Agriculture is the mainstay of the people in the District employing about 85% of the population. Food crop production in this sector largely remains on subsistence basis with low output levels. The agriculture sector is characterized by crop farming and livestock production. The sector is estimated to be growing at 2.1% per annum, which is below the national target of 6% per annum.  Even though efforts have been made to boost the sector, production still remains at subsistence levels, as there are no large plantation holdings in the District.  


Crop Production

The major food crops grown in the District are millet, sorghum (guinea corn), maize, cowpea and yam. Cash crops cultivated include groundnuts, cotton, cowpea, soybeans, cassava, tiger nuts and pepper. The cultivation of cash crops has not received much attention as a result of market uncertainties. Economic trees like the shea, dawadawa, and baobab, which constitute a major source of income for women, are still wild and prone to destruction by annual bushfires.

Methods of Farming

About 75% of farmers rely on traditional methods of farming using simple tools such as cutlass and hoes and are highly dependent on rainfall for crop production.  Only about 25% of the farmers rely on intermediate technology using tractor services, animal drawn implements and irrigation. 

These methods of farming do not only lead to the depletion of the soils, but also, result in low yield which is responsible for the low income and hence low standard of living, as well as food insecurity in the District. Promoting the use of improved methods of farming and the adoption of improved seed varieties should not be overlooked in any attempt to improving agricultural productivity in the District.

Land Tenure

Land tenure has been identified as one of the major constraints to agricultural production in Ghana due to its implications to large scale farming. The main methods of land acquisition identified in the District are freehold and leasehold. The proportion of farmers farming under this ownership system is depicted in the Table 1.1 below:

The table 1.1 reveals that majority of the farmers, 97% depend on family land for agricultural purposes.  This has led to the fragmentation of the land under cultivation, thus limiting large-scale agricultural activities.  Average farm size is as low as 2-3 acres for farmer compared with the national average of 10-15 acres. The small farm sizes have negatively affected production, food security and consequently income that characterise the District’s economy.


The District lies in the guinea savannah zone and has one main rainy season for agricultural production spanning the period from May to September. The rest of the year is dry and can only be used for dry season gardening. However the low development of irrigation facilities has limited productivity in the dry seasons where farmers become dormant and have no major farming activities to undertake.


There are two dams in the District for irrigation purposes. These two irrigation facilities are however grossly underutilized. The Dakyie Dam irrigation scheme is currently being used for dry season farming.  These water bodies if properly utilized will go a long way to improve the food security situation in the District particularly in the dry season when most farmers are idle.

 Under the GSOP, the District has rehabilitated 5no. existing dams for irrigation and source of drinking water for animals.

Farming Systems

The main farming system in the District is mixed farming based on bush fallowing and compound farming. Majority of the farmers (97%), mainly subsistence farmers practiced mixed cropping, 25% practiced mono cropping and 30% plant with fertilizer and improved seeds.


Bush fallowing is practiced on a large scale as a method of replenishing soil fertility.  With the increasing demand of land for farming, the large tract of land required for such a practice cannot be obtained in the foreseeable future.  This implies that the need to promote agro-forestry, crop rotation, the use of manure and other appropriate systems of farming for quick replenishing of soil fertility is essential. The use of mucuna, green maturing and zero tillage could also be introduced to farmers to improve and sustain soil fertility.

Agricultural Service Institutions

Agricultural Service Units such as the Agriculture Extension Service and the Veterinary Services Units play a major role in improving agricultural production.

To ensure effective operation, the District has been delineated into (2) zones; 1. Fian 2. Kojokpere zones, comprising six (6) operational areas which includes; 1.Bussie 2. Fian 3.Daffiama 4.Kojokpere 5. Tabiesi 6. Jempensi. Currently there are four (6) general extension officers in the District giving an extension officer /farmer ratio of 1:5000, which is high compared with the acceptable ratio of 1:400. T

his indicates that the District has a serious problem as far as the number of extension officers is concerned. Thus, measures should be put in place to ensure that the current ratio is brought to an appreciable level. The problem is further aggravated by the inadequacy of logistics for the extension officers to perform efficiently.

A survey of the Extension Service Unit reveals that, the unit faces a number of problems, which have inhibited its ability to reach farmers effectively.  These include

- Poor condition of roads leading to some farming communities.

- Inadequate means of transport

- Delays in the payment of staff allowance.

- Inadequate logistics e.g rain coats, fuel, Wallington boats etc.

- Extensive coverage areas for field officers

- Lack of motivation for field staff

Access to Farm Credit and Farm Input

Majority of the farmers do not have access to improved farm inputs. They depend heavily on traditional inputs like cutlass, hoes and others.  Only 15% of the farmers have access to credit and improved inputs like tractor services. In view of this, farmers have been encouraged to form groups some of whom are currently receiving assistance from the MOFA and other NGOs like Pro-Net North. There is, however, the need to encourage the formation of more of such groups through which credit could be channelled for use by the farmers.

Crop Yield

The major crops cultivated by farmers in the District include maize, rice, millet, sorghum, yam, groundnuts, cowpea and soya beans.  There have been inconsistencies in trends of the agricultural production and output for the major crops in the District during the period. Generally, the cultivated land acreages as well as productivity levels is expected to improve in 2017 due to the government fertilizer subsidy.

  Table 1.2 below illustrates production trends and output levels during the period.


- Maize production increased in 2017 by 3.52% of 9,078 metric tonnes noted in 2016 due to increase in cropped areas and yield.

- Similarly, rice production increased (21.16%) hugely from 260 metric tonnes in 2016 to 315.01 metric tonnes in 2017.

- 0.02% drop in millet production (2,893.50 MT) was recorded in 2017 when compared to 2894 metric tonnes reported in 2016 due to reduction in cropped area.

