The Akuapem North District lies between longitude 00 000 E and 00 200 E of Greenwich Meridian and
latitude 50 510 and 60 100 north of the equator.
The District shares boundaries with four other Districts within the Eastern Region and one in the Greater Accra Region. The four Districts are Suhum Kraboa Coaltar in the West, New Juaben in the North West, Yilo Krobo in the North East and Akuapem South in the South. Dangbe West in the Greater Accra Region shares boundary with the District in the Southwest.
The District covers an area of about 450sq kilometers which is about 2.3% of the total land area of the Eastern Region.
Geology and Soils
There are two main types of rocks of pre-Cambrian age (a) Togo sandy shales series (b) Birimian series. Birimian series are found in Adawso area comprising of benisses and schist with granites and pegmatites, which are metamorphic rocks.
- Togo series are found in the North East to the South West from the Senya – Beraku part of the Akwapim Range, West of Accra..
- Rocks stones, phythomites and sandy – shales.
- Sandy – shales : Found in Kwamoso area, Manye – Adamso road near mile 36.
- Sand series: The area stretching from the Northwest slope of the Akwapem Range to the Nyensi and Nsaki Valleys.
- Phylites: Found in stream valleys e.g. Bump Valleys near Larteh.
- Quarzites: Cover greater part of the Akwapim Range, Mampong, Tutu, Amanokrom and Larteh.
- Broken forest on most hill tops
- Secondary forest on slopes and valleys
- Scrub and bush along the motor roads, and main footpaths.
- Thickets on the slopes facing the Accra Plains
- Forest Reserves
There are two major forest reserves, there are a lot of forest patches and sacred groves scattered all over the District. Notable ones can be found in the following towns. Gyafiase, Larteh Junction, Bankana near Tutu, Akropong, Obosomase, Mampong and Saforo.
- Mean annual rainfall is 1270mm (50in).
- Mean temperature is 23.88ºC (75ºF)
- Rainfall pattern has two maxima from May to July and September to November.
- Minor Dry Season is in August
- Major Dry Season is from December to February
- There is one main hill range, Akwapem range. The height is between 1,250ft (381m) and 16000ft (487.7m)
- The highest point is at Amanokrom near the water tank, which is about 1642ft (500m).
- The District can be divided physically into two ridges, which are semi-urban, and the lowland area, which is rural.
- The lowest point is about 500ft.
According to the Population Census publication of Ghana, the Akwapem, North District has a population of 68,247 in 1970 and growing at an annual rate of 1.6%. This increased by 24.7% to 85.131 in 1984.
- The growth rate between 1984 and 2000 is 1.8%
- The current 2000 population figure is 104,753 made up 48,942 males and 55,811 females.
- About 25% of the total population lives in the urban area, which are located on the Ridge
- About 53.3% of the population are women
- The population density of the district is about 225 people per km. sq.
The table below shows population of farmers in the district:
POPULATION OF FARMERS IN AKUAPEM NORTH DISTRICT
The district agricultural sector is made up of three main sectors – food and cash crops, livestock and fisheries. Beside these, we have the non-traditional, post harvest, storage facilities processing units, and markets as well as programmes and projects being undertaken by the Directorate in collaboration with the District Assembly.
Land Tenure System
It is mostly stool and family lands, share cropping (Abunu and Abusa) and lease hold.
About 67% of the employee population are engaged in agriculture production and live in the rural areas of the District. Farming practices are traditional and rain-fed. Mix cropping is widely practised.
Farm sizes are small. About 77% of farmers cultivate 1.2 ha a year. Only 2% of the farmers cultivate over 2 ha a year.
Mechanized farming is only possible around Kwamoso and Okrakwadwo State land areas of 1900 ha and 60 ha respectively where government lands are leased to farmers and can support the investment in mechanized farming.
Outlook for Crops
The main crops grown are maize, cassava, vegetables, plantain, citrus, oil palm and cocoa. The production levels for the crops have shown a steady rise from the past years into the present year. This might be due to increase in the adoption rates of agricultural technologies and access to credit.
The District was one of the first centers in the economic development of Ghana. It was one of the first centers of cocoa industry where cocoa was produced commercially. Currently soil degradation, mass bush fires of 1983, and disease have virtually wiped out the industry and led to large scale movement of farmers westwards and northwards to rich forest lands of Akim and Ashant area.
The District also produces a lot of vegetables both on the ridge and the lowland areas. These include tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, pepper (legon 18), local pepper and sweet pepper as well as squash. Vegetable production is irrigated. Major vegetable producing areas are Mampong, Asesseo and Kwamoso.
High cost of improved seeds, fertilizer and chemicals restrict their use to only few farmers. Only maize and vegetable growers are noted to be using improved seeds and chemicals.
Farmers as against the anticipated 25 bags/ha produce an average of 10.5 bags/ha of maize.
Maize and cassava are the most popular crops produced by all farmers in the District. Major maize producing areas include Kwamoso, Konko and Akuni, all in the low lands area. Cassava is grown all over from the ridge to the lowlands.
