegetables (cabbage, tomato, garden eggs, okro, pepper) plantain, sugar cane and other food crops).
The soils also support grass species and fodder crop species for the rearing of small ruminants (sheep and goats) and big ruminants (cattle). Cassava holds a great potential as a raw material for gari making. This calls for an appropriate processing machine.
The soil supports tree species on farms interspersed with trees like Ofram, Cidrella odorata and Teak and using Gliricidia species and Gmelina arborea as live stakes for yam and black pepper production.
The soils in some parts of the district especially area around Anyanso drained by river Anuru have been tampered with by the activities of illegal gold miners thereby destroying the soil structure and texture.
The district has seven (7) soil types and they include:
These soils are developed over lower Birimian rocks, which are moderately drained and are good for the cultivation of both tree crops such as cocoa, coffee, oil palm and pear as well as food crops such as maize, cassava, cocoyam, plantain and banana. The soils are found in Minti, Nsuaem and Amomorso.
These soils are developed over upper Birimain rocks. They are well drained and suitable for tree crops such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil palm and forestry. These are found around Yapesa, Tumiabu and Brofoyedru
These soils are developed over upper Birimian rocks, which are moderately deep and well drained. They are suitable for forest reservation and rock quarrying and small farming in pockets of the deeper soils. They are found around Yapesa, Japandu, Esaase, Dunkrura and Banso.
These soils are developed over Tarkwaian rocks, which are moderately drained and are good for the cultivation of tree crops such as coffee, cocoa, citrus, oil palm as well as food crops such as maize, plantain, cocoyam, banana and pineapples. The lowland and valley bottom soils are suitable for rice, sugar cane and vegetables. They are found around Nsuta, Tebeso No. 1&2, Asiwa, Abosamso and Nsese.
The district falls within the tropical and semi-equatorial climate of which Ghana belongs. It is influenced largely by the warm hot, dry and dusty laden north east trade winds or Harmattan blowing from the Sahara desert during the dry season from December to February. Little or no rainfall is rainfall is recorded. The mean annual rainfall is between 1600mm – 800mm. However, rainfall can be as high as 2160mm per annum with the average around 1960mm.
It has a fairly high and uniform temperature ranging between 320C and 200C in August. Intermittent sunny conditions prevail from January to December in which temperatures could go to a maximum of 340C
The temperature regime and rainfall pattern are conducive for the cultivation of many food crops and tree crops throughout the district.
The district is generally humid with humidity ranging from 90-98% during the night and early mornings of rainy seasons. It is fairly moderate and range between 70 and 80% in the dry season and in the day it falls to 75% and below depending on whether the prevailing wind is Monsoon or Harmattan.
The District lies in the forest area of Ghana, precisely within the moist deciduous forest agro-ecological zone in which tall trees are common as a result of good rainfall distribution. Some of the tree species are Odum, Wawa, Edinam, Mahogany and Ofram. Parts of the forest have been reserved. The major forest reserve of the district is the Bosomtwe Range Forest Reserve. The ecological unfriendly farming practices and human activities, particularly farming and timber extraction have reduced the primary forest to secondary forest. Chromolaena ordorata, popularly called Acheampong shrub is the predominant vegetative cover in many parts of the district.
Geology and Minerals
The district is underlain by three geological formations. These are the Birimian, Tarkwain and granitic rocks, which are rich in mineral deposits. The Birimian and the granitic rocks have been identified to have great potentials since they contain such minerals as gold.
The minerals found in the District which are yet to be exploited include:
The untapped mineral deposit at Yapesa needs to be harnessed so as to create jobs and open up these areas for development.
Water and Sanitation
The availability of water and sanitation facilities, contributes greatly to the health and well-being of the people. DWST field survey and needs assessments from the communities’ show that effective water supply in the Bosome Freho District is about 35% whilst sanitary coverage is about 18%.
Implications of the Physical Features for District Development
The physical characteristics of the District such as the location and size, relief, climate, soil, vegetation and water resources offer tremendous potentials for the development of the District. Its positive impact could be summarized as follows;
Water for irrigation at areas such as Anwiaso, Anuruso, Nsese and Anyanso.
Exploitation of the mineral deposit, sand and gravel will generate employment to unemployed youth and also improve the Assembly’s Revenue Mobilization effort.
The natural environment such as the Lake Bosomtwe, Bosomtwe Range Forest reserve provide rich tourist attractions which need to be harnessed to its fullest potential for local economic development.
In spite of these potentials, the destructive activities by man through lumbering and poor farming practices in the forest belt, pollution of the rivers through fishing is affecting the ecology.
The existence of human beings on earth calls for improvement in his living standards. This cannot happen without knowing the number of people in a particular unit area vis-à-vis the entire totality of the area.
To this end, the population and analysis of any area need to be looked at critically in terms of the population size, structure, growth rate and their implications on the district development. The structure of the population is critical for development planning and for that matter dictates the educational, health and occupational needs of the people. The size of settlements also determines the water and sanitation needs, the level of human activities and their impact on the environment.
Population Size and Growth
The 2000 population and Housing Census report indicated that the population of the former Amansie East District was put at 225,309 out of which the Bosome Freho District was created. The population of the Bosome Freho District was estimated at 65,068 representing 30% with a population growth rate of 3%.
