SNMA is predominantly agricultural with about 97% of people economically active population (18-54 years) involved in farming of staple food crops. The major food crops include maize, rice, Yam, groundnut, cowpea & soya beans. The potential to increase food crops output if modernized agriculture is effectively practiced. However, the sector encounters problems of food crop production such as food price inflation, high cost of farm inputs, post harvest losses and reliance on rain fed agriculture.
Though Food price fluctuations could emanate from the rain fed agriculture, the absence of storage facilities poses the problem of storage of produce to sell in the lean season. Farmers thus have no alternative than to sell at what ever price after harvest. Food prices are therefore low in the harvest period but high in the lean season. Secondly, tractor services for tilling the land are very significant. However, apart from a few available tractors, the increasing fuel prices have made tractor services expensive to farmers. Agricultural practices are also dependent on rainfall which is erratic. Thus there is great seasonal unemployment. The actions that have been adopted are small scale irrigation projects to boost Agriculture. Some irrigation facilities were initiated in 2002-2005 plan, but only three have been completed and are being used. These include Bunglung, Kukobila and Libga. Others which are uncompleted schemes are Diplale Small scale Irrigation project, Nyeko, Sogu-Tampia and Chab-chab project. These schemes will be given priority in the current plan.
The Cash crops in SNMA include sheanut, Cotton and Cashew. The sheanuts are found in the whole area and they form part of the natural vegetation. In the north, from around Disiga into the Nasia Tributaries Forest Reserve, there is vast natural sheanut vegetation. Tree crop cultivation is also being pursued through ITFC in mango plantation. This is offering employment to the youth. Under the initiative about 541 Acres are currently under Mango production. The plantations range from 1-5 years. However, the gender impact of tree crop cultivation is that the activity is further impoverishing the economic status of women. Shea nut trees from which women gather nuts for butter processing are being fell to transplant mango seedlings. Also, farm holdings on mango plantations are solely male. Farmers are not also satisfied with marketing arrangements. Whilst the MA is liaising with ITFC on marketing arrangements, women groups are being encouraged to go into mango plantation and Sheanut nurseries are being put in place.
Livestock and Poultry
Effective livestock rearing has not really caught up with the population. Despite the presence of the Pong-Tamale Veterinary College in the municipality, farmers’ interest in involving themselves in activities to provide proper animal health care services have been lukewarm. Animal rearing perhaps is considered a hobby rather than a business. This attitude and the lack of needed infrastructure render the sector a poor source of income for the people. However, almost all farmers keep a few animals/birds such as goats, sheep and fowls. A few have cattle.
Date Created : 11/18/2017 8:14:44 AM