other districts in region
news & current affairs
District Revenue Sources (Local External/Grants)
The Agona District Assembly has seven main sources of Local Revenue (Internally Generated Fund-IGF). The Systematic Increase was due to:-
- Effective Collection
- Annual increases in fee fixing Rate, Licenses & others
- Innovation/discovery of New Ratable Areas such as Telecom operators & Utility service providers
Grant-in-aid constitutes the major source of the Assembly’s revenue. The value of grants grew from 0953,045,165.50 million in 2002 to 09,576,632,200.44 billion in 2004, but fell to 6,568,599,815.53 in 2005. Local revenues are usually not enough to cover recurrent expenses. Over 90% of it goes into recurrent expenses. In fact apart from wages a greater part of the recurrent expenditure goes into sanitation management. The picture jot grants is different. Apart from the salary component all of it goes into capital Expenditure. Hence new strategies need to be injected into the revenue collection in the district to increase revenue accruing to the Assembly.
Agona District as viewed under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS): Agona District Poverty Profile Poverty is defined as a situation where an individual or a household is not able to command sufficient resources to satisfy the basic needs of life such as food, shelter, clothing, health, education etc.
The poor in Agona District are:
Causes of Poverty in Agona District include:
- Subsistence farmers with land holdings of between one-quarter of an acre and two acres. About 55% of these farmers are aged according to recent studies by the district directorate of Agriculture.
- The Destitute: mainly Street children who are always spotted in the central business district of Swedru, and other bigger communities. However, there are no official statistics on the situation.
- The unemployed and the under-employed: A large chunk of the district’s able-bodied persons are not in any gainful employment. The unemployed are mainly artisans andthose in trades such as dressmaking, hairdressing whose businesses are seasonaland are found doing practically nothing at the lean season.
- The vulnerable: women, children, the aged, the illiterate and the disabled who are vulnerable to risk and other social upheavals like chieftaincy conflicts and domestic violence, as well as inability to easily access the few good jobs.
- Those displaced by the Nyakrom communal conflict. This affected mostly the settler Moslem community and a few indigenes.
- Workers and casual workers of contractors who are either poorly or irregularly paid. This is linked to the irregular payment to contractors by government and the District Assembly.
- The poor can be found in all parts of the district, especially in the rural communities.
- High rate of unemployment:: In 2006 for instance, under the youth employment programme over 3,000,000 were registered and out of the figure only 245 have been offered jobs
- Inaccessible credit facilities: The people do not have access to available credit because of (i) inadequate information on such credits (ii) high lending rates of between 35% and 50% being charged by the lending institutions. For instance, the rural banks administering the District Poverty Alleviation Fund were charging 33%. To ameliorate this, the Agona District assembly has pegged the lending rate at 20%
- Other factors include non-existence of well-established associations, cooperatives or groups to serve as sources of loans and credit
- Problems of accessibility to the hinterland: Most of the countryside is not opened up enough to the relatively bigger communities. As a result, foodstuffs get locked up and rot at the production points. Information on opportunities does not reach the hinterland on time
- Mismanagement of the available resources: There are scenes of physical environmental degradation in the form of deforestation through -poor farming practices, bushfires and sand winning in the District
- Lack of Storage Facilities: Post harvest losses are great in the district, compelling farmers to offer their produce at relatively low prices. There are only 10 individuals with improved cribs (funded by the Global j project) in the district. The dominant methods for storage are traditional barns and smoking
- No irrigation system: There are no irrigation systems in the District that will enable farming to be perennial. There are only three small group farmers engaged in some form of irrigation using dugouts for vegetable farming. The Akora and Ayensu rivers could be put under small-scale irrigation. The district directorate of agriculture has targeted to support about 10 groups within the next 4 years to put the rivers under irrigation
- Ignorance and strong adherence to negative traditional and religious beliefs andpractices: These include widowhood rites in the district that keep women out of productive activities for a period of six weeks. In places like Babianeha, palm bunches are not allowed in the community. There are too many taboo days in the district that prevent! people from going to work. However, such days are used to attend hospitals, durbars, to meet public officers for information, communal labour etc
- Low level of family planning and reproductive health practices
- High illiteracy levels
- The incidence of poverty in Agona District in the past five years is on the ascendancy and itis manifested in the following areas: Child labor in the area of trading has been on the increase in the district to support the family budget. Children as young as six years of age are found selling in Swedru, Nyakrom, and Kwanyako etc.
- School dropouts. Though no official statistics are available on the situation
- Environmental degradation
- Collapse of the cash crop industry: The cocoa industry has virtually collapsed. The district used to be the leading producer of cocoa in the Central Region, as a result of which the Swedru Secondary School and the regional office of COCOBOD were built
- Inappropriate technology: The mode of production in all forms still remains crude, thus limiting ability to increase productivity by artisans, farmers etc
- Subsistence farming: farming has been left in the hands of the aged who use crude implements. Production is mainly for subsistence
- The poor in Agona District have nevertheless coped with the harsh conditions. Some of the strategies adopted by the poor to cope with the situation include: Resorting to child labor to support the family budget
- Illegal exploitation of natural resources: This takes the form of lumbering, sand winning and farming within forest reserves. For instance the district has almost depleted the exploitation of its timber species. The only economic tree species of any importance available for exploitation are ceiba pentendra (Onyina). Most of the timber species were depleted due mainly to over exploitation by illegal means
- Farming on marginal lands: this is creating serious environmental problems in places like Nantifa
- Resorting to high interest rate loans: due to non availability of credit, people are forced to resort to money lenders who at times charge 100% interest rate
- Incidence of theft and fraud cases are reported in the district
- Prostitution: This is very rampant in an area called 50-50 in Dwenewoho at Swedru
To offset the harsh conditions of poverty in the District, the Agona District Assembly in collaboration with some Non-Governmental Organizations has taken positive initiatives to improve the standard and quality of living standard among the populace.