Structure of the Local Economy
The economy of the District is spread alongside the following sectors: agriculture, service and manufacturing.  A proportion of 89.8% of the active labour force is engaged in the agricultural sector, 7.1% in service and 3.1% in manufacturing/industry. Table 7 portrays the structure of the local economy with respect to the employment level of the three major sectors of the economy.

The dominant industry among both males and females is agriculture. The next industry is the service industry which employs 6.4 percent of the male economically active population while 7.9 percent of the female economically active population is engaged in the service industry.

The manufacturing industry employed the least population 15 years and older. However the significant here is that more females are engaged in the manufacturing industry than females.

Employment Situation in the District
The economically active (employed and unemployed) population in the district is 13,644 which represents 88.5 percent of the population 15 years and older.

The population economically not active in the district is 11.5 percent of the population. A significant proportion (98.7%) of the population is employed one of the three major sectors of the economy. Less than 5 percent (1.3%) of the population is unemployed.  

Almost 99 percent of the male population 15 years and older in the district are employed. The same proportion of the female population of similar age group is employed.

More than 95 persons of the male population is unemployed and more than 76 females are unemployed in the district. The major problem of the district in relation to employment however has to do with underemployment.

The sector of employment does not fetch enough income in terms of cash but food stuffs. Most of the employed are farmers who work as peasants and subsistent.

Employment is high for age groups 25-39 years and declines afterwards. As expected the economically not active is high among age groups 15-24 years. It also begins to increase after age 60 years and above.

Employment is lowest among age group 55-64 years while surprisingly it increases after age 65 and above. The possibility for such an occurrence could be attributed to the fact that the industry that employs the majority of the employed does not have a retirement age.

In the female economically active population, employment is high from age group 20 – 29 with marginally higher number than the male economically active group within the same age group. However, it declines thereafter recording lower numbers for age group 55 – 64 and increases slightly afterwards. 

Comparatively employment is higher among the male population than the female population of the economically active group. Whereas formal employment pegs compulsory retirement at 60, the situation is different in the informal sector which is dominates the district economy.

Major Economic Activities
The main economic activities in the district centre are classified into agriculture, manufacturing and service. Below is a detail analysis of the sectors. 

Agriculture
About 90 percent of total active labour force in the district is engaged in agricultural production as indicated earlier.  A significant proportion (87.4%) of households in the district is engaged in agriculture. 


The dominant agricultural activities engaged by agricultural households in the district are crop farming, tree planting, livestock rearing and fish farming. The dominant agricultural activity engaged by households is crop farming and the next is livestock rearing.

The structure of agriculture in the district is peasant in nature and the farmers rely on traditional labour intensive method of production and the weather.  Livestock and poultry production is done on small scale at times under free range system. 
    
Major Problems of the Agricultural Sector
The major problems confronting the agricultural sector in the district are listed below:

  • Poor and inadequate road network
  • Low price for farm produce.
  • Lack of credit facilities for farmers.
  • Inability to afford appropriate agro-processing machinery.
  • Lack of storage facilities.
  • Lack of transport for agricultural technical staff.
  • Erratic weather conditions
  • Low level irrigation development.
  • Misuse of agro-chemicals by farmers.

 

  • Poor linkage of farmers to buyers, processors and other stakeholders.

Service
This sector of the district employs about 7.1 percent of the active labour force. Major activities under this sector of the district economy are wholesale and retail-repair of motor bikes, education, transport and storage, accommodation and food and construction. 

Critical services like finance and insurance, information Communication Technology (ICT), health and social services recording proportions less than 5 percent (figure 6). For instance financial service is also provided by one rural bank, Kumawuman Rural Bank. 

Traditional caterers, drinking bars, fuel sellers are also available in Drobonso. Other economic activities undertaken by the people are tailoring, dress-making and hairdressing.

There is the need to partner with the vocational institutions in Drobonso and Kumawu to train and equip the populace to acquire employable skills to set up small scale enterprises to boost the local economy.

Manufacturing/Industry
This sector of the district economy employs 3.1 percent of the labour force. Despite abundance of agricultural raw materials, the district cannot boast of any major processing industry.  However few cottage industries such as palm oil, palm kennel oil extraction, exist in some communities.

There is the need to encourage the establishment more cottage industries. This is would advance value addition of raw materials from the farms. Additionally, the incomes of farmers would increase while employment is being created.

Markets
The district has constructed a market in the district capital. It is however yet to be allocated to traders.  Efforts are being made to construct additional markets in some of the viable communities in the district. The district seeks to avoid the erection of white elephant markets and therefore conscious efforts are being taken to ensure that communities that would use the facility are provided based on merit and also the availability of funds.

Newly constructed market at Drobonso

Commodity Flows
The district is blessed with abundant natural resources in terms of fertile soil which supports the production of a variety of crops like maize, oil palm, vegetables, rice, plantain and others.  The major economic activities in the district are crop farming, charcoal burning and agro-processing. Settlements like Anyinofi, Dagomba, Drobonso, Dawia, Hamidu, Fumsua are known for production of maize, rice, cassava, yams, plantain and charcoal.

However, due to the inaccessibility of the place, these produce cannot reach the distribution centre in the district.  The area cannot be reached easily because of poor condition of the road network, poor road linkage and absence of mode of transport except walking. 

The vast land in the area and its potentials rather serve the adjoining districts there by denying the district of its expected revenue.  

The Space Economy
There are 2 service centres in the district, which perform economic, political and social functions to themselves and the peripheral communities. 

Unfortunately, the core and peripheral communities are not integrated.  The core centres cannot adequately serve themselves let alone support the peripheries.  The peripheries cannot support the core with the necessary raw materials due to some problems which include inadequate road lengths and poor road conditions and network.  

Anyinofi cannot be easily accessed by road from the district capital.  There is the need for one additional service centre in the Afram Plains at Mossi Panin to avoid long traveling time and distance travelling time and distance.  The service centres are not interrelated to support each other. 

The economic sector-Agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and service sectors are not integrated.  The economic and social conditions of Drobonso and Anyinofi are relatively better than the rest of the rest of the communities. 

However the district capital and Anyinofi as service centres of the district cannot boost of proper services to be able to serve the rest of the communities in the district.

Linkage with other Districts
The district shares boundaries with six Districts. However, it is linked economically, socially and spatially with only three districts, Sekyere Kumawu, Sekyere Central and Atebubu districts. 

In terms of economic activities, trade relationship in these three districts is very strong.  This is evident by commodities that flow among the districts.  Residents within each of the three districts commute from one district to the other. 

In terms of social activities residents in each district enjoy facilities and service like health, education, social centre and other from other districts.  Spatially, the road linking the Sekyere Kumawu and Asante Akim North Central is in good condition.  These roads are first class.

However, the people in the North western portion of the district, due to the inaccessible nature of the road between the district capital easily interact with districts like Atebubu, Amanten District, Sene East and Sene West. The Sekyere Afram Plains District therefore loses potential revenue to these districts through trade and other economic and social activities.