The Brong Ahafo region is the second largest region in Ghana with a land area of 39,558 km2 with 22 administrative districts/municipalities. It covers 16.6% of the country’s total land area. The region has varied vegetative cover, ranging from forest, transitional to savanna, roughly representing the southern, middle, and northern parts of the region respectively. It has a bi-modal rainfall with an average annual total rainfall of 1,088 mm – 1,197 mm. The region had an estimated population of 1,824,822 (2000 census). The 2010 Population and Housing Census estimated region’s population at 2,282,128 (GSS, 2010) with an estimated growth rate of 2.2% (against 2.4% national average). The region also has access to economic trees estimated at 29 million m3 – (17% of national stock).
Position and Size
The region is located within longitude 00 15’ E-30 W and Latitude 80 45’ N-70 30’ S in the west central part of Ghana. The Region shares common boundaries with five others namely, Northern Region to the north, Ashanti and Western Regions to the south, the Volta Region to the east and the Eastern Region to the south-east. It also shares an international boundary to the west with the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire.
The geological structure roughly divides the region into two main parts. To the eastern part of longitude 20 the Region is almost completely covered by Voltarian formation of palaeoxic origin that is quartzite, shale, arkose and mudstones. West of the line, the geology is more varied but mainly of lower Birrimain (Middle Pre-Cambrian) origin with some intrusive of upper Birrimian and lower Pre-Cambrian formations. The relief roughly follows the geological structure. The southern and eastern parts have rather low elevations not exceeding 152.4m (500ft) above sea level. The land then gradually rises toward the north around Wenchi, where it attains a height of 533.7m (1,751ft.) in the Buoyem Hills. Other higher elevations occur at Bosumkese 712.6m (2,338ft.) and Bonsam 643.1m (2,110 ft.).
Sunyani, the regional capital has an average elevation of about 384.8m (1,000ft.). Along the Cote d’Iviore border the land rises at certain places, for instance Asuakwaw 483.7m (1,587ft.), Sampa 547.5m (1,501ft.) and Banda 592.2m(1,943ft).
Two main drainage systems could be distinguished in the Region. The Black Volta dominates the northern parts of the Region while to the south, the Tain, Bia, Pru and Tano Rivers form the main drainage basins.
Temperature and Humidity:
Temperature in the Brong-Ahafo Region is generally high, averaging over 23.90C (750F) throughout the year.
Humidity: Relative humidity in the region is also quite high averaging over 75% throughout the year. Humidity is high in the wet months and low in the dry months.
Stretching across the center of the country, the Region enjoys a heavy to moderate amount of rainfall. Generally, there is a gradual decrease of rainfall from the south where the average annual rainfall is well over 1651mm (65 inches). To the north of Berekum along the western border of the Region, the average annual rainfall is about 1,143-1,270mm i.e. (45-50 inches). Rainfall in the northern parts of the Region is, however quite low. The average annual total rainfall of the Region is 1,088mm – 1,197mm
Vegetation and soils
The predominant vegetation zones are the moist semi-deciduous forest, transitional and the Guinea Savanna woodland roughly representing the southern, middle and northern parts of the region respectively.
The forest belt is mainly found to the south and south-western parts of the Region while the savanna wood land predominates in the eastern half of the northern third of the region.
Three main soil groups are found within the region. These are:-
i. Forest Ochrosols, covering the south-western part.
ii. Savanna Ochrosols, this stretches as wide belt from the west and gradually narrows toward the east.
iii. Ground water Laterite Ochrosols Inter. This intergrades in the northern parts of the Region.
Besides these, there are some small patches of Oxysols and Rubrisols. Ochrosols intergrades to the south of Sunyani.
The region currently has a total 2,282,128 (GSS, 2010) with an estimated growth rate of 2.2% (against 2.4% national average). A decade ago the region had an estimated population of 1,824,822 (2000 census).
In 1960 shortly after the Region had been created, the total population stood at 587,920 and this increased to 766,509 in 1970. This is equivalent to an increase of 30.4% and a growth rate of 2.7 per cent during the ten year period.
According to the March, 1984 Population Census, the total population recorded was 1,179,407. Thus, during the fourteen year period which ended in March, 1984, that is, between 1970 and 1984, the total population of the Region increased by 53.0% with an annual growth rate of 3.1 percent?
The year 2000 Population Census also puts the total population of the Region at 1,824,822, with estimated population growth rate of 2.6% (against 2.5% national average). Proportion rural/urban 62.6: 37.4 (GSS, 2000). The Region’s labour force: 819,190 out of which the 566,066 (69.1%) is from the agricultural sector. 51.1% males and 48.9% females.
The density of population in the region currently (2010) stands at 58 persons per sq. kilometer compared to 1984, 30 persons per sq. kilometre, 15 in 1960 and 19 in 1970. These are far below the national average density. Comparable figures for the whole country are 28 in 1960, 36 in 1970, 45.9 in 2000 and recently 58 in 2010.
The increase in density may be attributed to the increased agricultural activities in the Region. Within the Region itself, the population is not evenly distributed. For instance, the 2000 census indicated that Atebubu District is the most sparsely populated area (11.19) while the Sunyani District is the densest (89.92). Berekum has a density of 61.98, Wenchi 13.72, Ahafo 40. 12 and Dormaa 46.20.