Total land area – 45,000 ha (450 km2)
Total cultivable area – 24,800 ha (248 km2)
MAJOR CROP PERFORMANCE
Outlook For Fisheries
The district has a huge potential for developing aquaculture. Currently about 22 ponds ( 10 active and 10 inactive) exist mainly around Kwamoso, Mampong-Nkwanta valley and Abonse areas with major fishes like tilapia, cod and catfish being produced.
However some ponds have been neglected while some are receiving the required attention. Good fishes are being identified and the Directorate (MOFA) will support them to tackle all their activities with seriousness.
- Need For Construction of New Pond
Most fish pond sites/farms have the facilities in the farm of land to expand.
The district has been identified as a potential area for aquaculture for which it must be exploited.
Aquaculture as a practice would land more fish to supplement the protein requirement in the district, increase employment and reduce poverty. Aquaculture as an alternative livelihood should be considered.
Outlook For Livestock
Livestock farming is very encouraging. Poultry and Piggery are done intensively on the ridge . Whilst cattle, sheep and goats are mostly kept down the ridge by some farmers.
Major poultry and piggery producing areas are Mampong and Adukrom. The district has a huge potential for Poultry production as very large tons of poultry products are produced annually.
Markets and Credit
Out of the four major bi-weekly markets in the district only Adawso and Asenema markets are currently being patronized.
Mangoase market, which was once a flourishing market, is now a ghost market. Many farmers blame bad road access and high transportation cost for the collapse of the Mangoase market. Farmers sell their farm produce on board trains instead of going to the market.
Major problems facing farmers in the district are lack of access to credit facilities and market facilities for their farm produce.
Source of credit is from families, friends, money lenders, Banks (Ghana Commercial Bank-Akropong and Akuapem Rural Bank-Mamfe, and Adawso) and District Assembly (Poverty Alleviation fund) and others.
PALM OIL PROCESSING PLANT IN AN OIL PALM PLANTATION AT KONKOR
|Type of Processed Products||
|1. Oil Palm Extractor||5||Oil Palm||Every equipment is individually owned. The equipment listed in this format is owned by 137 individuals.|
|2. Gari Processor||11||Gari|
|3. Fish Smoker||14||Smoke Fish|
|4. Cassava Grater||36||Cassava dough|
|5. Corn Mill||69||Corn dough|
|6. Kernel Craker||10||Palm kernel oil|
|7. Distillery||1||Local gin (Akpeteshi)|
Post Harvest and Storage
Few farmers patronize the use of local storage facilities such as the improved narrow crib. But post harvest losses are still high for perishable and non-perishable crops as a result of high transport cost and collapse of major traditional market in Mangoase, Akorpong, Larteh, Mampong and Adukrom.
SPECIALIZED PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES
Root and Tuber Marketing Improvement Programme (RTIMP) is in the second phase as a continuation of the First phase of Tuber Improvement Programme (RTIP). RTIP was implemented from 1999 to 2005 for the purpose of production of improved variety of tubers. Under the programme cassava planting materials were
supplied to farmers for multiplication.
The main purpose of the programme was to ensure food security and improve the standard of living for rural poor farmers through the supply of improved cassava planting materials that are high yielding and disease resistant.
The programme (both RTIP and RTIMP) were sponsored by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Government of Ghana (GOG).
The main components of the RTIP programme were:-
v Multiplication of planting materials
v Distribution of improved cassava planting materials to farmers.
The total area covered under the RTIP, the first phase is 170.14 hectares with 2027 farmer beneficiaries made up of 1.340 males and 687 females.
The second phase RTIMP commenced in 2006 and is supposed to end in 2014 for a period of 8 years.
The main purpose being hinged on is the post production activities to enhance market relations within the root and tuber commodity chain by productivity as well as enhancing root and tuber processing and marketing. The second phase since its inception has supplied planting materials to 1011 farmers with farm establishment coverage of 53.8 hectares.
At the last quarter of 2010, the district was given the status of full operating district for RTIMP. Hence, the first group to benefit from this status was the Milenovisi Gari Processing Group at Korkormu. The group being hardworking, industrious and well organized, received a similar assistant from the European Union but it was only restricted to Gari and cassava dough processing machines. However, with the assistance from RTIMP, an efficient improved smokeless stove, large stainless steel roasting pan, soak away , cassava processor and powerful processing machines with additional structures have been provided to boost the production of gari, cassava dough and other commodities.
Mr. Nyamekyere, Zone 3 coordinator of RTIMP, Regional Director of Agric, Mr. G.K. Ocloo and District Director of Agric, Mr. George Garbrah and other dignitaries assisted the District Chief Executive of Akuapem-North District, Hon. George Opare Addo to officially commission and inaugurate the newly upgraded Centre comprising modern gari processing machines and many other accessories as mentioned above.
