The Twifo-Hemang Lower Denkyira District (THLDD) is one of the 17 Administrative Districts in the Central Region of Ghana. It is bounded on the north by the Upper Denkyira East Municipality, to the south by the Abura Asebu Kwamankese district, Cape Coast Metropolis and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem Municipality, to the west by the Wassa Mpohor East District and to the East by Assin North Municipal and Assin South District. The District has total area of 1,199km2 and 1,510 settlements. The district has eight (8) Area Councils and four (4) paramountcies namely: Twifo, Atti Mokwa, Hemang, and Lower Denkyira.
TOPOGRAPHY AND DRAINAGE
The District is located between latitudes 5’50˚N and 5’51˚N and longitudes 1’50W and 1’10˚W. The general altitude is between 60 – 200 metres above sea level. The highest point in the district is Bepotsin (212 metres), west of Mfuom. The Pra River and its tributaries including Obuo, bimpong and Ongwa drain the district. The Kakum River also takes its source from the Kakum forest reserve. The District has a rolling landscape.
The district lies within the semi-equatorial zone marked by double maximal rainfall which peaks in June and October, and with a mean annual rainfall of 1750mm. It has fairly high uniform temperature ranging between 26˚C (in August) and 30˚C (in March). Relative Humidity is generally high throughout the year, ranging between 70 – 80 percent in the dry season and 75 – 80 percent in the wet season.
The District’s vegetation consists basically of semi-deciduous forest. Portions of which have been largely disturbed by the activities of man through farming, logging and mining among others. There are however, large areas of forest reserves including the Kakum National Park, Bimpong Forest Reserve, Pra Suhyen Forest Reserve, Minta Forest Reserve, and Bonsaben Forest Reserve. These forest reserves and the Kakum National Park altogether cover an area of 288km2 that is 24.0 percent of the entire surface area of the district.
GEOLOGY AND MINERAL DEPOSITS
The land is underlined by Birimian and Tarkwaian rocks which are very rich in mineral deposits. The minerals found in the distric include: Gold at Mfuom, River Botro, and Afiafiso. Diamond deposits can also be found at Afiafiso and Manganese at Asamang and Twifo Mampong. Within the Pra River can be found Birimian and Tarkwaian rocks. These rocks hold the potential for the exploitation of gold, and manganese. The bed of the River Pra has alluvial gold deposits which are currently being mined illegally by local Galamsey operators to the detriment of rural communities who drink the river water. The rocks in the Pra River could be used for quarrying purposes. These potentials need to be studied to establish the economic viability and feasibility of exploitation. The Pra River could also be used for fishing and river transport when properly dredged. However, these activities are limited by the presence of large rock outcrops, which prevent the use of canoes on the large scale.
SOILS, ECOLOGICAL ZONES AND AGRICULTURAL LAND USE
The District has five (5) main soil types namely:
- The Nsaba-Swedru Compound: These are soils developed over granite that are well drained and respond well to phosphorus fertilizer application. They are excellent for the cultivation of tree crops such as cocoa, oil palm, citrus, and coffee, and food crops such as plantain, cocoyam, banana, and cassava. They can be found in the northern part of the district around Mampoma, Morkwa, Agona and Nkwankyemaso.
- Nta-Offin Associates: These soils are developed over rocks which are poorly drained. They are generally suitable for the cultivation of tree crops such as citrus, cola and oil palm. In addition to the tree crops, these soils tend to support semi-perennial food crops, dry season vegetables, sugar cane, and rice. They are found around Brofoyedur and Bukruso.
- Asuanzi-Kumasi Associates: These are soils developed over Tarkwaian rocks, which are moderately drained and are good for the cultivation of tree crops such as cocoa and forestry products. They also support food crops such as plantain, cocoyam, maize, cassava and banana. They have low soil nutrients and require nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer usage. Leaching needs to be avoided. These soils are found in the southern section of the District around Jukwa, Mampong, Ntafrewaso, Watreso and Krobo.
- Bekwai-Nzema-Oda compound: These soils are suitable for the cultivation of perennial tree crops such as cocoa, oil palm, coconut, coffee and food crops such as maize, cassava, and cocoyam. They are found around Bepobeng, Moseaso, Nyinase and Tweapease.
- Juaso-Manso-Kyekyewere-Kakum Compound: These soils support perennial tree crops such as cocoa, oil palm, coconut, coffee and food crops including maize, cassava, and plantain. They can be found around Mafi, Bonsaho, Ashire, Mbraem Afiaso Mampoma and Wawase areas.
