The Tain District is one of the new districts created in the Brong Ahafo Region in June 2004. It is situated at the north-west of Sunyani (Regional Capital). It lies within latitudes 7 ½ and 8o 45` North and longitudes 2o 52` West and 0o 28` East. In terms of land area, Tain District covers 4,125 square kilometres. The District shares common boundaries with Wenchi Municipality to the east, Jaman North to the west, Sunyani West to the south and Berekum Municipality to the south-west. It is also bordered by Bole District of the Northern Region to the north-east, Kintampo South to the south-east and La Côte d’Ivoire to the north-west. Nsawkaw, the district capital, is 18 miles (30 km) from Wenchi, the capital of Wenchi Municipality out of which Tain was carved.
TOPOGRAPHY AND DRAINAGE
The topography is predominantly undulating with gentle slopes of less than 1% inclination. The land generally rises from 30m above sea level to over 61m in the north-west, with high elevations occurring around Banda (592.2m). Apart from the north western highland, the others are basins of the tributaries of the Black Volta and therefore are low lying.
The fairly flat nature of the land and the fact that some lands are serving as basins for tributaries of the Black Volta gives good prospects for any future construction of small town water systems in the District.
Generally, the District is well-drained. The Black Volta marks the northern boundary of the District with the Northern Region. The tributary rivers which serve the communities in the district are Tain, and Nyimpinie. While some of the streams dry up in the dry season, the major rivers flow throughout the year.
Groundwater potential in the district is highly variable depending on the nature of the underlying rock formations and rainfall. The present combination of the lack of water storage in the wet season, heavy run-off, high evaporation and low infiltration rates to charge aquifers in some areas contribute to water deficiencies hampering human settlement and increased agricultural production.
GEOLOGY AND SOILS
Geologically, the District is underlain mostly by the Birrimian formation. The area falls under lower Birrimian which consists of such metamorphosed sediments as phyllite and schist. There is also granite and grano-diorite in the southeast and western parts of the district.The greatest proportion of the District falls under savanna ochrosol with some lithosol. The land is generally low lying and most of the soils are sandy loam. In the valleys loamy soils exist. The soils are fairly rich in nutrients and are suitable for the cultivation of crops such as maize, yam and cassava.
There are clay deposits for bricks and the soil supports the cultivation of transition and forest crops like cashew, yam and food crops such as maize and cowpea.
The prevailing climatic conditions in the District constitute important parameters for development. Climate for example, has some influence on the quality and quantity of land cover. Similarly, rainfall and available moisture content are vital factors for existing potential resources use in the District. The temperature in the Tain District is generally high averaging about 24.5oC throughout the year. Average maximum temperature is 30.9oC and minimum is 21.2oC. The hottest months are February, March and April. Table 1 shows the mean monthly, annual maximum, minimum temperatures in the Tain District.
Mean Monthly and Annual Maximum and Minimum Temperature in ‘oC’ for Tain (2000 – 2010)
|Temp. in oC||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||June||July||Aug||Sept||Oct||Nov||Dec||Annual|
Source: Ghana Meteorological Service
The rainfall is characterized by seasonality which is a limiting factor in agriculture and plant growth. The District has two main seasons i.e. rainy and dry seasons.
The rainfall pattern can be described as bimodal, meaning that there are two rainy seasons in a year. The major season occurs between April and July while the minor season is between mid-August and mid-November. There is a short spell of dryness in August. The average annual rainfall is about 1,140 – 1,270mm. However, rivers such as Tain and the Black Volta flow throughout the year which can be dammed to support dry season farming.
VEGETATION (FOREST RESERVE AND SACRED GROVE)
The Tain District has the Moist Semi-Deciduous Forest and the Guinea Savanna Woodland vegetation zones. The Guinea Savannah Woodland represents an agro-ecological zone which has evolved in response to limiting climatic and edaphic factors and has been modified substantially by human activity.
The original forest vegetation has been subjected to degradation, caused mainly by the indiscriminate bush fires, slash and burn agriculture, logging and felling of trees for fuel over the years.The cumulative effect is that secondary vegetation occurs in cultivated areas. Timber species like Odum, Sapele, Wawa and Mahogany are found in places such as Dorbor and Bungase. In the semi-derived savanna areas, there is absence of large economic trees as a result of logging, charcoal burning and mechanized farming.
The presence of groves indicates that with protection forests in the area can be both productive and protective evidenced by fertile soils and presence of wildlife such as the deer and the antelope.
Forest reserves in Tain include Sawsaw, Yaya and Bawa which serve as good watershed. The different vegetation zones favour the cultivation of a variety of crops – cereal, tubers and vegetables and animal rearing.
Age and Sex distribution
Analysis of the population structure of the District indicates that about 49.4% of the total population are females while 50.6% are males with a female to male ratio of 1:0.9. The Brong Ahafo Regional sex ratio is 1:1.008. The age structure of the District indicates a broad base and gradually tapers off with increasing age.
Sex and Rural-Urban Distribution
The population in the district is largely rural as 69.9% of the total population live in rural communities while 30.1% in urban settlements. By the population criteria above, it implies that only (5) settlements can be classified as urban in the district. There are only five urban communities in the District viz. Badu, Seikwa, Nsawkaw, Brohani and Debibi.
Although the district capital (Nsawkaw) seems to be rapidly increasing in terms of infrastructure provision, diverse employment opportunities and population, it exhibits rural characteristics in terms of housing, transportation system and social amenities.
The major staple crops grown in the district include maize, plantain, yam, cassava, groundnut and cowpea. The rest are pepper, soya bean, sorghum and okra. Major cash crops grown include cashew, mango, teak and oil palm
PRODUCTION OF SELECTED CROPS (METRIC TONS)
|Comparative Production Figures (2009-2010)|
|Crop||Area Cropped (Ha)||Average Yield (Mt/ha)||Production (Mt)|
|2009||2010||% Change||2009||2010||% Change||2009||2010||% Change|
Cattle, sheep, goats, ducks, pigs, guinea fowls, local fowls and exotic fowls mainly are reared in the district. Below are the figures of the various livestock and poultry in the district. Here are respective types and numbers of livestock: cattle 383, sheep 5,989, goat 4,161, local poultry 14,270, exotic poultry 445,961 and pig 750.
|PROJECT||Start (Year)||End (Year)||TARGET CROPS||ACHIEVEMENT|
|Food Crop Development Project (FCDP)||2001||2007||1. Maize
|Farmers linked to ADB to access loan. Recovery was about 85%. Target crops were promoted|
|Cashew Development Project (CDP)||2004||2010||Cashew||Also promoted the staple crops. Recovery about 78%|
|Root and Tubers Improvement & Marketing Project (RTIMP)||2009||–||1. Cassava
|Promoting cassava and yam production|
|Northern Rural Growth Program (NRGP)||2009||–||1. Maize
3. Soya bean
|Promoting dry season farming & value chain.|
|African Cashew Initiative (ACi)||2010||–||Cashew||Promoting cashew product|
• Large tracts of land, suitable for the cultivation of the major staple crops in Ghana and some cash crops such as cashew, mango, oil palm.
• Many water bodies that can be tapped for dry season farming.
• The emerging cashew industry