For the year under review the major activities carried out were the establishment of secondary multiplication fields, supply of cassava planting materials to farmers (Tertiary fields) as part of ensuring increase production in improved cassava varieties to farmers to ensure high yields. Furthermore, series of training workshops were undertaken for Desk Officers, Group executives and Business Advisory Officers. These were all geared towards product quality and effective and efficient marketing systems to enhance trade leading to better standards of living for gari processors and other commodity chain actors.
YOUTH IN AGRIC PROGRAMME
A total of 150 acres maize was cultivated at Kwamoso in the major season of 2010 under this programme. An additional 100 acres was planted in the minor season of 2010. A total of 296 farmers (244 males and 52 females) participated in the major season while 120 (97 males and 23 females) participated in the minor season programme.
A total of 20 hectares and 5 hectares of maize and vegetables were cultivated respectively among ten (10) groups who were registered for the programme in 2011. Efforts are being made to make good recovery for all the progammes.
HEIFER INTERNATIONAL. SUPPORTED DAIRY PROGRAMME
In collaboration with Heifer International, 27 farmers from Amanfrom and Okrakwadjo
operational area have been brought together to form a diary farmers’ group to produce milk and other diary products for sale to the public.
Heifer International supplied initially 12 pregnant heifers to 12 members of the group while DADU provided continuous education and vet services to make the programme a success.
The Table below indicates the Stock Statistics at present accompanied by data:
TABLE: STOCK STATISTICS
- Number of cows = 14
- Number of milking cows = 7
- Quantity of milk yield = 7,497 litres
- Total beneficiary farmers = 24
- Breeding : 4 cows have been crossed and expected to calf next year 2012.
As part of the government’s policy to help farmers to make more meat available to the citizenry, 300 cockerels which had been raised to 8 weeks and given all the necessary vaccinations and medications were supplied to 15 trained farmers located in five operational areas in the District on 18th February 2010.
Some of these birds were sold to the public for meat while some were kept to cross the local hen. To sustain the programme, a second batch of 300 cockerels (8 weeks old) were again received on 13th December 2010 and distributed to 15 farmers located in four operational areas in the district. The progamme was continued this year 2011 resulting in the total cockerels supplied running as 1200
All the farmer beneficiaries were supervised by our field staff to manage the birds properly.
DISTRICT ASSEMBLY/SIDALCO AGRIC INPUT SUPPORT PROGRAMME
The programme aims at supplying Farm Input to farmers on credit to increase crop production in the District. Farmers were put into groups of five (minimum) and 10 (maximum). The programme started on the 16th March 2010 with sensitization forum followed by the District Assembly session which ratified the programme.
A total of 138 groups were formed and registered by MOFA Directorate while a total of 729 farmers benefited from the inputs. The farmers were made to pay 30% of the total cost of inputs required/requested and the remaining 70% supposed to be paid 31st August 2010.
A total of ten (10) farmer groups have paid the inputs collected in full. The following inputs were supplied to the farmers on credit
- Liquid Fertilizer
- Plant Feed
- Knapsack Spraying Machines
- Wellington boots
- Rain coat
10. Seed maize
The percentage recovery is 41% at present. Efforts are being made to increase the recovery rate.
COCOA DISEASE AND PEST CONTROL PROGRAMME (CODAPEC)
The spraying exercise which was in two phases started on 8th August 2011. Phase one (1) started in August and ended on 14th October. Phase two (2) began in 15 October and ended in 23rd December 2011.
A total number of 935 farmers benefited from the programme and hectarage covered for 1221 farms is 2225 ha.
The following inputs were supplied to cater for the spraying programme.
- Liquid Fertilizer – 4440 litres
- Insecticide (confidor) – 2400 litres
- Nordox – 30 boxes
- Ridomil – 30 boxes
- Spare parts to repair broken down machines
- Motorized spraying machine – 6 pieces
- Premix fuel – 9000 litres
Impact on Cocoa Production
The beneficiary farmers confirmed that the liquid fertilizer used on their farms led to increase in pod production.
FARMER BASED ORGANIZATION
(Under The Auspices Of The Agric. Extension Development Fund of MOFA)
Under the Farmers Based Organization Support, which is mainly aimed at adding value to what farmers produced, a total amount of eighteen thousand, eight hundred and twenty cedis (GH¢18,820.00) was granted to four farmers’ groups at Adensu, Akwatiakwaso , Apasare and Kwamoso to acquire corn mills and cassava processing equipment to support agriculture development in their communities.
Members of all these farmer organizations were sensitized and taken through the necessary formalities for the support.
Organization of one District Research Extension Linkage committee meeting to offer opportunity for all stakeholders in Agriculture to brainstorm on Agric constraints and make recommendations to address them is undertaken every year. Veterinary services, field days, field demonstration, field fora, farm visits, training of field staff and farmers, and collection and analysis of agricultural data are undertaken every year.
Organization of one District Farmers’ Day Celebration in honour of the hard working farmers in the District is also undertaken every year.