Economy of the District
Structure of the Local Economy
The economy of the District can be divided into three main economic sectors. These are Agriculture, Industry and Service. The agricultural sector is mainly crop farming, only fish farming and livestock rearing activities. The industrial sector, which is the most underdeveloped in the district, involves mainly wood based products.
The service sector involves mainly sale of farm produce, sale of some manufactured goods, tailoring accessories, hairdressing, communication operators and some public and civil servants including teachers in the relatively big communities. For a sustained development of the district, there is the need to reduce dependence on primary production and encourage value addition to the numerous agricultural raw materials. This calls for promotion of small and medium scale processing facilities.
The Local economy is dominated by the Agriculture sector. It employs about 78% of the Labour force in the district. However, due to relatively small farm sizes and low yields, poverty level among the farmers is very high. Farmers in the District are predominantly peasant, cultivating food crops and few cash crops. The food crops include cassava, plantain, cocoyam, yam, rice and maize. The cash crops are cocoa and oil palm and citrus. A major problem of Agriculture in the district is poor storage facilities and poor road conditions resulting in high post-harvest losses.
Industry is the least developed sector of the local economy. Industrial activities involve manufacturing, mining and quarrying. The level of manufacturing activities in the district is very low, employing about 1% of the active working population. Mining activities dominates in the industrial sector. There are no large scale industries in the district. Those existing are basically agro-based ones such as palm oil extraction, gari processing, soap making and other petty vocational trades.
Lumbering activities also takes place at Numereso, Oseikrom, Gyametanhunu, Obenebene and Abuakwa. There are two forest reserves in the district, namely: Subim Forest Reserve and Odaw Forest Reserve. However, these forest reserves are being depleted by both legal and illegal lumbering activities. The legal logging involves those who own concessions and have permits to operate, whilst the illegal lumbering involves chainsaw operators who do not have permit and do not pay any royalties to the Assembly. The activities of illegal chainsaw operators are pervasive and the Assembly is taking steps to curtail their operations.
The service sector is dominated by the commerce sub-sector, which includes the buying and selling of both agricultural and manufactured products. Most of the traded items, consists of manufactured goods and fish which are brought from outside the district notably Kumasi.
The Services Sector in the district mainly involves banking, telecommunication services and transportation. The Banking Services are rendered by only one rural bank, namely Odotobri Rural Bank which offers opportunity for mobilization of rural savings and credit facility to farmers and small scale entrepreneurs.
The telecommunication services are offered by the extension of telephone booths and other mobile phone networks operating in certain parts of the district. There is also one postal agency at Jacobu which serves the whole district. Transportation is rendered by only one transport union, namely GPRTU. Other activities under this sector include education, health care, tailoring and dressmaking, beauty care and other personal services.
The district is divided into 4 zones with each zone comprising 3-4 operational areas. In all there are 15 operational areas in the district. Each operational area is manned by an Agricultural Extension Agent (A.E.A) who is in direct contract with farmers. Major farming activities are crops and livestock farming.
Major food crops grown are cassava, plantain, rice and maize. Tree crops that are grown extensively are cocoa, citrus and oil palm. Among the crop enterprises, cocoa predominates with average farm size of 20 acres per farmer. Vegetables such as pepper, tomato and garden eggs are also grown in relatively small scale. More than half of the total number of people engaged in crop farming in the District are women.
This underscores the key role of women in the economic development of the district and the need for equal opportunities for both sexes, especially, as far as access to productive resources and human resource development are concerned.
A major feature of agriculture in the district is that it is predominantly subsistent. Food crops are grown to feed the family and the excess is sold for income. However, tree crops are grown mainly for commercial purposes. Women are also seriously engaged in oil palm and cassava processing which is a very important activity in the food production chain of these crops.
As it is the case in most parts of the country, crop farming in the Amansie District is characterized by rudimentary farming methods and practices. This is evidenced by the techniques employed in land preparation, planting, control of weeds, diseases, pests, harvesting, processing and storage. Mixed cropping is the predominant practice among crop farmers, most of whom grow seasonal food crops.
Crop mixture may include plantain, cassava, maize, yam and cocoyam, which are often intercropped. Farm sizes are generally small ranging between 1-2 acres for food and vegetable crops. However, cocoa has relatively large farm size per farmer of about 20 acres on the average.
Investment Potentials in the District
The district is found in the Semi-deciduous forest zone. Due to this, the district is endowed with good soil fertility which supports the cultivation of agricultural produce. Crops such as oil palm, cocoa, cassava, plantain, and vegetables are cultivated in the District. The cultivation of these agriculture produce has the potential of attracting investors in setting up industries where the raw materials could be produced into finished products. For instance, Gari processing industry could be set up; extraction industries where oil palm and palm kernel would be manufactured among others.
Date Created : 11/16/2017 3:54:10 AM