It is the main source of livelihood for majority of the people in the Nanumba-North District. About 85% of the population of the district of about 80,000 people are in agriculture; engaged in the cultivation and production of food crops such as yams, cassava, sorghum, millet, rice, maize, groundnuts, soybean and cowpeas and the rearing of livestock such as sheep, goats, cattle and local poultry. Animal rearing, especially the keeping of small ruminants and poultry, is mainstreamed into every household life.
The district has potential for the production of sorghum, groundnuts, cowpeas and soybeans on a large scale. Many of the crops grown in the country can be grown in the district since the district lies within the forest-savannah transition zone. Oil palm, plantains, bananas and coconuts can be grown in appreciable quantities in wetlands in the district. There is potential for fish farming in the rivers and streams such as the Oti and Daka and their tributaries draining the district, which can be dammed and dug outs created for fish farming. The district has potential for irrigation systems development for rice and dry season vegetables production in the flood plains and wetlands at the Sabonjida, Juo, Jua and Kalegu valleys.
Great potential also exists in export promotion of yams, Soybeans, cashew, groundnuts, cowpeas and non- traditional export commodity such as pawpaw (papaya). Lastly, there is potential for the processing of yam into flour, cassava into chips and gari and industrial starch, sheanut into butter and groundnuts into oil and soybean into oil, wean mix and cake. The raw materials for processing are available and abundant in the district and there are available local markets to absorb the products in neighbouring districts and in the Upper East and West regions.
This potential of the district notwithstanding, agriculture is poorly developed resulting in low agricultural production and productivity, estimated at about 1.19 tons /ha for cereals and legumes and 1.065 tons/ ha for roots and tubers and high small ruminant mortality and morbidity rate, estimated at about 25% and 30% respectively.
Low agricultural production is the result of declining soil fertility caused by the use of inappropriate farming practices such as shifting cultivation, continuous cropping, ploughing, ridging and planting across the slopes, over grazing, indiscriminate agrochemical use and felling of trees and bush fires, which are causing environmental degradation. In the district, farmers try to increase agricultural production by increasing farm sizes, which is destroying the vegetation cover and causing land degradation. The farmers in the district are producing food crops and not cash crops, which is not profitable.
Food crops production also has the tendency to destroy land due to continuous cropping. Farmers are also in the habit of cultivating yam, which destroys the land fast because yam and cassava are deep feeders and easily exhaust the soil of its nutrients, rendering the land unproductive. Yam cultivation requires virgin land, which leads to the destruction of many trees and the vegetation, which is causing deforestation and also encourages shifting cultivation, which together are causing land degradation.
Over dependence on rain fed agriculture and the lack of irrigation systems in the district are making it impossible to farm the whole year round, coupled with the erratic rainfall pattern and diminishing rainfall amounts are other causes of low agricultural production. In the district, post harvest losses are high.
This is resulting from the lack of the use of certified seed, leading to the planting of farmer own selected seed, which has the propensity to build up endemic pests and diseases situations, which are causing low yields coupled with the use of inappropriate storage structures, lack of processing, treatment and preservation technologies and incorrect agro-chemical use are causing low agricultural production.
Soaring production costs as a result of the rising cost of farm inputs, such as fertilizer and pesticides and other agrochemicals is causing farmers not to use agrochemicals and this is resulting in low agricultural production.
There is high small ruminant mortality and morbidity resulting from the lack of housing culture of the people, lack of supplementary feeding, lack of breed improvement and lack of health care, which exposes the animals to the vagaries of the weather, theft, predation and accidents and endo-parasites and ecto-parasites infestations such as tick, mange and worm infestations and diseases situations such as diarrhoea, and Pneumonia. Farmers do not also vaccinate their animals leading to mortalities during outbreaks of schedule diseases such as anthrax, CBPP, PPR, Foot and mouth disease, New Castle Disease, Brucellosis, Blackleg, which are endemic in the district.
In the fisheries sector farmers are using poisons such as DDT and dynamite and all sorts of unlawful fishing methods such as bamboo and basket and small and unapproved mesh sizes to catch fish and this is depleting the fish population in the waters in the district.
The district is engulfed in endemic wars and conflicts, which are creating tensions, disputes, suspicions, mistrust and misunderstandings, which together militate against peace and agricultural production.
Last but not the least, farmers in the district have not diversified agricultural production into non-traditional export commodities such as grass cutter production, rabbits, snails, mushroom, beekeeping, teak, cashew and woodlots as alternative source of livelihood and sustenance.
