The Nkwanta North District is one of the newly created districts carved out of the Nkwanta District by L1 1846 and inaugurated in February 29, 2008. The capital of the district is Kpassa, which is about 270 km from Ho, the Regional capital.
The District is located in the north Eastern part of the Volta Region and lies between latitude 00301N and 80451E and latitude 70301N and 80451N. It shares common boundaries with the Nanumba South district to the north, Nkwanta South district to the south,Republic of Togo to the East, and Kpandai district to the west.
The district has a total land surface area of approximately 1510 km2 (about 7.13%) of the total land area of the Volta region).
Based on the 2000 population and housing census (60,517) and population growth rate of 3.0%. The current population is estimated to be at 78,672.The district is unique because it has several potentials.
Generally, the district experiences prolong m perennial rainfall season from May to October suitable for crop production. The annual rainfall figures ranges between 922mm and 1,874 mm
Agriculture is the main economic activity which employs about80% of the inhabitants.
The major crops grown are: yam, cassava maize groundnuts cowpea and rice.
The district equally has large expanse of grassland suitable for animal production. It has large volume of perennial water in the river Ota from which fishing is carried out and can also be used for all season irrigation.
Labour force is readily available for farming activities.
Health care facilities are also available to attend any illness and or patient.
PHYSICAL AND NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
Location and Size
The District is located in the North Eastern part of the Volta Region and lies between longitudes 00 10W and 00 45’’ E and latitudes 70 3’’ N and 80 45’’ N. It shares common boundaries with the Nanumba South District to the north, Nkwanta South District to the South, republic of Togo to the East, and Kpandai District to the West.The District has a total land surface area of approximately 1,510 km2 (about 7.13% of the total area of the Volta Region).Its capital is about 270 km from Ho the region capital.The District is unique because there are opportunities of cross social- cultural and economic interactions and synergies by virtue of its proximity to the republic of Togo and Northern Region of Ghana.
The District has a uniform relief zone, approximately flat low-lying belt with occasionally undulating attitudes between 100m and 200m above sea level. The foot of Togo- Buem Ranges adjoins the district eastwards. This type of topography is most suitable for infrastructure and mechanized agricultural development in the district.
Three major perennial rivers namely the Oti, Morla and Kpassa from the Togo Buem range watershed drain the district southwards. Several other seasonal streams, which dry up during the dry season are found in the district. River Oti, Morlar and Kpassa can be used for irrigation without drainage as they contain large volumes of water flowing throughout the year. The absence of irrigation scheme for dry season farming continues to serve as setbacks to socio-economic development in the district. Geology and Soils
The District is underlain by the Voltaian, Buem and Togo formations resulting in laterite clay and Savannah ochrosols and oxysol soils. This group of soils support support crops such as yam, cassava, maize groundnut, cowpea and sorghum. Not only are the soil types in the district good for farming but potentials for rare mineral exploration abound. Geological reasoning and examination of analogous mineral deposits in the Republic of Togo such as marble and rock phosphate in the Togo Formation should alone warrant a search for such deposits in similar geological formations in the district.
Generally the district is characterized by the tropical climate with humid and dry weather conditions. It experiences a prolong rainfall season from late April to October with the peak from July to September. A severe long dry spell follows immediately spanning from November to March. Annual rainfall figures range between 922mm and 1,874mm and a relatively high humidity of about 80%.The mean annual maximum temperature ranges between 760 F (240C) and 1030F (390C) whiles the mean annual minimum temperature ranges between 520 F (110C) and 790 F (260C).Generally, January to early April are the hottest months whiles December has the lowest temperature. The very high humidity is conducive for vectors of tropical diseases which are a threat to food/ animal production
Two vegetational zones characterized the district which are similar to Northern Savanna belt: They are Savannah woodland and Savannah Grassland that predominantly occupy greater part of the district. Occasional pockets and remnants of semi deciduous forest also exists.Common timber species found in them are Odum, wawa, and kyenkyen.The seasonal losses of vegetations through bush fires coupled with reduction in rainfall are clear indications that desertification is knocking at the door of the district hence policy interventions aimed at combating this threats should be put in place
The 2000 population and housing census puts the total population of the district at 60,517 of which about 78% live in the rural areas. With the district population growth rate of 3.0% projected population for 2008, 2009 and 2010 are 75741, 76857 and 78672 respectively.The population density of the district is therefore estimated at 40 persons /km2.The relatively high population growth coupled with greater proportion of rural dwellers in the district requires policyinterventions that used to be put in place to strengthen human resource and infrastructural development.
Agriculture is the main economic activity in the district engaging about 80% of the people. Crop farming, Livestock and inland fishing are the main sectors. It is estimated that 75% of the farmers practice shifting cultivation, 24% Bush Fallow, 1% Agro-forestry and 60% farms are mixed cropping and mixed farming. The average farm size is about 2acres.
