The Structure of Nkoranza South Economy
Agriculture is vital to the overall economic growth and development of the Nkoranza South. It dominates the occupational structure as is accepted in rural economy.
Agriculture accounts for 82% of the active labour force. The next important sector to agriculture is trading. This sector covers the wholesale and retail traders especially in maize, yam and charcoal. Trading also covers transport and communication among the local communities and finally financial service.
Followed by the service are small-scale industries.
PRODUCTION AND GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT
This thematic area looks at agricultural production and small scale
Land Availability And Tenure
As in most parts of the country, land in the Nkoranza Municipal is controlled mainly bystools and families. Hence, chiefs and family heads act as custodians of all lands. They hold these lands in trust for and on behalf of citizenry and family members respectively.
About 66% of the farmers interviewed acquired their land for farming through family inheritance, while 29% rent their land. Only 6% of farmers interviewed purchased the lands they cultivate. It is thus clear that family lands are important in the land tenure system operating in the municipality. This system of land holding could be one of the causes of land fragmentation existing .
Most of the farmers interviewed 82% had no problems with lands acquisition as land is easily obtained from chiefs and family heads provided one can pay the rent charges. 18% of farmers interviewed, however, complained of difficulties of high rents and inaccessibility to fertile lands.
Population pressure on land is forcing farmers to reduce fallow periods and to adopt sedentary agriculture. The impact on land therefore has been rapid decline in soil fertility and serious land degradation.
One of the most important problems of crop production in the municipality is thedeclining status of fertility. The stagnation and sometimes drop in crop productivity despite sufficiently high technology adoption rate of farmers may be due to this decline in soil fertility.
Other manifestations of the loss of soil fertility are emergence of spear grasses and other obnoxious weeds. Most of the soils are depleted as a result of annual bush fires, continuous cropping, and deforestation by timber contractors and charcoal producers.
Farm Holdings And Plots
Generally farm holdings in the municipality are small. Nine percent of the farmerssampled had holdings of size less than 0.8hectares. This is slightly lower than the national average of 2.0 hectares for small-scale farmers. Fifty seven per cent and 43% of monocropping and mixed cropping farmers cultivate between 0.8 and 2ha respectively. These smallholdings result in low production levels per farmer, resulting in low income from their farming activities. This has the effect of making agriculture not lucrative for the household units.
Most of the farmers interviewed (82%) had two or more parcels of cropped land. Only 18% of them had only one parcel. This may be attributed to the high pressure on the little fertile land available. The system of land holdings and tenure and the traditional rotational system contribute to this situation.
CROP, HECTERAGES. CULTIVATION PRODUCTIVITY AND PRODUCTION
The major crops cultivated in the district include maize, yam, cassava, groundnut, cowpea, watermelon, onion, rice, plantain, cocoyam, and vegetables. However, maize and yam are the most widespread in the district. On hecterages cultivated, maize occupies 36.9% of the total cultivated land in the district. Yam and cassava occupies 24.6% and 21.1% respectively whilst rice occupies 4.6%.
Cashew, which is a major tree crop , occupies 2.1% of the cultivated land in the district. Other crops occupy smaller areas as shown in table 1.26. The cultivated area for the various crops has been increasing over the years. Crops like watermelon, tomato, and cassava, which have been attracting higher prices in recent years, are increasingly being cultivated by farmers as shown in the table 2.25.
Two types of labour were found to be important in farm operations in the district. Majority of the farmers interviewed (62%) employ hired labour while 35% use only family labour.
Two forms of payments for hired labour exist in the district; contract weeding and daily cash payment. Daily cash payment for hired labour is between ¢10,000 - ¢12,000 per worker daily. Payment for contract weeding ranges from ¢70,000 - ¢80,000 per acre (0.4ha). These high charges for labour are perceived by farmers to be a factor militating against expansion of farms
Farm Inputs And Crop Losses
The farmers in the district make use of both traditional hand tools like hoe and cutlasses and modern machines like tractors. Whereas the village survey indicated that farmers in all settlement make use of the traditional hand tools some farmers in 61% of the settlements make use of tractors for land preparation.
The use of traditional tool is tedious and therefore tends to limit the size of holdings. The use of tractors also has the negative effect of contributing significantly towards soil degradation. Introduction of zero-tillage as a means of land preparation (weedicide Roundup) to the farmers in the district has reduce their over dependence on tractors for ploughing.