Categorization of District Population, Sex Composition and Economically Active Population.
The district population could be categorized into three main age groups namely 0-14 years constituting children, 15–64 years constituting active working population and 65 plus constituting the Aged.
The economically active population is however, put at 15-49 years (2000 census).
The high percentage of working age group shows a rather high potential labour force which is good for investors because of the availability of large pool of labour, especially the unskilled. The high working population is also a matter of great concern as a result of the mass unemployment and underemployment during the off farming season. With the introduction of the District Youth Employment Programme it is the hope of the Assembly that quite a number of the active working population would be integrated into the job market. Again, other governmental interventions in relation to job creation would absorb this population to improve the local economic development.
Regarding the aged, the life span has been improved in some areas as a result of the improvement in health care delivery save the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme and the exemption packages for the aged. Realistic policies and programmes are needed to better their lots.
Age and sex distribution/structure
The sex of the labour force in agriculture is made up of 50% males and 49.9% females.
Approximately 65% of the total population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods and 43.8% of the economically active population is directly engaged in agriculture.
The high rate of population of children gives an indication that the provision of basic social infrastructure, (such as day care centres, schools, clinics and recreational centres should be a matter of concern for the district assembly, NGOs and Private Investors.
The population and Housing Census (2000) recorded 103.3 per square kilometre as the District Population Density which is higher than the National Density of 79.3. The high population density has implication on the pressure on land for agricultural land use. The average size of land for farming had reduced. On average a farmer could not get as much as 20-30 hectares of land for commercial farming due to the pressure on land. There is therefore the need for programmes to promote intensive agriculture and non-agricultural activities to develop the District.
Major Crops Produced in the Area
Local: tomatoes, garden eggs and hot pepper
Marketing of Agricultural Produce
Marketing of produce in the District is mainly organized by middlemen. There is only one organized weekly market centre at Nsuta which is held on Wednesday where mainly farm produce and products from the area are marketed and manufactured goods from the cities are also sold. In most cases market women from Obuasi, Bekwai, Konongo and Kumasi move round the villages to mobilize and cart lorry full of foodstuffs such as cassava, plantain, paddy rice and maize. Also vegetables such as cabbages are grown around the Lake Bosomtwe Basin on a large scale which attract buyers from Kumasi, Konongo and Accra. Apart from these, there are few daily markets in some of the communities which are organized on a very smaller scale.
The Asiwa market is gradually picking up attracting people from near and beyond. It is held on Thursdays.
This system of marketing applies to cash crops such as citrus, oil palm, except cocoa which is marketed through organized marketing companies stationed in strategic locations throughout the District.
10. Hi-Tech Programme: Cocoa fertilizer has been supplied the district with effect from Tuesday, 26th October, 2010. A 50 kilogram bag of cocoa fertilizer is sold at GH¢25.00 to farmers to apply to their cocoa crop for higher yield and good quality beans.
11. Farmer Based Organizations: They exist in the areas of food crops (oil palm, rice, maize and cabbage), animals and processing (gari, rice, maize and palm oil).
12. Farmers Registration: A number of farmers have been registered in the district from the various communities. A register of farmers is now in place.
13. Crops Sector
Cocoyam, yam and pepper hold bright for the district.
Prevalent crops which do well in the District include: maize and rice as cereals, cassava, yam and cocoyam as root tuber and stem tuber; plantain, oil palm and cocoa as tree crop; citrus, banana and pawpaw as fruits; cowpea and groundnut as legumes, vegetables include cabbage, okro, garden eggs, pepper/chilies, tomato, sugar cane, onions and shallots, non-traditional crops are black pepper, tree species for agro forestry and afforestation interventions include teak, Cidrilla odorata, Ofram and Gliricidia species.
These prevail but not to a significant level to damage crops. Apart from cocoa which diseases and pests warrant continuous spraying with insecticides and fungicides, the rest of the crops do not receive major agro chemical care. However, with vegetables spraying regime should be designed to contain diseases and pests for better yield. Integrated crop pest management is an intervention to reduce diseases and pests prevalence in the district.
Plantain: Contact Crops Research Institute, Kwadaso and Fumesua and MOFA
Non Traditional Tree species: Contact MOFA and Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) Fumesua. Also Forestry Commission/Department
However, production in the livestock sector is prominent with sheep and goats as small ruminants dominating. This farming is practiced on smaller scales by farmers throughout the district with herds ranging from 1-50 per farmer with average put at 5. Even though it is done on subsistence level, it brings a lot of income to them to supplement their living. Housing is a big problem since little attention is paid to it. Cattle rearing is not common and only found at few places.
Pigs are reared and also grasscutter, rabbit and snail for the non-traditional sector. There is no slaughter house in the district.
Veterinary attention is minimal but with this sector now being put in place at the District Headquarters at Anyinase-Asiwa, the situation will improve.
OPPORTUNITIES AND POTENTIALS
MOFA liaises with the District Assembly in all its activities in the district and seeks assistance from it in times of difficulties
The future is bright for Agriculture in the district. This is because environmental resources such as fertile soils, water bodies, adequate vegetation for soil organic matter build up, natural rains coupled with human resources exist in the district.