- Both Sorghum (7,970.69 MT) and yam (63,718.40 MT) production levels increased by 3.58% in 2017 compared to the amounts recorded in 2016. The increase occurred due to an increase in both cropped area, and yield (in regards to sorghum).

- The production of groundnut (2,957.4 MT), cowpea (16,080 MT) and Soybean (427.2 MT) increased with 0.56%, 0.08% and 2.20% respectively in 2017 when compared to the previous year’s production.

Storage Facilities

One major problem facing the farmers in the District is storage.  Currently the post harvest losses of farm produce stand at 30%.  For this reason, farmers are forced to dispose off all that they produce in return for low prices especially during periods of bumper harvest. In the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa District, some of the perishable crops grown are yam, cowpea and vegetables like tomato, okro and green leaves. These produce are sold immediately after harvest. In view of this the government flagship programme of one-district-one-warehouse will be of enormous assistance to farmers within the district.

 Below is a table showing the main storage facilities used by farmers in the District.

It could be observed from fig. 1.2 above that the predominant method of storage is traditional. About 32% of farmers use the improved storage methods. Considerations should therefore be given to improved ways of storage and efficient marketing system to reduce crop spoilage/post-harvest losses to achieve food security objective in the District. There is also the need to sensitise farmers on the need to use improved storage systems to reduce post-harvest losses.

Marketing of Produce

Marketing of farm produce is one of the major problems facing farmers in the District.  Farmers in most rural areas are compelled to sell their produce at farm-gate prices because of the lack of access to market centres and/or inaccessible farm tracks. In the rainy season, villages like Kamehegu, Selee and Kanato are completely cut off from any market centre due to flooded roads. The construction and rehabilitation of feeder roads in the District should therefore be given a paramount concern in order to expose the farming communities to market centres.

Livestock Production

The livestock sub sector which has been at subsistence level over the years play an important role in the provision of reliable sources of protein as well as income to both males and females in the District.  The vast grazing lands in the District provide the potential for most households to engage in livestock production. The main animals that are reared by most households include cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry as indicated in the table 2.4 below.


Table 1.4 above reveals that there has been significant increase in the numbers of ruminants and pigs. This ranges from 5% for goats, 7 % for sheep, 8% for cattle and 45% for pigs. There has been an increase in the sale of sheep, goats and rural poultry by farmers for income on market days. This shows that the District is a net exporter of livestock and so needs to boost the production of these livestock as there exist great opportunities for increasing production. Nevertheless, there is the need to mobilize and channel resources into ensuring that maximum use is made of such a potential.

Problems and Potentials of Livestock Production

The quality of animals (indigenous breeds) kept in the District in terms of size, weight and other physical features leaves much to be desired. This is due to problems such as inadequate improved breeds and improper animal husbandry practices.  Most of the livestock farmers do not have access to Veterinary Service thereby increasing the incidence of diseases among farm animals.

These problems notwithstanding, the district has a great potential in livestock production.  These potentials include the availability of grazing land, dams, dugouts and by-products from the crop farming that can be used as feed for the farm animals.

General Problems of Agriculture

The foregoing analysis has revealed several problems militating against the agricultural sub-sector of the district’s economy.   These include:

• Poor storage facilities;

• Erratic/unreliable rainfall;

• Inadequate credit facilities;

• Poor farming technology.

• Inadequate access to Extension Services;

• Inadequate irrigation facilities

• Infertile soils.

• Poor road network from producing areas to marketing centres.

Challenges Facing Agriculture

The major challenges include the following:


a. Late disbursement and inadequate release of funds (GOG)

b. Poor extension service delivery due to inadequate staff

c. Low adoption rates of improved technologies

d. Poor/Weak organized value chains/FBOs

e. Low vaccination coverage of livestock and poultry

f. High default rate (farmer credit)

g. Low use of both organic and inorganic fertilizers

h. Weak infrastructural base –storage, ware houses etc

In order to achieve sustained growth and poverty reduction in the District the above identified problems and challenges in the agric sub-sector has to be given serious attention since it is the backbone of the of the District economy employing more than 80% of the population.  
Food security

The main method of securing food in the district is by means of cultivating staple food crops such as maize, yam, sorghum, millet, groundnut, cowpea and some lesser crops such as Bambara beans, rice. Livestock such as ruminants, pigs, poultry and guinea fowls are kept and sold during times of need.

About 78% of the population derive their livelihood from agricultural production. The farmer’s number one goal is to ensure food security for the entire family. Despite the fact that the farmers work very hard to achieve this goal, they often fail to produce sufficient quantities to feed themselves up to the next harvest. The most critical food difficult period is between April and July.

According to the Ghana Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) report (2012), the district falls within the 93.2% of households that are food secured whiles 6.8% fall within the moderately and mildly food insecure group.

The predominantly large scale production of maize and yam in the eastern part of the District has contributed significantly to the commercialization of production and export of surplus to neighbouring districts and regions. The areas with limited crop productivity such as the western parts of the District supplement with small ruminants, poultry, guinea fowls, and pigs for cash which they use to purchase food grains from the markets during the critical lean period.

Other food deficit households receive support from seasonal migrant labour, sale of wild fruits and vegetables and processed food products such as pito, cakes, shea butter and dawadawa.

Generally three meals are eaten daily. The major meals are Tuozafi (TZ), yam and beans. The major meat products consumed are pork, poultry and poultry products. Other source of protein intake is from groundnut, beans, soya beans, Bambara beans and fish. The main vegetable ingredients used are tomato, okro, onion and leafy vegetables (wild and cultivated).



















Date Created : 4/10/2018 3:31:27 AM