4.1 Crop production
Nkwanta North District is noted for growing various types of crops. These ranges from tree crops, root and tubers, cereals, legumes, vegetables etc. Approximate acreages and yields of crops cultivate as at 2010 are presented in the table below.
Table 1: MAJOR CROPS PRODUCED IN NKWANTA NORTH DISTRICT
|YIELD TON/HA||TOTAL PRODUCTION
|8. Oil palm||**||**||**|
**Figures not readily available
Table 2: MAJOR AREAS OF CROPS PRODUCTION IN THE DISTRICT
|CROP||MAJOR LOCATIONS OF PRODUCTION|
|1. Yam||Produced throughout the District|
|2. Groundnut||Produced throughout the District|
|3. Maize||Produced throughout the District|
|4. Cassava||Produced throughout the District|
|5. Rice||Kpassa, Damanko, Morla and other wet lands throughout the district|
|6. Cowpea||Kpassa, Damanko, Azua, Tinjase, Nabu|
|7. Vegetable||Throughout the District especially Kpassa, Damanko, Nabu, Morla|
|9. Oil palm||Kpassa, Abunyanya|
|10. Cashew||Kpassa, Pibila, Abunyanya, Damanko|
Most farmers in the district are small holders and about 90% of them still use simple hoes and cutlasses for cropping. Also most farmers depend on family labour and traditional ways of storing their produce. Post harvest loses are very significant
Agro processing in the District include gari , soybeang and utilization, instant cassava floor processing and fish processing/smoking. This activity is undertaken by about 60% of the women.
Livestock farming is another prominent venture in the district. Cattle, small ruminants (sheep and goats) and poultry – both local and exotic can be found throughout the district. Animal husbandry practices in the district are very low. Average herd of small ruminants per household is five (5) animals and cattle per kraal/compound are 20 animals. Diary milk collection is very limited and meat sold by butchers is usually unprocessed.
Table 3: LIVESTOCK CENSUS FIGURES.
|SPECIES||POPULATION||MAJOR AREAS OF PRODUCTION|
|Cattle||2,015||2,860||3,368||Kpassa, Sibi, Damanko|
|Sheep||3,111||4,536||5,957||Kpassa, Damanko, Tinjase|
|Poultry (Local)||39,897||41,600||44,118||Local breeds all over the district|
|Pigs||815||955||1,925||Kpassa and Damanko|
Source: DADU- Livestock census
Fishing is an important agricultural activity in the district. The district is blessed with the Oti River and its tributaries and people living in settlements around it do a lot of intensive fishing. Various types of fresh-water fishes are harvested from the river. Some of the species include:
- Oreochromis niloticus
- Alestes bavemoze
- Auchenoglanis occidentalis
- Bagrus bajad
- Brycinus nurse
- Chromidotilapia guentheri
- Hemichromis bimaculatus
- Clarias angularis
- Heterotis niloticus
- Chrysichthys nigroditatus
- Gymnarchus niloticus
- Citharinus citharus
The fishes are sold in the local markets in both fresh and smoked forms. Some are transported to urban areas such as Accra, Koforidua, Tema, and Somanya.
The District is benefiting from projects being implimented by various National Directorates. For instance the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is implementing the underlisted special projects.
- § Cashew Development Project (CDP)
- § Livestock Development Project (LDP)
- § Fertilizer Subsidy Programme
- § Block Farm Programme
- § Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme(RTIMP)
- § African Cashew Initiative(ACi)
Cashew Development Project (CDP)
The CDP seeks to increase the income levels of at least 3,000 small – scale farmers, including tree nursery operators, processors and seed dealers. The project objectives are
- To increase cashew production
- To increase village level processing of cashew
- To improve income levels/reduce poverty
- To generate foreign exchange
The project components include;
- Production Development
- Extension and Training
- Project Management
Livestock Development Project (LDP)
The Livestock Development Project LDP seeks to increase the incomes of small holder Livestock and Dairy Farmers, Processors and traders. These are to be achieved through:
- Improved productivity of the indigenous breeds of livestock (cattle, sheep, goats and pigs)
- Increasing livestock access to improved quality fodder and seed.
- Control of the major disease of livestock and poultry
- Provision of credit to producers, processors and traders
The LDP is targeting an estimated 1000 small – scale Livestock farmers and processors over a six (6) year period in the District.
Roots and Tubers Improvement and Marketing Programme (RTIMP).
The root and tuber improvement and marketing programme (RTIMP) is a follow – up to the Root and Tuber Improvement Programme (RTIP) which was implemented over 1999 to 2005. The goal of RTIMP is to enhance income and food security to improve lives of the rural poor and to build a market–based system to ensure profitability at all levels of the value chain.The purpose of RTIMP
- Enhance market relations within the Root and Tuber commodity chain to ensure a “pull” factor for increased production and to facilitate a better balancing of supply and demand.
- Sustainable enhancement of farm level productivity of root and tuber crop.
