Agriculture forms the major economic activity in the municipal employing about 60% of the active working population. Major activities are crop farming and livestock production.
The major crops cultivated are starchy staples like maize, cassava, rice, cocoyam, yam and plantain. Major cash crops produced are citrus, oil palm and cocoa which are cultivate on a large scale food crop incude; maize,cassava,cocoyam, rice and plantain. The Municipality is noted for high production of citrus, a potential for the establishment of citrus processing factory in the Municipality. Vegetable like tomatoes, okro, garden eggs pepper and cabbage are also cultivated on a small scale.
The predominant farming practice is mixed cropping. Other agric related and agro-processing activities such as cassava and oil palm are also carried out in support of the sector. Farms in the Municipality are mostly on the small scale ranging from 0.5% 3 acres for various crops.
Below table depicts the average yield in metric tones of major crops cultivated and the production centers.
MAIN CROPS CULTIVATED IN THE MUNICIPALITY
All over the Municipality
Nyankomase, Aperade, Achiase, Oda Nkwanta and Ekuamaase
Ekuamaase, Moffram, Achiase, Teacher Atta and Akenkansu
Teacher Atta. Mante, Aperade and Akenkansu
Aperade, Teacher Atta, Bieni, Ohiafo, Akortekrom, Achiase and Ekuamaase
All over the Municipality
All over the Municipality
Farm labour is one of the vital ingredients in crop production. Considering the simple farm tools in use, there is high demand for manpower a factor in labour is the age of the farmer. The average age of farmers interviewed however range between 40 and 71 years which means that farmers do not have the necessary energy to work and manage considering the age bracket (40-71). This makes farmers to resort to hired labour mostly dominated by the youth for crop production which is scarce and expensive.
The hired labour consists of casual, contract, cooperative and family labour with the family labour being in the municipal. The contract system is mostly associated with tree crop production ie cocoa and oil palm production where remunerations are negotiated on yearly bases.
Land Tenure System
Land is a very critical ingredient in production. Its ownership and use have significant effects on agriculture output. The modes of land acquisition in the municipality take several forms.
a) Individual ownership or inheritance.
b) Rent or hiring from land owners and
Land tenancy agreement includes;
- Owner occupancy: - This is where the owner works on the land and provide all the necessary inputs for production.
- Share tenancy;- This is in two (2) folds ie “ Abunu” or the Abunu and where a third of produce goes to the landlord and two-third (2/3) to the tenant is known as Abunu.
These systems have several inherent problems such as social injustice where feudalism perpetuates. There is normally some degree of uncertainty of duration on land which does not serves as incentive to adopt improved farming practices like the use of fertilizers, improve seeds and pest controls. Because of this uncertainty in duration of tenancy, farmers prefer investing in assets that are easily marketable or easily more to other farmers. Farmers therefore perform an inferior production function in the Municipality.
Farming is generally rear subsistence level as majority of the farmers do not have access to machinery for farming. Agriculture mechanization is therefore very low in the municipality. Available mechanization equipments are used for rice milling, oil palm processing, cassava processing and corn milling.
The farm implements mostly used are cutlasses, hoes, axes/mattock, spray machines and prunners. Traditional practices such as bush fallowing, slash and burn etc are still widespread. These and many others have limited the farmer’s ability to increase their farm size and for that matter adopt new modern agriculture technologies.
The use of improved seedlings/hybrids with respect to maize, cocoa, oil palm, citrus is widespread in the district. However, due to issues relating to cost and availability of improve materials, some farmers are forced to use uncertified seed and sometimes local varieties of crops for planting.
Agrochemical dealers of Oda and other towns provide sources for the purchase of seeds, while seedlings are purchased from nurseries run by private individuals who also source materials from outfits such as Opral in Kusi (oil palm) and Okumaning Agriculture station (citrus). The limited use of agro-chemical and improved seeds is therefore one of the major causes of low agricultural output in the municipality.
There is no major irrigation facility in the municipality at the moment. However the system is being promoted in the municipality by the proposed irrigation projects at Gyadam sponsored by Plant Pool and the NERICA rice project sponsored by FAO/Japan government which is yet to take off to increase rice production in the municipality.
Small scale farmers on their own ways have been resorting to the use of pumping machines for irrigating their farms especially for dry season farming. The system is also further promoted by MOFA under FABS project to support 3 farmers groups and individuals to acquire small pumping machines.
