LOCATION AND SIZE
The Bosomtwe District is located at the central portion of the Asante Region. The former Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma District which had two constituencies, the Bosomtwe and Atwima Kwanwoma Constituencies got divided into two districts; the Bosomtwe District and the Atwima Kwanwoma District in 2008 by LI 1922.
The Bosomtwe District is bounded on the North by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, on the South by Bosome Freho District, on the North-West by Atwima Kwanwoma District on South West by Amansie East District and Ejisu Juaben District on the East.
According to the 2000 population and housing census, the population of the District was62,450 covering an area of approximately 500 square kilometers which forms about 1% of the area of Ashanti Region. Currently, the projected population for 2010 reveals a total of 83,165. The only Natural Lake in Ghana, Lake Bosomtwe covers the South Eastern end of the District.
The District is made up of 3 area Councils namely: Kuntanase, Boneso and Jachie
AGE AND SEX COMPOSITION
There are 51.0% females as against 49.0% males. This is because men usually migrate in search of jobs leaving the women to take care of the children particularly during the dry season.
THE DISTRICT ECONOMY
The structure of the district economy is made up of Agriculture, service and commerce. Table 1.2 shows the number of the labour force and their percentages.
Table: Structure of District Economy
Source: 2000 Population and Housing Report, 2010
RELIEF AND DRAINAGE
The only unique topographical feature in the district the Lake Bosomtwe, which is located in the Southern end of the district, has an outer ridge that maintains a constant distance of 10 km from the centre of the lake and stands at an elevation of 50 to 80 m. The drainage pattern of the District is dendrite with the rivers flowing in a North-South direction. Around the lake there is an internal drainage where the streams flow from surrounding highlands into the lake. The rivers are Perennial. Notable rivers in the District are the Oda and Bankro.
CLIMATE & VEGETATION
The district falls within the forest belt of the Ashanti Region and it is within the West Semi-equatorial Climate region with a rainfall regime typical of the moist semi-decidous forest zone of the country. There are two well-defined rainfall seasons; the major season occurs from March to July with a peak fall in June. The minor season starts from September to November with a peak fall in October. August is generally cool and dry. The dry season begins in December and ends in February.
Temperature: are generally uniformly-high throughout the year with an annual mean of 24o C. The highest mean (27.8 oC) Occurs just before the major season in February as observed in Kumasi. The mean minimum occurs during the minor wet season.
Relative humidity (RH) is general high throughout the year. The Relative humidity values ranges between 95% and 71.6% during the wet season with the lowest value of 42.5% in the dry season during January.
The natural vegetation of the area falls within the semi-deciduous forest zone of Ghana, which is characterized by plant species of the Celtis-Triplochetol Association. However due to extensive farming activities, the original vegetation has been degraded to mosaic of secondary forest, thicket and forb re-growth and various abandoned farms with relics of food crops and vegetation.
Secondary forest: These are forest, which are generally over 10 years. It is characterized by close upper canopy at height of about 9m with a number of growing soft wooded trees and few hard woods. It has less open undergrowth of spiny shrubs and climber.
The major tree species are Terminalia Spp, Funtumia Spp, Ceiba Pentandra, Bambax Spp, Archonia Sp, Ficus Spp, etc.
Thicket: They are forest areas of about five years with relatively impenetrable mass of shrubs, climbers, coppicing shoots and young trees. The mass is dominated by chromolaena Odorata (Siamese Weed) with few trees above the mass.
Forb re-growth: These consist of soft stemmed leafy herbs mostly Chromolaena Odorata and weed which appear on farm and have to be cut down regularly and remnants of food crops and coppice shoots re-growth from stumps of felled trees.
SOILS AND AGRICULTURAL LAND USE
The district has six main soil types that are described as follows:-
The Kumasi-Offin and Bomso-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 of the district respectively. They support both cash and food crops such as coffee, cocoa, oil palm, citrus, vegetables, maize just to mention a few.
The Bekwai-Oda, Bekwai-Oda and Kobeda-Bechiem-Sebenso-Oda Compound Association also have similar characteristics. The associations are found mostly in the western, north-eastern and eastern parts of the district respectively. These soils are moderately well-drained and support cash crops, legumes and food crops.
The Atukrom-Asikuma Association is well drained in some parts. The soil is mostly found in the eastern part of Lake Bosomtwe and supports food and tree crops as well as vegetable and sugar-cane production.
The soil types in the district have been found to be ideal for the cultivation of cash crops and indigenous food developed over a wide range of highly weathered parent materials including granite, Trakwaian and Birimian rocks. They are more richly supplied with nutrients.
