Majoe Cash and Food Crops and Livestock
1. Cash Crops – cocoa, oil palm
2. Food crops – yam, plaintain, maize, cocoyam, vegatable
3. Livestock --- poultry, sheep, goat, cattle and pigs
Potentials Exporable Crops (non-traditional crops)
Garden eggs, Okro, Cabbage, Watermelon, Cassave.Major Economic Activities
This section relates to how best the District Assembly can use its resources to generate gainful employment. Analysis was therefore done on production systems, the level of technology, support given to storage facilities, improvement in road network, , support given to the development of irrigation schemes etc. then the key development problems were identified.Production Systems and level of Technology
Bosomtwe- Atwima- Kwanwoma is a predominantly rural district with farming as the main occupation of the people (58%). The people are mainly engaged in farming practices like mixed farming, monocropping, mixed cropping/ livestock etc.
Production System: The common method of farming in the district is the slash- stump and burn. This method is used as a result of the location of the district in the forest belt (semi- deciduous forest zone of Ghana) where other mechanical methods of farming are rarely used. Farming Systems: Two main systems of farming are adopted in the district.
- Permanent Cultivation: This is adopted for perennial crops such as cocoa, oil palm, sugar cane, plantain and citrus among others. Under this system, the farmer remains on the same piece of land under cultivation for many years with the same crops.
- Shifting Cultivation/ Fallow: Most of the arable crops are grown under this system. Maize, cassava, yam and vegetables are the crops associated with this system. They are either grown as a sole crop (mono crop) or mixed- crops where a combination of more than one crop is cultivated on the same piece of land for a season and then shifted to another to enable a period of fallow.
Level of Technology: There have been a number of technologies that are being impacted to the farmers to increase their yield and improve their living standard. Among such technologies are; No tillage. In this practice weedicide particularly (Run-Up) is sprayed on the field to kill weeds and plants to pave yam mini-setts, row planting to increase plant population, cow dung utilization, application of poultry manure, application of chemical fertilizers and construction of narrow cribs for storage.
Some constraints hindering the development of the agricultural sector include ageing farmers, low level of education (most of them are illiterates) and migration of the youth to the urban centres. These farmers prefer the traditional farming practices whereby they use cutlasses, hoes, slash and burn, no tillage etc. Again they do not have any improved methods of farming and there is low adoption of the extension technologies, improper application of chemical fertilizers, poultry manure etc. This in the end affects their yield and incomes.Support for Storage Facilities
The sector has not provided any storage facility on its own to support storage of farm produce in the district. However, the extension staff (AEA’s) has been assisting farmers to construct narrow cribs to store their cereals to avoid post harvest losses, which is one of the major problems affecting farmers in the district. This results in the high post harvest losses in food crops e.g. maize.Extent of Improvement to Road Network
Road network in the district has been improved as compared to that of the past years. Roads have been constructed to link almost all the communities in the district that is helping the farmers to sell out their farm produce at the required time. Although about 70% of the roads are rough, they are motorable throughout the year with only a few ones around Bosomtwe that are difficult to use during the peak of the rainy season.Agro-Processing
There is the need for the district to encourage the processing of agricultural products to add more value. This can create a ready market for the products. Again, it will increase farmers’ income. There are a few agro-based industries in the district namely the Oil Palm Extraction at Piase, Cassava Flour Processing at Jachie and Gari Processing at Adum- Afrancho and Abuontem. More agro-based industries need to be established to promote both agriculture and industrialization in the district.Support for Small Scale Irrigation Schemes
There has not been much support for small-scale irrigation schemes in the district. However, only few farmers have credit facilities from the rural banks. The VIP assisted some farmers with water pumping machines especially those who do dry season vegetable farming, wells and streams are the only source of water supply.Key Development Problems
Among the key development, problems facing agriculture in the district are: -
- Low yields in major food crops: The reason being that farmers are not willing to cultivate the improved and disease resistant as well as high yielding seeds. They are also difficult to adopt the recommended farming technologies. Yield of maize for example 1.4 MT/ HA in the district as compared with a potential yield of 3MT/ HA or national level of 1.7 MT/ HA as indicated in table 1.14.
- The problem of declining production of rural poultry and small ruminants to enhance the people’s protein intake. Find below from the table 1.15 poultry and livestock census conducted in 2002 and 2003. The decline is due to high cost of feed, veterinary drugs and poor management practices among the farmers.3) The district is confronted with high post harvest losses in of crops e.g. maize because of poor storage facilities and high cost of storage chemicals. A survey carried out involving 100 farmers indicated that about 30% of their produce get spoiled over a long period of storage.
- There is also misuse of agro- chemicals especially on vegetables. This usually affects the health of the farmers after inhaling some of the chemicals. The vegetables are sometimes dangerous for human consumption since the chemicals are improperly mixed and sprayed at irregular intervals.
- There is apparent unwillingness of small-scale farmers to form groups. Some of the farmers do not trust others so they feel reluctant to group with other farmers. Other farmers want to dictate to their colleagues.
- There is land degradation because of erosion and poor soil management practices like planting along the steeps and illegal felling of trees and cover crops.
- There is the lack of interest in aquaculture and use of appropriate fishing methods in the Lake Bosomtwe. This is attributed to high cost of pond construction and fingerlings. A survey conducted indicated that most of the 30 fishponds that are in the district are now not functioning.
Refer to tables in pdf file below.