The overall development of a country is based on the production of goods and services. Critical to the production process is the human capital of the country. Although all persons irrespective of age and sex consume goods and services produced, only a section of the total population produces them: a working population often referred to as the “employed’. The type of economic activity pursued is influenced by nature of the economy and level of socio-economic development (Hull, 2009). Generally, the larger the employed population, the more wealth is created leading to the general well-being of the population. The population census results for Suaman district provide data on the labour force and economic characteristics of the population.
This chapter analyses the economic activities status of the population, classified as economically active and economically not active. The occupation, employment status and industry of employment are also analysed by age, sex, and locality of residence (rural/urban).
Economic Activity Status
Activity status refers to economically active or economically not active persons enumerated during the seven days preceding the census night. A person is regarded as economically active if he/she
1. Worked for pay or profit or family gain for at least one hour within the seven days preceding the census night.
2. Did not work but had work to go back to as well as those who were actively looking for work within the seven days preceding the Census night.
A person is also regarded as economically not active if he/she:
1. Did not work, was not seeking for work and had no work to go back to within the reference period. These categories of persons included home-makers, students, retired persons, persons with disability and persons who were unable to work due to age or ill-health.
Economic activity status by sex
Figure 4.1 shows the economic activity status of the district population 15years and older by sex. From the figure, 72.3 percent of the population is economically active with 27.7 percent not economically active. The proportion of the economically active male population is higher (54.3%) than that of the females (45.7%). Most of the economically active population is employed (95.7%), 54.7 percent of the males as compared with 45.3 percent of the females are employed. On the other hand, among the economically active unemployed population (4.3%), the proportion of females (54.7%) is higher than that of the males (45.3%). The economically not active population also has more females (51.7%) than males (48.3%).
Table 4.1 shows the economic activity status of population 15 years and older by sex. For the employed population who “worked”, males constitute 54.7 percent and females 45.3 percent. More than three quarters (78.6%) of those who did voluntary work without pay are males. For the unemployed, the proportion of females is higher than that of the males for both those who had worked before and those who were seeking work for the first time.
For the economically not active population, 56.6 percent of the males as compared with 43.4 percent of the females are in full time education. Pensioners/Retired constitute the smallest of the economically not active population for the district with the proportion of males (67.6%) more than twice that of the females (32.4%).
Persons in full time education (2,030) constitute a great chunk of the 3,417economically not active population. This is followed by those who did home duties (800).
Economic activity status by age
Table 4.2 presents the population 15 years and older by age and activity status. The total active population of the district is 12,321. Big chunk of the population falls between 15-39 years where age groups have more than 10,000 persons. Proportions of the employed among youthful ages (15-34) years are relatively low when compared to the proportions in the age range 35 to59 years. Less than a quarter (23.6%) of persons 15-19 years is employed whiles more than 90 percent of those aged 35-59 years are employed. Proportion of the employed falls to its minimum (65.9%) among those aged 60 years and above. This is because the retiring age for many of the country’s public services is 60 years.
Unemployment is high among the youth. More than 6 percent of persons 20-29 years are unemployed. Persons 15-19 are supposed to be in Senior High School. With about a quarter of them employed means some of them have dropped out of school or work whiles in school.
High proportions (74.5%) and (36.8%) of the economically not active are in the 15 – 19 and 20-24years age respectively. This is because majority of people in this age bracket are students who are not supposed to work. The 55- 59 years age group is the least among the economically not active population of the district.
The distribution of the sexes regarding economic status follows the same pattern as the distribution for the total district population. However, more males aged 15-19 years are employed than their female counterparts. The 60-64 years group has the least number of employed persons among the males whilst among the females, the 55-59 year-olds constitute the least. Majority of the employed males and females are aged 25-29 years.
The 20-24 years group for both males and females top the unemployed. Among the males also, the 65+ age group has the least unemployed while that of the females are least in the 55-59 years group.
Table 4.3 shows employed population 15 years and older by occupation and sex. A higher proportion of the population (76.1%) is skilled agricultural forestry and fishery workers, with males constituting 79.4 percent as compared with 72.1 percent of the females (72.1%). A small proportion of the population are managers (0.8%) and clerical support workers (0.3%). In service and sales, the proportion of female workers (14.5%) is higher than that of the males (3.6%).This trend is due to the dominance of females in that sector. Males (3.7%), however, dominate the plants and machine operators and assemble sector with only 0.1 percent females. This may be because such occupations or jobs require physical strength and specific skills which are attributed to males.
Agriculture is the main economic activity undertaken in the district. The major staple food crops produced include cassava, plantain, maize, yam, rice, and vegetables such as okra, garden eggs, tomatoes and pepper. Food crop production is generally on subsistence basis with output per yield substantially low.
This is due to the use of old and traditional methods of farming predominated by the use of cutlasses and hoes with little mechanization. The average farm size is about one acre per farmer.The abundant rainfall supports Agrarian activities especially the cultivation of food and cash crops like cassava, plantain and cocoa. However the high rainfall in the District impacts very badly on the roads in the District since all these roads are not tarred, they become unmemorable and accessibility to most parts of the district becomes very difficult especially during the rainy season.
Cocoa production is the major economic activity undertaken in the district. About 75 percent of the land area of the district comprising 300km2 has been used to cultivate cocoa by individuals and organizations. For instance Valley Farms Limited alone has twenty square kilometres (20km2) of cocoa plantation in the district.
The increasing use of land to cultivate cocoa and other cash crops like coffee and oil palm has deprived most food crop producers’ access to enough land to cultivate crops like maize, yam and plantain and this remains a challenge. The abundant rainfall supports Agrarian activities especially the cultivation of food and cash crops like cassava, plantain and cocoa. However the high rainfall in the District impacts very badly on the roads in the District since all these roads are not tarred, they become unmemorable and accessibility to most parts of the district becomes very difficult especially during the rainy season.
Livestock production is also carried out in the district a on a small scale by individuals and households. Fishing is another important economic activity in the district especially carried out in communities along the major rivers BIA, SUI, and FANOMA.
Trade and Commerce
The Suaman district is a very busy commercial centre due to its proximity to the republic of La Cote D’Ivoire. It serves as the entry and exit point for most imports and exports between the two countries. For instance Ghana imports hundreds of tons of rice from La Cote D’Ivoire every year through district while La Cote D’Ivoire also imports second hand clothing and spare parts from Ghana.
The district has nine vibrant financial institutions made up of one commercial bank, one rural bank and seven micro finance companies. These financial institutions give credit at affordable rates to their clients to expand their businesses. There are four market centres in the District. These are Dadieso (main market), Kwasuo, Karlo and Antokrom. Items traded in these markets include merchandise of business men and women from Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi in addition to those imported from La Cote D’Ivoire.
There are about sixty commercial vehicles and one hundred (100) motor tricycles operating in the district on commercial basis.
Smuggling of fuel products and Agro inputs to La Cote D’Ivoire has been identified to be one of the challenges faced by the District Assembly. Custom and Immigration officers along the borders are doing their best to check smuggling. An anti-smuggling taskforce has been formed to augment the efforts of the Custom and Immigration officers in this regard.
Date Created : 11/18/2017 12:06:00 PM