The District Assembly has engaged in a number of development projects covering all sectors of the economy, since its establishment in 1989. These projects were deliberately and carefully selected to improve upon the social and economic well-being of the populace, while at the same time creating an environment in which private free enterprise can prosper.
The results of all these are highly encouraging.There are 859 small-scale non-farm production activities in the district. These can be basically categorised into six sub-groups of agro-based industries, forest-based industries, textiles, metal works, clay products, and services. Importantly, all these areas of activity offer immense potential to investors.
Small-scale industries in particular have potential for expansion and one out of ten is already planning to introduce new production techniques in such areas as carpentry, basket weaving, charcoal burning and handicraft, which have strong comparative advantages, due to the district’s vast natural resources.
The service industry, engaging in the provision of recreation and auxiliary services for manufacturing and agro-based processing concerns, is thus provided with a large market enabling it to thrive. The Nkoranza District is predominantly an agricultural one, which is mainly practised through crop farming and, to a lesser extent, animal husbandry.
Land in the district is controlled by stools and families, and more than two-thirds of tenants pay nothing at all for land use. Investors can easily obtain land from chiefs and family heads. The major crops cultivated in the district include maize, rice, yams cassava, plantain, cocoyam, groundnuts and vegetables.
Maize and yam are the most widely grown crops in the district. The yields of some of the crops grown in the district, notably maize, yam, rice and cassava, are significantly higher than the respective national averages. Private sector investment in the production and processing of these crops is therefore potentially, outstandingly profitable and investors would be welcomed and thoroughly assisted by the District Assembly.
Vast potential also exists for the cultivation of non-traditional crops such as cashew, sunflower, ginger, pineapple, mushroom and watermelon for export. One area in particular, which has been identified as profitable for private investors, has to do with the processing, storage and marketing of agricultural produce.
Therefore, the District Assembly is actively encouraging private participation and partnership with investors in this realm. Already, some amount of the processing of agricultural produce is taking place in the district, although this is done by small-scale industrialists, who transform the produce into different forms for direct consumption, such as local drink brewing, cassava processing, and oil palm extraction.
Most of the farmers do not have access to storage facilities. Crops that can be left in the field, such as cassava and yam, are left there till they are required before they are harvested for sale. About 30% of farmers store their produce in barns or cribs, but most of them are in poor condition.
Thus, proper processing and storage facilities, provided by private investors, can provide very attractive returns on investment, especially since the District Assembly is providing invaluable support for these efforts through the provision of relatively good roads and electricity. A related area of opportunity for investors is livestock rearing.
The fairly flat land, combined with the grassland savannah covering much of the district, provides an ideal environment for livestock and poultry farmers. Diary production and fattening of animals are ventures, which deserve attention in view of the high income potential they hold.
Studies by the Veterinary Service have revealed that even though sheep, goats, cattle and poultry are already commonly raised in the district, there is plenty of room for higher levels of activity, especially when carried out large-scale, using modern livestock breeding techniques. Most interestingly, there is a large clay deposit at Asuano, for the ceramic and brick and tiles industry.
The European Union, in collaboration with the District Assembly, has provided three sheds for brick and tile making machinery and other anciliary equipment for the take-off of a brick and tile plant. Feasibility studies conducted by the Bureau of Integrated Rural Development (BIRD) at the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi,have revealed that the clay deposits are in commercial quantities and that the proposed plant itself is commercially very viable.
Therefore, the District Assembly is eagerly looking for a serious private investor or consortium of investors to take up the project. There are four main banks operating in the district. These include Ghana Commercial Bank, the nation’s largest, and Agricultural Development Bank, the most successful lender to the agricultural sector in the entire sub-region.
The others are Fiagya Rural Bank and Kwabre Rural Bank. These rural banks are located at Busunya and Akuma respectively with branches at Nkoranza designated as agencies or mobilization centres.