This has therefore improved their land conservation practices. The high cost of fertilizers and pesticides account for the inability of many farmers to use them though most farmers know the advantages of fertilizers and pesticide application. The low extend of pesticides usage contribute to high field and storage losses reported by farmers.
Four main sources of farm finance operate in the district. These are own savings, bank credit, private moneylenders, and relatives. However, own saving is the most important and 76% of farmers interviewed finance their activities this way. Private moneylenders account for 11% while relatives of farmers provide 7%. Bank credit provides only 4% of farmers with credit.
This mainly due to the farmers to meet some of the requirements of the bank - for example, farmers have to operate with There exist in the district some organizations and NGOs, which operate, credit schemes for small holder farmers. The Food Crops Development Project (FCDP) and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) provide credit in kind and cash to farmers in the form of seed, fertilizers, pesticides and cash for farm maintenance.
Agricultural extension services are delivered in the district by ministry of Food and Agriculture staff (MOFA) through its 14 Agricultural Extension Agents who are supervised by District four (4) District Agricultural Development Officers all under the District Director of Agriculture (DDA). Currently for MOFA, the Extension to farmer ratio is 1:5240, which is far more unfavorable than the national ratio of 1-5.11
Crop Diseases And Pests
Coverage is bound to be low. This explains why only 20% of farmers interviewed have access to extension services. An attempt to improve or maximize the use of its extension agents they have beenprovided with logistics support especially in terms of means of transport (motorbikes).
Other programmes like Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA), Root & Tuber Improvement programme (RTIP) Land and Water Management Programme (LWMP) work with farmers through MOFA to cover the whole district. ADRA provides credit to farmers and support them in the cultivation of cashew in agro-forestry system whereas FCDP promotes the production of maize, cowpea, soybean, sorghum, and groundnut through provision of credit and better extension] delivery. RTIP involves in the promotion and production of improved cassava planting materials to farmers. LWMP also assist farmers to manage properly their farmland to reduce land degradation.
Processing. Storage And Marketing
Some amount of processing of agricultural produce takes place in the district. This is however, done by small scale industrialists who mostly transform the produce into other forms for direct consumption, for example pito brewing, cassava processing and soap making. A scheme operated by the Village Infrastructure Project (VIP) organizes farmers to form processing groups for the purchase of equipment and other inputs. Under the same scheme (VIP) access roads are constructed to link farmers to marketing centres. Power tillers were provided to beneficial farmers to cart the foodstuff to marketing centres. Farmers who are compelled to sell their produce that require storage like maize and rice Crops that can be left in the field are left there till they are required for either home consumption or for sale.
Twenty two per cent (22%) of farmers store their produce in habitable rooms in their homes, which is also not good enough. A lot of farmers do not avail themselves of the use of the silos because of the high overhead charges they would have to pay for the small amount of produce they need to store. These storage problems are the major reasons for the high,storage losses reported by the farmers. Ninety-seven (97%) of the farmers dispose of their produce through middlemen. Only 3 per cent dispose of them in other ways.
This goes to emphasize the role of middlemen in the marketing of agricultural produce in the district. This high incidence in the use of middlemen for produce disposal could be a reflection of the lack of market infrastructure, knowledge, and logistics. This more or less compels them to sell to these middlemen, often at prices quoted by the middlemen. A better system of marketing of agricultural produce could provide the farmers with fairer prices for their efforts.
Common Crop Diseases And Pests
The most common crop disease on maize is streak, while rosette is common in groundnuts. Another common disease of cassava is mosaic while vegetables are attacked by nematodes and fungi. These diseases contribute significantly to the field losses suffered by farmers. Stem borers, termites and armyworms are common pests of maize. Also grasshoppers, crickets and fruit borers are common pests of vegetables. Weevils are frequently found in stored cereals. The yam beetle is common in yams as it causes a lot of damage to the tubers.
From the information gathered from the veterinary services department and thevarious surveys carried out in the district, there is an indication that sheep, pigs, turkeys, ducks and guinea fowls are also reared in some parts. Table 1.26 below shows the total animal population in the district for the period 2001.
Evidently, The most reared animal is sheep while poultry too is quite extensive, especially the local chicken. The fairly flat land combined with the grassland savanna covering much of the district provides an idea! environment for livestock and poultry farming. Dairy production and fattening of animals are ventures, which deserve attention in view of the income and nutritional requirements of the people.
Generally, there is a tendency that every household keeps a small number of animals either to serve as a source of dietary protein or to be marketed when mature to augment their household incomes. This also serves as "savings account" with an inflationary check. From the household survey carried out in the district, 68% of the respondents keep animals and birds mainly for sale.
