Households in Agriculture
Agriculture employs about 78.5% ( 56 %male and female 44 %) of the active population who are engaged in the production of various crops such as; Cocoa, Oil palm, Maize, Cassava, Rice, Cocoyam, Plantain and Vegetables. There is no clear cut distinction between farmers who produce either cash or food crops. Farmers combine food crops, cash crops and rearing of animals e.g. pigs, small ruminants, cattle, local birds in small scale.
Cocoa: Production of cocoa is dominant. It substantially employs greater number of people in the district and thus a determinant in the income distribution in the area.
Oil Palm: Oil palm production is also carried out by most of these farmers and termed as both food and cash crop. Currently a lot of farmers have gone into oil palm production which makes it next to cocoa. The land is fertile and is suitable to oil palm production.
Cassava: Cassava is more widely grown and has comparative advantage over the other food crops. It is sold in the raw form or processed into Gari or ‘Agbelima’ (cassava dough). RTIMP has introduced high yielding varieties (Afisiafi, Bankyehemaa, Abasafitaa, etc) through MoFA.
Plantain: Plantain production is carried out by most farmers and is mostly done as backyard garden than on the field. Plantain is not grown solely in the district. It’s mostly cultivated on the field to shade cocoa seedlings and also during the first year of establishing plantation crops.
Rice: Rice production is on the increase; the undulating nature of the terrain and numerous valley bottoms has given rise to the production of rice. Currently, JICA in collaboration with MOFA are training farmers in the district on sustainable rainfed rice production and have now increased production from 4-8 bags per acre to 30 bags per acre. Rice farmers are now producing good quality grain and rice seed.
Maize: Maize production has potential but not being exploited. Maize is not grown solely in the district as in the Northern sector of Ghana and in the transitional zone hence optimum yield is never realized. Farmers in the district still prefer cultivation of local variety to the improved varieties like Obatampa which by far yields higher than other local varieties. MoFA is encouraging farmers to adopt improve maize variety in order to obtain higher produce compared to the local variety.
Livestock: Majority of the total population are into crop production to the detriment of livestock which is poorly patronized. Farmers in the livestock production are also in crop production.
They are engaged in small ruminants like sheep and goats, cattle, pigs and grasscutter. Sheep and goats are on the free range. Low level in livestock production is due to high incidence of diseases and pests associated with the rain forest ecology coupled with the fact that there is only one veterinary officer within the district.
Poultry: There is one large scale farm and two medium scale farms with a total of about 10,000 birds, using deep litter system technology, whilst local birds are on the free range.
Table 2.20 below shows a breakdown of farming methods and the average output for different crops cultivated in the District and their output.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of UN, food security is a condition that exist when all people, at all times, have physical and economical access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food preferences for an active healthy life. About 1.3 million people, representing 5 percent of Ghana’s population, are food insecure.
Food security is defined by MoFA as good quality nutritious food hygienically packaged and attractively presented, available in sufficient quantities all year round and located at appropriate places at affordable prices.
Effect of Climate Change on Food Security
Over the past 5 years the district has experienced a highly variable and unpredictable climate. Weather predictions have evaded us on several occasions. Currently floods and droughts can occur in the same area within months. This poses a serious threat to food productivity where production is mainly rain fed. It is projected that agricultural production and access to food in many households would be severely affected, if nothing is done about it, food security would seriously be affected and the problem of malnutrition would be exacerbated.
Other possible impact of the climate change on food security in the district will be decrease in yield due to loss of land, uncertainty about what and when to plant, increase in the number of people at risk from hunger and fall of net revenues from crops which will eventually affect growth and income levels of farmers.
Therefore food security programs in the district should therefore consider incorporating climate change adaptation and mitigation aspects in order for farmers to cope with the prevailing increase in the frequency and intensity droughts and floods.
As mentioned above, farmers are not able to produce enough to last throughout the year and also unable to store enough produce for home consumption throughout the year. The crucial question is: how are they able to survive? There are coping strategies adopted by famers during periods of food insecurity.
They reduce the number of meals served each day, reduce the size of meals, eat less preferred foods and sell livestock (goats, pigs, sheep, cattle, and poultry).
Other strategies to sustain food security in district include shifting to less expensive and less preferred foods, borrowing money to buy food, purchasing food on credit, seeking assistance from friends and relatives, and purchasing food from hawkers and vendors.
Measures to ensure food security in the district
MoFA has embarked on various Food Security programs in collaboration with other institutions in the district.
The current Block Farm Program implemented by MoFA was to ensure food security. By this program improved seeds, fertilizer, herbicides and other inputs are provided to farmers who pay the total amount involved in kind or cash after harvesting.
The Program was initiated by the Government to address three (3) main objectives. The objectives include;
- Support farmers to increase production to ensure food security
- Generate employment in rural communities especially among the youth
- Increase income of small farm households.
The target crops for the program are Rice and Maize which are the main staples and hence increase in the production of these crops offer a sure way of addressing food security issues in the district.
Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with MoFA have encouraged farmers in the district to adopt sustainable rainfed lowland rice which has boosted rice production in the district from 8 bags per acre to 30 bags per acre of paddy rice for the past four years.
The district has not set up any storage facilities to ensure food security thus to purchase and preserve excess produce from all farmers in order to reduce post-harvest losses, and to insulate farmers against losses resulting from anticipated increases in production. For that matter, we depend on farmers produce stored in their cribs and imported rice and local maize from higher growing areas like Techiman and Abofour, and Kumasi a sales point.
The district faces food insecurity problem on yams since the area is not conducive for its cultivation and as such, middle women or traders purchase them from Yeji and Techiman into the district.
The insecurity on cassava is mostly experienced 3months after planting the vegetative parts.
Farmers’ Business Service Centre established in 2011
Private public / private partnership between MOFA/ACDI-VOCA (NGO) and B.Kaakyire Agrochemicals (Private company
COCOA DISEASE AND PEST CONTROL ( CODAPEC)
The District has 99 capsid gangs with 7 members in a group comprising 6 gang members and a supervisor. There are also 37 blackpod gangs with 11 members in a group comprising 10 gang members and a supervisor.
Below is the average performance for Capsid and Blackpod programme from 2008 to 2013
Date Created : 11/10/2017 6:49:17 AM