The district is an agricultural one due to the fact that natural resources namely; arable land and water resources abound in it. The soils in the district are also suitable for a lot of crops, some of which are maize, cassava, rice, vegetables and tree crops. Yam and cocoyam are cultivated mainly at Sekesua and Sutapong operational areas. Plantain is cultivated in Asesewa and Sekesua zones. Rice is cultivated in Anyaboni and Akotoe zones. Pepper is cultivated alongside the local vegetables at Akotoe, Asesewa, Sekesua and Otrokper.
Oil Palm Production
Oil palm is cultivated in the district on commercial and small scale. About three hundred and sixteen (315.5) hectares (ha) of the crop is under cultivation. Asare Odometa Plantations Limited (AOPL) located at Odometa near Asesewa is a company which is involved in promotion and cultivation of oil palm in the Upper Manya Krobo District with the view of supplying the company with palm fruits for the production of clean palm oil.
The company has a nucleus farm (7 ha) and also operates an out-grower scheme with Klo Oil Palm Growers Association (KOPOA). The membership of the association is One hundred and three (103) farmers. The out-growers cultivate 295.5 ha of oil palm. With the out-grower scheme, AOPL provides farming inputs (seedlings, fertilizer, weedicides, insecticides, technical assistance etc.) to the farmers on credit and the farmers are expected to sell the palm fruits to AOPL in return until the full cost of inputs are made.
AOPL also has an oil palm processing center where palm oil is produced. The mill has a capacity of 800kg per hour. Currently, the processing mill is under-utilized because most of the out-grower farms have not reached maturity stage. The company therefore gets its palm fruits for processing from their nucleus farm and other oil palm farmers in the district. There is a huge potential of oil palm production in the district since conditions favour its cultivation. Processing and marketing of the product will also be addressed by making optimum use of AOPL’s processing mill.
About 25% of the population practise livestock farming. Animals reared include cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and grasscutters. Asesewa, Anyaboni, Akorkorma, Sesiamang and Sekesua are the main livestock rearing areas.
Fishing is the main activity carried out by the people along the Volta Lake and rivers. Some of these communities are include; Akateng, Akorkorma, Battorkope, Akrusu and Ponponya. People around Akateng and its environs also engage in fish production using cage culture.
Land Tenure Systems
Land is acquired in the following ways in the district: Individual ownership or inheritance; Rent or hiring from land owners; Mortgage. Land tenure arrangements include:
Owner occupancy: - This is where the farmer is the owner of the land on which he / she works and provides all the necessary inputs for production.
Share Tenancy: - This is ‘abunu’ or ‘abusa’ share cropping system. Under this system the land owner leases the land to the farmer and the farm produce is shared equally (abunu) or a third goes to the land lord, while two-thirds goes to the tenant (abusa).
Cutlasses, hoes, mattock, spraying machines and large equipment such as tractors are the farm implements used for farming in the district. It is extremely difficult for most of the small holder
farmers to afford labour saving implements like tractor, simply because they do not have enough funds.
Most of the farmers in the district depend on family labour to till their lands. Most of the farmers are within the range of 40-70 years. Labour is hired mostly during land preparation and harvesting. There are some few group farms which employ the services of group members to carry out farm activities such as land preparation, planting, weeding and harvesting.
Availability of Excess Farm Lands
The district can boast of large tract of riverine vegetation suitable for all year round irrigation farming. The soils can also support high value crops such chilies, rice and tree crops such as mangoes. This potential if tapped well can turn the district into bread basket of the region.
Upper Manya Krobo District is an underserved rural area with 83,508 inhabitants. Majority of families are subsistent farmers growing food crops and keeping indigenous livestock. There is a high incidence of poverty which is manifested in poor housing, inability of parents to pay school fees and medical bills, credit unworthiness, high rural-urban migration, child labor and unemployment.