Housing And Feeding
Only 25% of the respondents’ house their animals in a pen, kraal, or sty and as many as 75% allow their animals to wander and graze freely in and around their environs. In addition of those farmers who provide supplementary feed to their animals. Forty per cent (40%) use farm produce while 35 per cent make use of kitchen waste. This situation results in poor animal health and uncontrolled breeding. Crops near settlements are also destroyed by stray animals.
Drinking Water Sources
There are various sources of water supply available to the animals. The major source of water for the animals is the streams - where freely grazing animals drink directly from the source.
Livestock Diseases And Pests
Livestock in Nkoranza is being threatened by a number of diseases especially tick infestation and worms. Table 1.27 below gives a list of the common diseases.
COMMON LIVESTOCK DISEASES/PESTS
Worm (Gastro Intestianl)
Worm (Git, Diarrhea, Pneumonia, Anthrax
New Castle disease
Market of Livestock
Marketing of the livestock mainly carried out within the respective settlements. Only a few farmers sell their animals outside the municipality such as in Ejura and Techiman markets. The other market outlets include Nkoranza and Dromankese. Transportation of the animals is mainly by walking. The other mode of transportation includes bicycles, cargo trucks, and tractors.
From the proportion of farmers receiving veterinary services, 54% of those interviewed reported that the services they received were rather insufficient while 46% seem to be satisfied with the prevailing conditions. Animal production, despite its potential, has not contributed much as it should. Productivity is very low. In view of its role in generating surplus income and improving nutritional status of the farmers (and their families), this sector no doubt demands considerable attention. There is the need to direct more resources to the development of livestock and poultry in the district.
Crop Production Projection And Food Balance
Given the rapid growth of the population as depicted by the demographic projections above, there is need for an assessment of the future food situation in the district. Based on estimated population together with the assumptions of increases in hecterages the food balance was estimated. In the absence of reliable past trends in hecterages cultivated and crop productivity, certain assumption were made to bridge the data gaps to arrive at projected figures.
The data available for crop productivity and hecterages cultivated for 1991, 1992 and 1993 indicate the figure for these variable fluctuate in such a manner as to make their use for any projection not meaningful. Also, considering that no new schemes are being introduced, extension coverage being woefully inadequate, the soil fertility status is gradually dropping and farming becoming less and less lucrative.
It is considered reasonable to see the averages of hecterages cultivated and crop productivity over the past 3 years (that is 1991,1992 and 1993 and to assume that these figures (averages) will not change over the planning period. The result of the above considerations and calculations are shown in Table 1.28
HECTERAGE CULTIVATED. YIELD PER HECTARE AND PRODUCTION OF VARIOUS CROPS THROUGHOUT THE PROJECT PERIOD 2001-2004
The assumptions for the calculation of the food balance are as outlined below The national per capita food consumption was assumed to hold for the Nkoranza South. The percentage of total production of each crop used as seed, animal feed or lost after harvest are those estimated by the Policy Planning Monitoring and
Evaluation Department of the Ministry of Agriculture.
SUMMARY OF MAJOR DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS.
CONSTRAINTS. AND POTENTIAL
This section focuses on the problems, constraints, and potential of the district.It outlines and summarizes the major findings from the different sectors. The special distributions of the major potentials are indicated in figure 3.29.
DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS
Development problems are problems from the various sectors, which affect or hinder the development of the district but which can be overcome through certain interventions. Development constraints are problematic factors, which are beyond the capacity of the Assembly to change. Development potentials are resource, which can as a result of human intervention -enhance development.
FARMING AND PRODUCTION PROBLEMS
The major problems identified in the agricultural sector are unavailability of credit and low-income levels, leading to lack of money for farmers to buy farm inputs. Small-scale farmers are the most affected because they have no access to credit at from bank, this coupled with the high cost of fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, labour, and lack of storage facilities leads to low production. It should be noted that the farmers are also affected by high field losses, inadequate extension services, declining soil fertility and marketing related problems, such as high transport cost, which further leads to low income and demotivation of the farmers.
The high transportation cost and lack of storage facilities often compel farmers to depend on the middlemen for selling of their produce. This implies that they obtain very low prices from the sale of their produce. These problems can be summarized as the "Vicious Cycle of Small Scale Farming" as shown in Figure.
Date Created : 11/17/2017 3:16:22 AM