Basic Population statistics
The current Population growth rate is 4.1 %. This is higher than the corresponding regional growth rate of 1.8 %. The alarming situation is that the district growth rate is far higher than the national growth rate of 2.7%.
This calls for serious concerns in running population control programmes. The relatively high population growth rate is attributed to the fertile soils which support the cultivation of crops like oil palm, cocoa, plantain, cassava and others; and the fact that many migrant farmers and other vocations like Galamsey are living in the district.
FOOD CROPS PRODUCTION
Food crop production over the years has declined especially maize and cassava which are the main food stuff for the people in the district. This could be due to excessive commitment of lands into cocoa, oil palm and rubber. Details could be found in the tables below.
|Table 2: ESTIMATED CROPPED AREA (HA) PER FARMER|
|YEAR||MAIZE||GARDEN EGG||PLANTAIN||OIL PALM||CASSAVA||PEPPER||COCOYAM|
|Table 3 ESTIMATED CROPPED AREA IN HECTARES (HA)|
|YEAR||MAIZE||GARDEN EGG||PLANTAIN||OIL PALM||CASSAVA||PEPPER||COCOYAM|
|Table 4 ESTIMATED CROP PRODUCTION IN METRIC TONNES (MT)|
|MAIZE||GARDEN EGG||PLANTAIN||OIL PALM||CASSAVA||PEPPER||COCOYAM|
Crop farming in the District is mainly traditional whiles majority of the people are engaged in subsistence farming. This is basically due to the problem of limited access to finance, machinery and modern tools for farming. The major crops cultivated are cassava, Maize, Yam, Plantain, Vegetables, Oil Palm, Cocoa and Oranges. Most farmers cultivate three or more of these crops at a time and take advantage of their different seasons.
The district has four (4) main markets that are geographically well located in the district. Greater volume of trade takes place at Twifo Praso, Jukwa, Hemang and Wawase markets. The Twifo Praso market handles the largest proportion of farm produce. There are other satellite market centres at Nuamakrom, Kwamoano, Mbem, Twifo Mampong, Ampenkro, Aboabo, Agona, Mintaso, Mbraem, and Kyirenkum.
In view of the above, urban based middlemen within and outside the district undertakes marketing of farm produce. Most of the farmers sell their produce at the nearest local market to middlemen who in turn sell them to other marketing centres, especially Twifo Hemang, Jukwa, and Cape coast for sale.
Prices offered by the middlemen are very low and may serve as disincentive to the farmers. The poor conditions of the road network to the farming areas limit access to the bigger markets which can offer better prices.
Table 5 – DETAILED INFORMATION ON LIVESTOCK
|TYPE OF LIVESTOCK||PRODUCTION FIGURES||SYSTEM|
|Exotic layers||12,950||(deep litter)|
|Exotic Cockerels||12,376||Semi intensive|
Source: DADU, THLD
According to a baseline survey conducted, farmers engage in crop farming keep livestock as well. These farmers are in the 75% majority. The types of animals kept include poultry (both exotic and local), pigs, goats, sheep, ducks, grass-cutters and snail.
They are reared as supplementary activity to meet the protein requirements and to earn additional income. The largest livestock activity is poultry. The animals reared are kept in pens and hen-coop while the goats, pigs, and sheep are kept by the free range, or Semi intensive system. The others especially poultry are fed in enclosed areas.
Table 6: Formal local slaughter in the Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira District
|Annual – 2008||26||264||416||–||–|
|Annual – 2009||21||306||418||–||–|
|Annual – 2010||23||350||512||–||–|
|Source: DADU / Veterinary Services, THLD
The number of cattle slaughtered dropped sharply in 2008. However, it is picking up again in 2010. Small ruminants (sheep and goats) slaughtered has increased steadily since 2008 and is still progressing. This could probably be attributed to the consumption pattern of the communities around and also the availability of the animals for slaughter. It must also be mentioned that there is a large community of miners prospecting for gold through dredging of the Pra River hence the increase in slaughter.
Table 7: Vaccination of Animals
|No. of Animals Vaccinated||No. of Animals Vaccinated||No. of Animals vaccinated|
|Annual – 2008||Annual – 2009||Annual – 2010|
Source: DADU / Veterinary Services, THLD
Animal diseases in the district are of great concern. These include endo-parasites, ecto-parasites, new castle, fowl pox, Gumboro and coccidiosis.