The Region is inhabited mainly by the Brongs and the Ahafos both of which belong to the Akan stock. There are however, other minor ethnic groups in the Region. These minor groups speak the Brong or Asante dialect only as a second language, for example, in the area of the Volta bend; the north-western corner of the Brong area, there are Gur speaking people – Nafana of Sampa, the Koulango of Seikwa and Badu, and the Mo/Degha of New Longoro as well as Mande speaking people such as the Ligby of Banda and Kintampo, the Hwela and Numu of Namasa and Nsawkaw. Also in the Region are the Nchumuru of Atebubu and Sene. The rest are Guan and some settler farmers from the Northern Regions such as Wangara, Dagomba, Fulani, Grunshies and Sisala.
It is important to note that all these ethnic groups have co-existed peacefully in the Region for several decades without any clashes or disturbances on ethnic or tribal lines. That brings to focus the proverbial warm and peaceful nature of the Brong Ahafo people. It further goes to hammer home the assurance to investors that safety and quality growth of their businesses would always be guaranteed.
MOFA – Brong Ahafo has dedicated itself to the pursuit of an on-going policy of improved agricultural service provision, encouragement of farmer/private sector co-operation and investment, improved household food security, and enhanced natural resource conservation for sustainable agricultural growth and development.
Mandate/Functions MOFA – Brong Ahafo Region
MOFA Brong Ahafo is currently operating within the FASDEP objective by performing the following functions to fulfill these objectives:
- Ensure that agricultural development programmes and projects are implemented in accordance with the rules, regulations and quality standards of MOFA
- Ensure accessibility to and encourage the adoption of improved production and post production technologies, based on farmer resource endowment, for increased productivity and farm income;
- Ensure improved management of service provision by extension agents that are relevant to local situation;
- Promote food security and nutrition at household, community, district and Regional levels;
- Improve the ecology through conservation of natural resources;
- Strengthening data gathering mechanisms for agricultural planning;
- Facilitate farmers / processors access to credit and markets; and
- Ensure efficient management of financial and institutional resources for plan implementation.
- Liaise with national directorates and relevant research institutions for information and assistance for the promotion of the agriculture in Ghana.
- Advice the Regional coordinating council on technical agricultural issues.
Impact of climatic conditions and external forces on agriculture during the year
The Weather and Rainfall Situation
The region with its tropical climate, has high temperatures averaging 23.9oC (750F) and a double maxima rainfall pattern. Rainfall ranges, from an average of 1000mm millimetres in the northern parts to 1400 millimetres in the southern parts. Atmospheric patterns between 2001 and 2010 have reflected mixed results in rainfall pattern over the period.
Early part of each year has been characterized by the usual hot and dry weather conditions during the day and warm at night. These conditions reduced atmospheric humidity to the barest minimum in all parts of the region resulting in bushfires in most parts of the region especially the northern belt or transitional zones such as Wenchi, Atebubu, Sene, Nkoranza, Pru and Kintampo North and south. Signs of bushfires are normally visible along major trunk and feeder roads in most parts of the region. The warm weather however, results in some rain bearing clouds development given rise to some isolated showers between February and March.
However, major rains occur between April and July with the minor falling between September and October. There is a short dry spell in mid-August before the prolonged dry season between November and March. The main farming activities (planting season) starts with the onset of the major seasons rains.
The rainfall pattern between 2001 and 2010 indicate an average of 1,280mm and a thirty (30-year) average of 1,244mm% reflecting a percentage change of 0.5% between an average of 30 years and 2010. Comparative rainfall figures between 2009 and 2010 reflected 8.9% increase in volume of rainfall. Refer table 1
Physical Characteristics at glance:
- BrongAhafo is the second largest region in Ghana with a land area of 39,558 km2
- The region has 22 districts and MOFA has a district directorate in every one of them.
- The regional capital, Sunyani, in addition to the Municipal directorate, is also home to the Regional Directorate of Agriculture.
- Vegetation: forest, transitional and savanna, roughly representing the southern, middle and northern parts of the region respectively.
- Rainfall: Bi-modal with an average annual total rainfall of 1,088mm – 1,197mm
- Population: 1,824,822 (2000 census) : 2,282,128(GSS,2010)
- Total rural/urban 1,428,612 (GSS,2010)
- Est.population growth rate: 2.2% against 2.4% national average (GSS,2010)
- Region’s labour force: 819,190 out of which the 566,066 (69.1%) is from the agricultural sector. 51.1% males and 48.9% females. (GSS,2000)
- Economic trees: 29 million m3 – 17% of national stock
- Forest Reserves: located at Nkoranza, Digya, Amama, Yaya, Tain 1 & 2 etc Water falls: located at Kintampo and Yabraso
- Monkey Sanctuary: Buabeng Fiema
Vast tracts of arable land, forestry, inland fisheries and clay deposits are the main endowments.
- Arable land area: 23,734 km2 (60% of land area)
- Land under cultivation: 9,746 km2 (46% of arable land area)
- Major agricultural activities:
- Crop production – accounts for 70% of regional agric. output
- Livestock production (Atebubu, Kintampo N/S, Pru, Techiman)
- Inland fishing/Aquaculture (Yeji, Sunyani, Dormaa, Tano N/S)
- Agro-processing(Sunyani,Wenchi, Berekum, Techiman, Jaman N., Tain)
- Agricultural marketing (Techiman, Sunyani, Goaso, Atebubu)
- Irrigation (Techiman, Wenchi, Asunafo S.)
Fertility Status of Soils in Some Regions
|Soil pH||% Organic matter||%Total Nitrogen||Available Phosphorus(mg/kg soil)||Available Calcium(mg/kg soil)|
Source: Soil Research Institute, CSIR-Kumasi