Crop farming is the principal agricultural activity in the municipality The main crops grown in the municipality are maize, cassava, yam, cocoyam and plantain. A wide range of vegetables like tomatoes, garden eggs, pepper and okro are also grown. All these crops are cultivated largely on small-scale basis.
The municipality has however seen the emergence of a few medium scale farms within the last few years. Plantation crops – large scale (typically mango) are gaining much ground as a result of the interventions of the Food and Agriculture Ministry and some NGOs (e.g. ADRA).
Much of the foodstuffs grown by the farmers are lost as a result of poor post harvest technologies, notably poor handling, poor storage, poor pest management, poor harvesting methods, inadequate market/pricing and processing. For instance losses for tomatoes is estimated at between 35-40 percent and that for maize is estimated at 30-35 percent. These losses are very high and something must definitely be done about it.
Apart from crop farming, livestock farming is also practiced in the municipality. The practice in the municipality is such that most of those engaged in cropping are also involved in livestock rearing activities. The main types of livestock reared in the municipality are cattle, goats, sheep, chicken and pigs. Certain animals like, grass cutter, rabbit etc and fish farming although has the potential in terms of climatic condition and market, are not common in the municipality.
The main farming tools used in the municipality are still hoes and cutlasses. Most of the farmers cannot afford inputs that reduce the need for physical labour. This limits the ability of the farmers to increase the size of their operations. Although the extension worker to farmer ratio of 1:3000 for the municipality is better than the national ratio of about 1:9000. There is still the need for the recruitment of more extension staff.
Over 50% of the farmers are over 45years.This has serious consequences on the agriculture sector because most of the farming activities will have to be carried out by the weaker part of the population, possibly leading to a drop in production. Most of the farmers sell their produce to middlemen who, in turn, send them to other marketing centers within and outside the municipality for sale. However, these middlemen dictate the prices of the agricultural produce. In most cases the prices are unfavorable to the farmers. Even though Farmers complained about this situation, they have no alternative since most of the items they produce are perishables. This is, in fact, a disincentive to the agricultural sector.
Date Created : 11/28/2017 1:32:38 AM