The other constraints are the non-availability of improved breeding stock, inadequate veterinary staff, the high cost of animal feed (poultry) and veterinary drugs.
The high levels of poultry vaccinations can be attributed to continuous education of those keeping poultry and the farmers themselves sensing danger of high loses if routine vaccinations are not followed.
INFORMATION ON FISHERIES
Aquaculture is the main method of fish captured production in the district. The number of farmers involved in aquaculture in the district is ninety-five (95). Out of this number, sixty-five (65) are active members of the District Fish Farmers Association. Apart from fish produced by the fish farmers, fresh and frozen and smoked fish from other parts of the country are also consumed in the district.
Below is detailed information on fish farming in the district.
Table 7: Information on Fish Farming
|YEAR/PERIOD||No. FARMERS||TYPE OF FISH PRODUCE||NUMBER. OF PONDS||AVERAGE SURFACE AREA/POND||TOTAL SURFACE AREA|
|2008 – 2010||95||Tilapia and Catfish||95||162 m2||15,390m2|
SUMMARY OF FIELD DEMONSTRATIONS
The district directorate of agric conducted field demonstrations on maize and vegetables in seventeen different communities in the district in the period 2008 and 2009. Sixty-eight (68) acres of maize and seventeen vegetables plots were set up as a demonstration for farmers by 17 AEAs in the district during that period.
THE GOVERNMENT FERTILIZER SUBSIDY PROGRAMME
The government fertilizer programme started in the year 2008. The district registered all the fertilizer agents and agro-chemical sellers in the district. However, there was only one fertilizer agent in the Twifo Hemang District which had enough capital to start business. That is the Cocoa Inputs Shop at Twifo Praso. The table below indicates the number and types of fertilizers that was traded.
Table 8: Government Fertilizer Subsidy Programme
|TYPE OF FERTILIZER||2009||2010|
|N. P. K 15 – 15 – 15||1,649||352|
|N. P. K 16 – 16 – 16||0||0|
|N. P. K 23 – 10 – 0||56||0|
|N. P. K 23 – 15 – 5||0||0|
|SULPHATE OF AMMONIA||700||250|
Source: DADU, THLD
The district collaborated with Soil Research Institute (SRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to set up two (2) trial fields at Jukwa. The fields were demarcated into plots. Two well known potato varieties in the district namely Sauti with a purple tuber coat and a local variety called Santom with a yellowish-brown tuber coat were matched against five (5) different rates of fertilizers including;
- Control plot (no poultry manure no fertilizer)
- Poultry manure,
- Poultry manure plus N. P. K.,
- N. P. K. plus Sulphate of Ammonia
- N. P. K. plus Sulphate of Ammonia plus Poultry manure
In the final analysis, the Poultry Manure treatment gave higher yields compared to the other treatments for both potato varieties. Farmers as well as patrons of the potato tuber prefer the santom due to its firmness when subjected to boiling or deep oil frying.
COCOA FERTILIZER TRIALS
The district in collaboration with Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) is conducting a four year fertilizer trail on cocoa. The trail which started in May 2009 is expected to end in the year 2012.
Below is the detail information on the cocoa fertilizer trail.
Table 9: Cocoa Fertilizer Trials
|NAME OF FARMER||LOCATION||TYPE OF FERTILIZERS||ACREAGES|
|Samuel Adu-Gyamfi||Twifo Mampong||1.Nitrabor
COCOA INSECTICIDE TRIALS
The district in collaboration with Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) conducts insecticides trails on cocoa as a tree crop in the district. Below is detailed information on the trail since 2008
Table 10: Cocoa Insecticide Trials
|YEARS (PERIODS)||NUMBER OF FARMERS||TYPE OF INSECTICIDES||ACREAGES|
HIV/AIDS EDUCATION FOR FARMERS
Awareness of the disease is very high but preventive measures need to be tackled as the youth in the communities do not mind about the consequences of the disease. Most of the young girls are involved in premarital sex resulting in teenage pregnancy. The farmers were also advised to do away with the stigma attached to those living with the disease and see them as part of the society. The Table below gives details of number of farmers sensitized on HIV/AIDS annually since 2008.
Table11: Number of Farmers Sensitized on HIV/AIDS
|Annual – 2008||Annual – 2009||Annual – 2010|
|Number of Participants||Number of Participants||Number of Participants|
|Male||Female||TOTAL||% Female||Male||Female||TOTAL||% Female||Male||Female||TOTAL||% Female|
Source: DADU, THLD
Twifo Praso – DADU has a Community Radio programme running between the hours of 7.00pm to 8.00 pm. on Thursdays at the Arise FM.