- Improved root and tuber processing and marketing.
- Increased access of the economically active poor to working capital by promoting new target–group specific lending instruments.
- Organizational development including the creation of an Apex Body for root and tuber commodity chain.
- Information dissemination, education and communication campaigns
AGRICULTURAL POTENTIALS Agro – Processing Industries
The District has enormous potentials for Agro – processing industries; but presently, there are none.
Yam Processing Factories
Over 150,000 Tonnes of yams are produced annually in the District. The potential to increase the production is great.The factories can process the bulk into
- Yam fufu powder (CSIR FRI)
- Yam chip (crisps)
- Yam Samovita (yam + soyabean + maize flour)
Cassava Processing Factory
The Nkwanta North District currently produces over 169,167metricTonnes of Cassava annually. There is high possibility of increasing this level to 190,000 because of the potentials the District. The cassava produced can be processes into
i. Starch for industrial use iii. Tapioca and biscuits
ii. Gari iv. Animal feed for livestock and poultry
Development of this sector in the District is still at its pristine stage. The most outstanding tourist attractions are River Oti, one of Ghana’s largest and famous water bodies and Unique Cultural Dance of the people called Kinachu. Yet, another potential attraction is the Border Post at Tinjase that serves as point of entry to the Republic of Togo.
Great prospects of boat–crossing and site seeking exist on the Oti at Damanko, which is just 30 minutes drive from the District capital.Unfortunately, there are no hotels, guest/rest houses nor restaurants in the area to support these promising tourist attractions. The nearest hospital facilities are in Nkwanta (35km) away from Kpassa.
Crops and Livestock Production Potentials
Potentials for crops and livestock production are enormous owing to vast stretches of land under very suitable climatic conditions for the following cash crops: cashew, mango jatropha, and for large scale rice and vegetable production.
In food crop production, the district has comparative advantage in the cultivation of several crops including: yam, maize, cassava, groundnut, and soybean. In terms of rice production, the district abounds in suitable vast tracts of land and water bodies for both irrigated and upland rice productions.
With the abundance of water and grasslands the potential for the production of livestock such as cattle, goat, sheep and poultry is enormous.
Beekeeping and grass-cutter production are also potential targets if farmers are given the necessary support by MOFA and NGO’s. The required supports are basically the provision of technical know-how and suitable equipment.
Banking and Finance
Presently there is a rural bank and effort are being made to also open a Commercial Bank to service the numerous customers in the area.
Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and its partners have been providing the people with boreholes (56 functioning out 80 provided) all these years though inadequate to meet the entire population need. At the moment, the Government of Ghana in partnership with DANIDA and DFID is in the process of rolling out one of the largest small Town Water Supply Systems under the steward of CWSA in the district. The project is expected to benefit all communities along the Kpassa – Damanko Trunk Road.
The district can boast of power from the national grid in most communities along the Kpassa – Damanko Trunk Road. However, considering the numerous settlements spread within the district, the current supply is woefully inadequate.
At the moment, MTN Ghana Limited; the people’s survivor and MILICOM Ghana Limited are providing mobile telephone services in the District
The Nkwanta North District has a total of about 92km totorable road linking Kpassa( the capital) through Sibi – to Damanko..
Statistics of Health Institutions existing in the district are as follow:
- Government Hospital (District Hospital) 0
- Health Centre 2
- Reproductive and Child Health Clinic 2
- Mission Clinic 1
- Private Clinic 1
- Community Health Planning Services (CHPS) 3
Services of Trained Traditional Birth Attendants are also available
The major markets in the district are Kpassa and Damanko. Other minor ones are Sibi, Kabonwuli, Nabu and Tinjase. Kpassa and Damanko markets come off simultaneously on every sixth day. Tinjase market is on every Thursday. That of Nabu and Sibi markets are also on the sixth day. People in the various communities cart their produce by trucks or by head potterage to the marketing centres. Various goods ranging from food crop, fish and livestock are traded in.
MAJOR LOCAL MARKETS
|1||Kpassa||Yams, fish, maize, sheep/goats, other foodstuffs||Every sixday||Major|
|2||Damanko||Fish, yams, okro, pepper.||Every sixday||Major|
|3||Sibi||Maize, Yam, pepper||Every sixday|
|4||Nabu||Maize, yams, fish – mainly for Accra& other markets||Every sixday||Minor|
|5||Danlare||Fish, Maize, Cassava||Every sixday||Minor|
|6||Kabonwule||Maize, yams, fish-for Accra & other markets||Every Tuesday||Minor|
|7||Tinjase||Yams, cassava, vegetables||Every sixday|
6.4.8 Extension Services
Extension services in the District are improving rapidly with the decentralization of MOFA. The District has been divided into four (4) beingsupervised by two officers.
|SUPERVISING ZONE||OPERATIONAL AREA|
|KPASSA ZONE||KPASSA EAST