Agriculture is still the dominate employer in the Kwabre East District. It gives employment to about 55% of the population, either in direct agricultural production or in agriculture related activities. Whiles agricultural land is dwindling over the years due to urbanization, other agricultural production such as poultry and livestock productions and fish farming are becoming very important.
Potentials therefore exist in the expansion in these areas and other activities such as Agro-processing, Commodity warehousing nontraditional agricultural productions and vegetable production.
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CLIMATE AND VEGETATION:
The District is located within the wet semi-equatorial climatic region with double rainfall regimes. The first rainy season begins from April to June with the heaviest rainfall occurring in June. The second rainy season is from September to October. The dry season begins in November and ends in February. The average annual rainfall is between 125mm and 175mm with relative humidity of 75 – 80 percent during the rainy season and 70 – 72 percent during the dry season.
The mean annual temperature is about 300C with the lowest about 26. 10C. The rainfall regimes and adequate sunshine are suitable for food and cash crop production.
The major vegetation types are semi-deciduous forests and grasslands. Indiscriminate felling of trees, continuous cultivation, the bush fires of 1983 and the increasing proportion of land for settlement purposes have left very little of the original forest to be found only along the river courses and northern fringes of the District. That notwithstanding, all the vegetation types are cultivable and thus useful for agricultural purposes
RELIEF AND DRAINAGE
The topography exhibits diverse patterns with land heights ranging between 305 metres and 335m above sea level in the eastern portion with large isolated hilly outcrops, whilst the western boundary is generally undulating with areas below 290m above sea level.
The district is well drained with a number of streams taking their source from the eastern highland flowing southeast and the rocky lulls of the west and depicting dendritic patterns. Notable streams are Akawsua, Anyinasu, Daku Wiwi, Ayiresua, Owai, Atonsu, Akasu, Krowa and Afiam almost all of which are perennial.
SOIL AND AGRICULTURAL LAND USE
Soils of varied complex associations found in the District include the Kumasi – Offin and Bomso-Offin compound associations, Boaman Simple Associations and Nyanoa – Tinkong Simple Association.
The Kumasi Offin compound Association supports food crops like plantain, cocoyam and maize.
The Boaman Simple Association supports cocoa and other tree crops.
Finally, the Nyanoa – Tinkong Simple Association is not very good for agriculture but may support cocoa while having a dense forest and a lot of moisture.
GEOLOGY AND MINERALS
The main rock types found in the District are biotite, granite and grandiotites whose weathered products are fine textured granitic soils found in areas like Antoa, Abira, Sakaro Wonoo, Wadie Adwumakase and Kenyase.
Biotite gneiss and granitised biotites have formed a number of large rocky outcrops in Kenyase and Aboaso.
Low-grade alluvial gold deposits have been sited at Sakora Wonoo. Diamonds have also been located at Safo and Kasaam in the northeast. Clay and sand deposits are found in the central areas of the District
According to the 2000 population census, Kwabre East District has a population of 102,310 comprising 52,230 males (51%) and 50,080 females (49%). Some of the major communities and their population are as follows: Ahwiaa-19,729; Mamponteng-9,121; Ntonso-7,489; Aboaso-7,493.
The rural-urban split is 65:35 which implies that 65% of the settlements are rural and 35% urban.
41.5% of the population falls within 0-14 year group, 52.3% in the 15-64 year group and 6.2% falls within the 65 years and above.
Kwabre East District has an average of about 689.19 persons per square km (population density).
Table 2. Population Distribution by Broad Age Groups
|0 – 14||21,576||20.8||20,333||20.7||41,909||41.5|
|15 – 64||27,422||26.2||26,342||26.1||53,764||52.3|
Source: 2000 Population and Housing Census Report, 2005
Settlements along the southern fringes of Kwabre East District have grown into peri-urban settlements as Kumasi spreads into the District.
The high population could be attributed to the proximity of the district to Kumasi metropolis. Major settlements in the district, especially those at the fringes of Kumasi (such as Ahwiaa, Meduma, Mamponteng, Aboaso and Kenyase), appear to have dormitory status to the metropolis, thus attracting increasing numbers of migrants. This may be responsible for the high population growth rate of 4.5%.
The population of the District is predominantly Akan constituting about 87% of the population. About 10% of the population comes from northern Ghana and the others constitute about 3% of the population.
In terms of religion, Christians dominate, comprising 67% of the population. The Moslem population is also significant and represents 22% of the population.
Paganism and traditional religion still persist in the District but are insignificant. The traditional religion which is made up of only 4.4% of the people in the District appears to be dying out at a faster rate.