Value Added Activities or Potentials
Value addition is being pursued with the widespread processing of oil palm and kernel oil in the Municipality. Cassava is also being processed into gari in some communities..
There are only a few known viable fish ponds in the Municipality The main difficulty lies with the cost of construction of ponds.
Cattle, sheep, goat, piggery production and poultry are the major animals reared in the district. Production is however on small scale operated on the extensive system of production. Sheep and goat production/rearing is wide spread throughout the Municipality and piggery and cattle being reared at few areas in the Municipality.
Poultry production attracts quite considerable investment. The animals reared serve as supplementary activity not only to earn additional income but also to meet protein requirement of farmers.
Some of the diseases that attack livestock include end parasites, ectoparasites, foot and month rot, new castle, fowl pox, gumboro and cococidiosis.
Besides the problem of diseases that attack livestock, problems such as non-availability of new improved breeding stock, inadequate extension services on livestock production and increasingly high cost of animal feed and drugs are also of great concern to farmers. The Recent Bird Flu menace has had a big blow to the industry. Recovery of the industry form this menace very small scale would be long and arduous. Ministry of agriculture has however intensified education on the Bird Flu.
Farmers individually hold small scale storage facilities on their farm and in homes for various crops. Some crops by nature are however sold immediately after harvest. The main types of storage facilities in use are traditional saru and roof storage. Modern facilities such as silos, warehousing with dry facilities are however absent.
The unavailability of adequate storage facilities result in post harvest losses which compel farmers to sell their produce at relatively low prices during harvest. There is also limited large scale storage except for marketers who buy and store for limited periods and sell.
The main source of funding for farming activities is the farmer’s own savings.Other sources include; loans from private money lenders, relatives, traders(customers),and limited percentage from banks. Credit facilities have also been made available to farmers through projects such as CBRDP of (MLGRD), FABS, IVRDP and maize project of MOFA.
It is important to note however that, even though these facilities exist in the Municipality, the numbers of farmers who access them are limited due to cumbersome procedures and strings attached and lack of collateral security demanded by the banks as requirement most farmers in the Municipality cannot meet. The absence of farmers association cannot be left out as an obstacle to farmers in accessing credit.
Urban-based middlemen and women both within and outside the Municipality are the main actors in the marketing of farm produce. The relationship between demand and supply principle determines the price for agricultural produce. Prices are negotiated by wholesalers and middlemen which mostly unfavorable to farmers. These factors make prices very low and a disincentive to farmers.
There are 15 daily and 8 periodic markets that are geographically distributed in the district. Akim Oda, Swedru, Manso, Aperade and Akroso markets are the major marketing centres where greater volume of trade take place. The biggest market in Akim Oda the district capital. The mainly two way/modes by which farm produce are sold in the district.
There are farm gate and satellite market with the gate market, middlemen and women buy produce at the nearest market places such as Nyamenti, Aperade, Akenkansu and Achiase to sell produce to middlemen as well as domestic consumers. Market prices are negotiated and often at the disadvantage of farmers.
The main aim of the MOFA extension service among others is to address the felt needs of the farmers and also to assist them increase agricultural production through production technology that would support better hiring standards. This is normally done through seminars and demonstration. About 70% of farmers have access to extension services.
The municipality is divided into four (4) sub-municipal namely Oda, Achiase, Akroso and Swedru with each sub-municipal managed by a Municipal Development Officer (MDO). The sub-municipal are also divided into operational areas which are manned by Agriculture Extension Agents (AEAs). Extension: Farmer ratio is 1:1,309.
Effect of Human Activity on Farm-lands And Production
Mining activities over the year has wrecked considerable havoc on farm lands by stripping the land of the topsoil and also leaving gaping holes most times filled with water and serving as death traps to unsuspecting people. Agric production by itself has also rendered some cultrated areas grassland instead of the usual forest cover practices such as inappropriate land preparation and irregular use of fertilizers to sustain growth of cultivated crops have lead to a reduction of soil fertility.
Factors Affecting Agricutural Production
1. Low agricultural production
2. Low level of technology
3. Inadequate use of agricultural extension services
4. Aged farmers
5. Shortage and high cost of labour
6. High cost of farm inputs and their untimely delivery
7. Limited credit facilities
8. Frequent land disputes
9. Poor marketing network and facilities
10. Low prices of farm produce.
Date Created : 11/23/2017 8:32:11 AM