The programme runs for forty (40) minutes and twenty (20) minutes phone-in for questions from the public.
3 REGIONAL CUM DISTRICT FARMERSʹ AND FISHERS DAY CELEBRATION
The year 2010 Regional cum District Farmers and Fishers Day Celebration was held at Twifo Hemang Methodist School Park. The theme for the celebration was “Grow More Food”. The function was chaired by the Paramount Chief of Hemang Traditional Area, Nana Amoah Sesraku II and the welcome address, was given by the Hon. District Chief Executive, Mr. Joseph Foster Andoh.
The Hon. Central Regional Minister, Mrs Ama Benyiwa Doe gave the Keynote address. She commended the able hard working farmers who distinguished themselves. She encouraged farmers to grow more food through the adoption of modern technologies in order to ensure food security. She said government has packages such as fertilizer subsidy, farm machineries and implements and farm inputs at subsidised prices for farmers to help them produce more food and raw materials to feed the people of Ghana and her industries.
Seven Districts participated in the celebration. These were Upper Denkyira East Municipal, Assin North Municipal, Assin South District, Abura Asebu Kwamankese District, Cape Coast Metropolitan, Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem Municipal and the host Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira (THLD) District.
THLD District honoured twelve hard working farmers and an Agricultural Extension Officer. They went home with certificates and a number of assorted items The Overall District Best Farmer award went to Mr. Emmanuel Mensah Moro from Twifo Asempaneye.
12.4 MOFA / WORLD VISION COLLABORATION
The World Vision International Twifo Praso provided fund for a training programme on Food Based Nutrition. The main purpose of the training was to re-introduce soybean, a crop which has almost the same nutrient as fish and meat. The training also educated the participants on the use of food stuff and available leafy vegetables to prepare a balanced diet. The sensitization was successful in sixteen (16) communities. Five hundred and two (502) people participated. This is made up of three hundred and ninety (390) females and one hundred and twelve (112) males.
|SOME OF THE FOOD ITEMS DISPLAYED ON THE TABLE FOR THE PARTICIPANTS TO IDENTIFY AND CLASSIFY INTO THE VARIOUS FOOD CLASSES.||THE RESOURCE PERSON EXPLAINING A POINT TO START THE TRAINING SESSION.|
|FEMALE PARTICIPANTS GROUPING THE FOOD ITEMS INTO THE THREE (3) CLASSES / GROUPS (ENERGY FOODS, PROTEIN FOODS AND VITAMIN & MINERAL FOODS).||MALE PARTICIPANTS GROUPING THE FOOD ITEMS INTO THE THREE (3) CLASSES / GROUPS (ENERGY FOODS, PROTEIN FOODS AND VITAMIN & MINERAL FOODS).|
|DISPLAYED FOOD ITEMS FOR CLASSIFICATTION.||ENERGY FOOD ITEMS.|
12.5 FARMER REGISTRATION
The farmer registration is an on-going programme initiated by MoFA to collate data on farmers in general. Data collected include farm type; crop or animal production, the kind of commodity and the size of the farm. This is to enable the Ministry to plan and assist the improvement of agricultural activities in the district.13. NEW INITIATIVES
The District wrote proposals on food based nutrition, tiger nuts production, sweet potato and chilli pepper production to solicit for funds from the district Assembly, NGOs and other philanthropies.
The programes aimed at training farmers on how these crops are produced. With these efforts, the Word Vision International (NGO) helped the directorate to train farmers on food base nutrition over the last two years.
Despite all limitations, the District uses the opportunity to organise fora in communities or Operational Areas without resident AEAs. This is often done to bridge the gap between areas without AEAs.
The District also distributes improved root and tuber planting materials to farmers in order to boost up production in the district.
14. 0 INFORMATION ON ACHIEVEMENTS 2008-2010
The District made achievement in different areas. These include;
Training of farmers on improved technologies such as row planting, safe use of agro-chemical, Breed improvement techniques, Soya Utilisation etc in Agriculture
85% Recovery of maize under the 2008 Maize demonstration.
61% recovery of loans under the Block Farm concept during 2009 farming season
100% recovery under the vegetable Block Farm during 2010 farming season.
A successful organized 2010 Regional cum District Farmers’ and Fishers’ Day Celebration hosted by Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira District.