WATER AND SANITATION
Potable water coverage in the District is about 70%. Almost all the 42 communities have access to potable water. The problem, however, is adequacy especially the peri-urban communities and the small towns where small town water systems would be needed.
Currently, the District in collaboration with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency is constructing 200 boreholes under the Rural Water and Sanitation Initiative with financial support from the Government of Ghana and the African Development Bank, to increase access of potable water to a greater proportion of the population.
A total of 2000 farmers in the district have been registered, out of which 1,346 have been captured in the MoFA database as at January 2011. This is made up of 647 male and 672 female. The registration and imputation on to the database is still ongoing.
Group Formation and Development
The table below gives information on farmer groups in the District.
Farmer Groups in Kwabre East (2011)
|Type of Group||Total group||Total Male Membership||Total Female Membership||Ratio of Male / Female members**||Functional groups (F)|
The number of Farmer Based Organisation (FBOs) formed in Kwabre east district at the end of 2010 was 17.
Land area cropped is estimated to be 950.11 hectres. Crops such as cassava, plantain, cocoyam, Yam, rice, vegetables and maize are mainly cultivated in the district. There are also cocoa farms, oil palm and citrus plantations
Major Crops and Their Output Level
|CROP||LAND SIZE(Ha)||YIELD (Mt/Ha)||PRODUCTION(Mt)|
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some major crops produced in Kwabre East Distric
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Tomato planted on ridges
A total amount of four thousand, five hundred Ghana Cedis (GH ¢4,500.00) was allocated to nine field officers to carry out field demonstrations with farmers. Each field officer in the Directorate was given five hundred Ghana Cedis (GH ¢500.00) to establish demonstration fields. Two farmers from each operational area were selected to work with the AEAs. Eighteen acres of demonstration field, mostly maize were established.
Livestock and Poultry Production – there are both commercial and subsistence livestock farmers. Some of the animals reared include; goats, cattle, sheep AND pigs. The poultry production in the district is very encouraging. There are 51 commercial and subsistence poultry farms. Some commercial farms include; Akate, Richam, VOA etc.
Livestock and Poultry Population
Source: Veterinary services- DADU,2010
Livestock Development Project
The district received fifty (50) sheep consisting of 5 ewe and forty five (45) rams. The sheep were distributed to five farmers, each farmer had ten (10) each, nine (9) ewes and one (1) ram. The animals were generally in good condition.
The district is received 300 cockerels to commence the project in the district. Fifteen beneficiary farmers received twenty cockerels each. Housings for the cockerels of prospective farmers were inspected first before distribution commenced.
Cassava Project (UPoCA)
Kwabre District Directorate of Agriculture is one of the thirteen (13) districts which entered in to an agreement with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) for the Cassava Emergency Response Project “Unleashing the Power of Cassava in Africa (UPoCA)” in response to the Food Price Crisis. The project spanned from March 2009 to December 2010.
- Establishing 10ha of seed farms
- Distributing planting materials of improved varieties to 5000 farmers for farmer field establishment
- Four community awareness campaigns (2 radio spots and 2 field days per district). The campaign focusing on planting material requirement for higher yields
- A total of 6.32 ha of Seed farm were established.
- Sixteen co-operating farmers were involved in the Seed Farm Establishment.
- 2700 bundles of planting material were Coppiced and distributed to 675 farmers in the year (2010).
- Two community awareness campaigns (radio spots) and two field days were carried out.
Cocoa Disease and Pest Control Programme
There are ten spraying gangs carrying out the mass cocoa spraying exercise in the District. Four gangs have been assigned to the Black pod activities whilst six carry out Capsid control works.
POTENTIALS FOR AGRICULTUAL PRODUCTION
Whiles crop production is still important in the District, other key sector hold great potential for the District in term of agriculture.
These include the livestock sub sector including poultry, Aqua –culture, Vegetable farming, agro-processing and commodity ware housing.
THE POULTRY industry is fast expanding in the district. Major poultry farms such as Akate Farms, Richam Farms, and VOA Farms are located in the District. The central location of the district, its proximity to the Kumasi metropolis and relatively good road net work makes it a good location of such industry.
AQUA CULTURE holds sway in the District. The district has a number of streams ramifying it, in addition the soil types and the number of valley bottom available together with easy access to markets makes the District hold great potential for fish farming.
AGRO-PROCESSING AND COMMODITY WAREHOUSING has become an important facet on modern day agricultural production.
The availability of land with good road net work linking them to marketing center makes the Kwabre East District a suitable destination for the location of such industries.
- Proximity to Kumasi where famers can access the central market to market their produce and buy inputs.
- The district is also endowed with streams and rivers which can be irrigated for dry season farming.