AGRICULTURAL LAND USE
The Kumasi-Offin and Bomso-Offin compound Association are well drained and made of quarts, gravels and iron stone modules in the sub soil. They are found mostly in the Western and middle belt of the district. They support cash crops and food crops such as coffee, cocoa, oil palm, citrus, vegetables, maize among others.
The Bekwai – Oda Bekwai Akumadan – Oda and Kodeda – Eachien (Behiem) Sebenso – Oda compound Association have similar characteristics. These associations are found mainly in the Western North-Eastern and Eastern parts of the districts respectively. They are moderately well drained and support cash crops as well as food crops.
The Atuakrom – Asikuma Association is well drained. This is mostly found on the eastern part of Lake Bosomtwe and supports food crops, tree crops as well as vegetables and sugar cane productions.
LAND TENURE AND AGRICULTURAL LAND AVAILABILITY:
Land ownership is mainly on family bases where the head of family holds title in trust and on behalf of family members. There are some stool lands, which are held and cared for by occupants of the Stools, Kingmakers and elders of the royal lineage.
Available lands for Agricultural purposes are acquired from these two reconised land owners on lease or outright purchase. Individuals who own parcels of land probably through inheritance or care-taker titles also give land out for agricultural activities.
The common practices are share-cropping (“Abunu or Abusa”) and hiring of land. In this case, money is paid for the right to use a piece of land for a period of time, usually counted in years.
Apart from the few commercial farmers who purchase large tracks of lands, the small scale and peasant farmers are mostly using family lands by free hold.
The land area available for agricultural activity is nearly 48% of the total area of the district (1300sq km). This is primarily because of the good soils, vegetation and favourable climatic conditions prevailing in the District.
Agriculture involving crops, animals and fish farming employ about 58.55% of the active working population. Crop farming alone account for 53.41% of the active population in the Agricultural sector, with the rest in Livestock and fishing sectors.
FARMING METHODS / SYSTEMS:
The common method of farming in the District is the slash-stump and burn method. This is done to make lands ready for cropping.
The method adopted is used as result of the location of the district in the forest belt (semi-deciduous forest zone of Ghana) where methods such as ploughing and other mechanical methods of farming are rarely used.
Secondly, the hilly and undulating nature of most portion of the district, is a limitation of their use.
Two main systems of farming are adopted in the district. These are:
ii. Permanent cultivation:
This is adopted for perennial crops such as cocoa, oil palm, sugar cane, plantain and citrus among others. Under this system, the farmer remains on the piece of land under cultivation for many years with the same crops.
Year to year harvest is derived from ratoon crops, as in sugar cane or yield from the same parent crop.
ii. Land rotation
Most of the arable crops are grown under this system. Maize,
Cassava, vegetables are the crops associated with this system
They are either grown as a sole crop (monocrop) or mixed-crops where a combination of more than one crop is cultivated on the piece of land for a season and then shifted to another to enable a period of fallow.
The major occupation in the district is agriculture that employs about 62.6 percent of the labour force. Crop farming employs 57.4% and fishing 5.2%. About 44% of those who engage in other occupations still take up agriculture as a minor occupation.
Farms holding in the district are moderately large. Farmers had holdings of more than 3 ha with an average of 3.5 ha per farmer (DOP UST) put under various crops. Crops of substantial economic significance in the district are cocoa, maize, oil palm, cassava, plantain and cocoyam. The cultivation of these crops is mainly subsistence.
On the whole, agricultural production is low as supplementary food stuff are brought in from Kumasi.
Though majority of farmers are producing on subsistence basis, areas of concentrated production of some crops have surpluses for sale or processing. Maize is the predominant food crop cultivated in the district. Cassava also thrives well in most parts of the district. Vegetable production has a greater potential as it also has ready market in view of its proximity to Kumasi. Some of the rivers namely Oda and Bankoro that run through the district are perennial and therefore promote vegetable production in the dry season.
The district proximity to Kumasi (peri-urban) serves as a favourable influence of market prices and attractive market awareness for farmers. Thus prices are very different in most parts of the district compared to the city of Kumasi.
AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AND YIELDS
Table: Agricultural Out/Put Production (Mt)
Table: Crop Yield MT/HA
Table: Livestock Census
LIVESTOCK, POULTRY AND FISHERY
The livestock industry is not well established in the district. However some few farmers have small ruminant, pigs and cattle.
Poultry production is gaining patronage in the district mainly due to its closeness to the Regional Capital.
There are few large commercial poultry farms north of the district closer to Kumasi.
Table 3 gives the production level of poultry and livestock in the district from 2006 to 2009.