In brief, low agricultural production and productivity in the district is creating district food insecurity
MOFA’ S Interventions and Achieviements Since 2002
Over the years MOFA provided excellent extension services through on farm demonstrations and adaptive trials, field days, forums and rallies, workshops and educational tours. Farmer trainings were organized in the recommended cultural practices of cereals, legumes and roots and tubers such as line or row planting, ploughing and planting across the slopes and along the contours, correct planting depth, seeding rate, fertilizer application, timely weed control and harvesting and in livestock housing, nutrition, heath care and natural resource management.
MOFA introduced improved and certified seed and planting materials to farmers through the implementation of donor funded programs, such as Sasakawa Global 2000 Project in 1985, a program sponsored by the Japanese billionaire Mr. Sasakwa. The program promoted the planting of new maize and sorghum varieties such as Okomasa, Obtanpa, Abeleehi, Dobidi and Kapaala.
Another donor- funded program is the root and tuber improvement program (RTIP), which promoted the planting of new cassava cultivars like Gblomoduadi, Abasafita, TechBanchi, Afisiafi.
The National Agricultural Extension Services Project (NAEP) in 1992 and the Agricultural Services Sub sector Improvement Program (AgSSIP) in 2002 were also implemented in the district. The programs promoted district wide extension services in the crops, fisheries and livestock sectors.
During the implementation of these wider projects smaller projects sprang up such as the Food and Agricultural Budgetary Support Program (FABS), the FBO and Extension Development Fund Project and the FARMER Project. FABS supported guinea fowl production, small ruminant breed improvement, grass cutter production, shea butter processing, cassava processing, corn flour processing and other post harvest management, dry season vegetable cultivation and commercial onion production while the FARMER Project supported beekeeping and soybean production and utilisation.
Other programs were implemented in collaboration with Non Governmental organisations (NGOS) such as Commercial Maize Production Initiative in collaboration with TechnServe to promote quality protein maize such as Mamaba and Dadaba, Gender Mainstreaming Program in Agriculture in collaboration with ActionAid Ghana, Yendi and Commercial Soybean production in collaboration with Send Foundation of West Africa to promote the production of soybean varieties like anidaso, Salintuaya 1 and 2 and jenguma
MOFA’s activities resulted in increases in agricultural production from 2002 to 2005 as shown in appendix 1 attached.
Constraints With Implementation of Planned Activities
The constraints of MOFA in the implementation of planned activities are:
- Acute lack of mobility is number one constraint. Out of 17 MOFA staff in the district, only 3 of them have motorbikes for field work and this is frustrating extension service delivery. As such only about 30% of the district of about 52, 000 sq. Km is covered with extension services.
- Shortage of technical staff/ high Farmer: AEA ratio is number two constraint. There are few extension field staffs in the district. The situation is creating high farmer to extension officer ratio, estimated at about 6,000 farmers to one extension officer. Thus out of about 78, 000 farmers in the district only about 32% of them receive extension services. The district is divided into 22 MOFA operational areas and extension officers occupy only 7 of the areas. The other 15 operational areas are vacant.
- Lack of infrastructure is number three constraint. Infrastructure such as computers and accessories, photocopiers, staff quarters, office accommodation and laboratories, which are needed to facilitate extension service delivery are lacking.
- Inadequate millage allowance/ working funds/ delays in the release of the little funds is number four constraint.
Donor funding are inadequate and there are delays in the release of the little funds for the timely, effective and efficient execution of planned program and the fun
The result of these constraints is the low agricultural technology adoption in the district estimated at about 26%, which is causing low agricultural production and productivity and therefore district food insecurity.
DADU’S Agricultural Plans For 2007-2009
In the coming years DADU will pursue and implement government policies for the achievement of National goals, the Millennium Challenge Goals and the goals of the Ghana Poverty reduction Strategy 2. As such, the objectives of DADU are stated in keeping with National Objective, viz;
- To facilitate the modernization of agriculture to achieve district food self sufficiency and food security
- To facilitate and co-ordinate policy and programs in the agricultural sector
- To strengthen institutional capacity of MOFA
- To strengthen and maintain intra and inter sectoral linkages
About 8,600 farmers, that is, about 40% of the farmers in the district will acquire skills to increase crops and livestock productivity using recommended practices annually.
Date Created : 11/18/2017 7:12:43 AM