Poor nutrition is prevalent among children 6-59 months of age with anaemia rates (66%) similar to the national average; this has declined from earlier reports (74%). While the district experienced significant reduction in stunting from 38% to 17% (2008-2014) rural urban disparities persist with 22% of child stunting in rural areas compared to 15% in urban areas. Stunting, is associated with poor intellectual development, reduced productivity in adulthood and is a consequence of poor quality of diet (limited diversity with little animal source foods) which is more pronounced in rural areas. Poor nutrition retards children’s growth, contributes to about one-third of child deaths, diminishes cognitive development, and is a major determinant of maternal mortality and birth outcomes.
Scaling Up Nutrition Links Project
The "Building Capacity for Sustainable Livelihoods and Health through Public-Private Linkages in Agriculture and Health Systems” (Nutrition Links) project is a 5-year research and development initiative funded by the government of Canada. The project is a collaborative effort between McGill University, Canada, The University of Ghana, Legon, Heifer International Ghana and World Vision International in partnership with Government Ministries and Agencies (District Assembly, Ghana Health Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Ghana Education Service) and the Upper Manya Klo Rural Bank. The Project consists of district-wide surveys, adolescent reproductive health and financial literacy interventions as well as integrated agriculture and nutrition education interventions.
The integrated agriculture and nutrition education intervention of the Nutrition Links project began in January 2014 and is aimed at enhancing household access to diverse nutritious vegetables and animal source foods for improved nutrition of young children and other household members. The intervention is targeted at vulnerable households with young children. It encompasses support (training and other resource inputs) for development of home-gardens, poultry raising (for eggs) in addition to intensive nutrition and health education delivered through facilitated group discussions. As the intervention targets the household, other family members living in the communities will benefit from it.
Since the intervention began, two hundred and thirty-three (233) households in 19 communities (representing 10% of communities in the UMKD have received a total of eight thousand four hundred thirty (8,430) point of lay chickens and six hundred (600) day old birds, production inputs such as poultry feed, veterinary drugs, assorted vegetable seeds, sweet potato vines and one hundred and twenty (120) packets of roofing sheets for the construction of appropriate poultry houses as well as skill building training to manage the gardens and poultry investments. Project implementation is ongoing yielding promising results. Garden produce and eggs from the poultry activity provide food for home consumption and is also an income generation venture to maintain activities and yield some profit.
Need to sustain activities/Rationale for sustainability plans
Through the Heifer International Ghana operational concept, communities are required to be sustainable and self-reliant (Being able to sustain project activities long after project exit by expanding or engage in other related activities which will provide additional income avenues. For example, provision of input supply-feed and medicine, and reliable animal health service delivery systems). However, the project has played the role in providing these services which will not be possible after next year. Therefore, project participants will have to travel to the regional capital Koforidua to purchase input supply thereby increasing production cost and potentially run participants out of business.
To address these issues, implementing partners met to deliberate on ways to sustain poultry input supply activities in the district. The first intervention is to strengthen the existing women’s groups. Selected leaders from the women’s groups will form an Agribusiness and Livelihoods Association (ALA) (Apex Body). The association will manage a central supply enterprise where poultry inputs (feed and medicine) will be purchased and stored in bulk for retail to members with support of seed money from the district assembly. This facility when developed will address the weak input supply chain in the poultry egg production value chain in the district. This will promote scaling up and also encourage other members of the community who will like to take up commercial poultry production to do so.
The second intervention is to address the unreliable animal health delivery system. With support of seed money from the district assembly, community livestock workers (CLWs) (selected mothers) will be trained on basic animal health services to provide support services to the participants. Furthermore, the women’s groups will establish strong linkages with private
veterinary technical officers who are not employed by the government to offer services beyond the scope of the CLWs for a fee. Currently there are a lot of such trained personnel who are not employed and every year more graduate into the system without employment. These animal health public-private partnership arrangements will create avenues for the employment of this category of youth in the district which has a high potential for livestock production.
The last intervention will be to support well performing but needy mothers of infants to expand their poultry housing for project continuity and livelihood improvement. This project is expected to run for a one-year period. Beginning December 2016 and end December 2017.
Date Created : 11/27/2017 4:56:14 AM