Fishing is done on a smaller scale in the lake Bosomtwe Aquaculture is practiced in the district through in the past most fish ponds were abandoned by farmers due to lack of knowledge in aquaculture,. Today we have over fifty fishponds in the district which can be found in Kuntanase, Apinkra, Abuontem, Oyoko, Sawuah, Jachie and Esereso.
The District has five projects in the Agricultural sector. These are:
Or Cocoa Mass Spraying Programme
1. Cocoa Mass Spraying
The involves the spraying of cocoa farms against cocoa capsid. The various societies are supplied with chemicals to spray their farms. There are presently twenty three societies with twenty-three (23) spraying gangs. A total of 1,900 ha (59500 tanks) of farms was sprayed for the 2009 year covering a total of 4,502 farms which was an increase over the previous years.
II COCOA HITECH PROGRAMME:
Only sidako fertilizer (a liquid fertilizer) was supplied by COCOBOD to the district to mix with the capsid chemicals and spray together in the Mass Cocoa spraying. The District has applied for cocofeed fertilizer to sell to farmers this year, 2011.
III Expanded Maize Production Programme
Two groups of farmers, the Bosomtwe District Award winners association and the Atwima Kwanwoma District Award winners association were given some loan to cultivate maize during the minor season. The loan recovery was over 90%. This implies that recognized FBO could be supported with credit for farming activities instead of individual farmers.
IV. Fertilizer Subsidy Programme
This started in 2008 and involved the issuing of fertilizer coupons to farmers to buy fertilizer at subsidized price from some identified input dealers. These subsidized fertilizers include NPK 15-15-15, NPK 23-10-5, Sulphate of Ammonia and Urea (see table below)
Table: Final Fertilizer Coupons Report, January – December 2009
|NPK 15:15||NPK 23:10:5||S.O.A||UREA||REMARKS|
|Total coupons received from region||3900||1850||1750||1350||A total of 1793 coupons which were not utilized were with farmers|
|Total coupons distributed to farmer||3900||1850||1750||1350|
|Total coupons endorsed||3208||1394||1469||986|
|Total coupons not utilized||692||456||281||364|
|Total coupons returned to RADU||Nil||Nil||Nil||50|
V. Livestock Development Project
Five farmers in the district were selected to start the project in 2010. They were each supplied with 10 sheep, one ram and 9 ewes for breeding.
VI. Farmer Registration
The district also carried out some farmer registration through the Agricultural Extension Agent. A total of 7070 (3534 males and 3536 females) farmers were registered for the 2009. The exercise is on going.
Table: Agro processing
There are few agro processing activities in the district as seen in the table.
|Activity||Community||No. of plants|
|Oil palm processingOil palm processing
Oil palm processing
The plant at Abuentem is currently processing corn dough because of lack of cassava tubers.
Other industrial activities include saw milling, making of ornament, Gold smiting, Aketeshi distilling, wood carving, textile and dress making.
There is no periodic market in the district. Market facilities are located in some towns in the district such as Brodekwano, Feyiase, which have market pavilions. There are stalls at Kuntanase and Jachie with good market facilities.
The rest of the towns have just small market places without stalls or sheds. Commercial activities take place in various forms at these daily market points. Some individuals operate shops as retail outlets for varied goods.
The absence of large markets in the district is largely attributed to poor road condition and network.
The St. Michael’s Catholic Hospital at Pramso and the District Hospital at Kuntanase are the only Hospitals in the district.
These Hospitals cater for referral cases in the District. However, due to proximity to Kumasi, the populace has access to the services of Hospitals and Polyclinics within the City.
The supply of portable water in the district is inadequate. There is no pipe born water in the district. The Communities depend on boreholes, and dug-out wells and streams for their water needs.
Lake Bosomtwe is a source of water for communities living near it. There are about 27 hand-dug-wells, 116 boreholes and 60 more are under construction.
Kuntanase, the district capital has no access to pipe borne water. A project to lift water by pump from a borehole for distribution in the town is completed and is supplying water to the Kuntanase community.
The District has one Bitumen surfaced road from Chirapatre (Kumasi) through Esreso, Aputuogya, and Kuntanase to the Lake Side and Nyameani.
The rest of the roads are gravel or latrine surface with several pot-holes. These roads become water logged and muddy during raining seasons and are virtually impassable. Roads in the hilly areas of Asisiriwa, Konkoma, Beposo and Amakom usually suffer from severe erosion making them difficult to use by vehicles during the rainy season.
The district has tourist attraction sites of historical, scientific and aesthetic importance These include:-