The Jasikan District was one of the old districts in the Volta Region of the Republic of Ghana established in 1989. The District, which has Jasikan as its capital is situated 260 km north-east of Accra and135 km from Ho, the regional capital of Volta Region. Jasikan District begot Kadjebi, Nkwanta and lately Biakoye districts. It is one of the major agricultural production areas in the Volta Region of Ghana. The Jasikan District which covers the whole of Buem traditional area,
The stable local district assembly administers the economic, development and political of the district of a potential labor force (62 % of district population) with a population density of 81.5/km2. The majority of the local population are farmers with some involved in commerce and other works.
Agriculture is the dominant sector in the district and the main source of employment and income. Most of the available land in the district belongs to Clans, chiefs and clan heads, with respective conditions for acquiring land for investment.
The district has varied landforms with complex soils that support most traditional and non-traditional cash, food, plantation and industrial crops produced in Ghana. The vast lowlands and valleys (over70% of land area) can support large scale production of rice for domestic and export markets.
The relatively high annual rainfall supports both deciduous forest and mixed savannah. The district’s vegetation nourishes popular game and wildlife, but the livestock output is low. The perennial and annual water bodies in the district do support many fishery activities, however, big potentials exist for aquaculture in the district.
The district is connected to the national grid, with available infrastructure, financial institutions, health and educational facilities in the district to become an economic hub in Ghana.
LOCATION AND SIZE
Jasikan District is located in the mid-east portion of the Volta Region of Ghana and Jasikan can be located on latitude 7º 24’N and longitudes 0º 28’E. It is bounded on the North-West by Kadjebi and Krachi East Districts, on the west and south-west is the river Volta, Hohoe District to the South, the Republic of Togo to the East and Biakoye and Kpando Districts to the West. The district has a total land surface area of 510sq Km.
The 2010 Population and Housing Census have provided a provisional district population (PHC) figure of just over 66,625. The population density of the district stands at about 81.5 persons per square kilometer. This compared to the national average of 89 persons per square kilometer indicates that the district is sparsely populated.
The district falls within the wet equatorial agro-climatic zone. The mean maximum temperature is 32ºc usually recorded in March while the mean minimum temperature is 24 ºc usually recorded in August. The District experienced an alternating wet and dry season each year. It experiences a double maxima rainfall regime in May-July and September with peaks in June and October. The annual rainfall figures averages between 1250mm and 1750mm. The dry season is mostly between December and February.
The soils of the district are complex having being developed from the mixture of parent materials of quartz, sandstones, mudstones, conglomerates and colluvial sources.
There are four (4) major geological formations that produced the soils of the district:
A. Togo Rocks:
• Crops produced in those areas include maize, upland rice, vegetables, cocoyam, pineapples, citrus, and coffee.
B. Soils developed from quartz-impregnated sandstone and quartz schist:
• Suitable crops produced in the area include rice, sugarcane, and dry season vegetables.
C. Soils developed from Buem sandstones, shales, mudstones and conglomerates
• Crops that thrive well in these areas are shallow-rooted including food crops such as maize, rice, groundnuts, cassava, yam, ginger, plantain, cocoyam, pineapple, sugarcane, and vegetables.
D. Soil Developed from Recent and Old Alluvia
• The area is recommended for hand-cultivated shallow-rooted crops such as pineapples, sugarcane, vegetables, and rice.
The topography of the district is hilly and undulating becoming almost flat in certain areas. The district is almost surrounded by mountain ranges, typically is the Buem-Togo Ranges which is an extension of the Akuapem Ranges. The eastern parts are relatively higher with occasional heights ranging between 260m – 680m above sea level. Some communities like Baglo (560m), Teteman (590m) and Kute (438m) are on the steep side of the range.
The district is well-drained by several streams. Some of the important ones are Konsu, Bompa, Kute, Dayi, Ufuo, and Odomi. Almost all the streams are seasonal with most of them overflowing their banks during the raining season and drying up during the dry season.
Waters in Konsu, Odomi, Bompa, and Dayi can be improved for irrigation. Feasibility studies by GIDA identified potential sites such as Awoma, Twengyina, Kudje and New Ayoma for irrigation.
IRRIGATION POTENTIAL OF THE DISTRICT
|Identified Site||Area (Ha)||Location||Access||Recommendation and Observation|
|Aroma||50||5km from Bodada||2nd class road||Great potential. Further studies and Design|
|Twengyina||200||3km from Akaa Agric Station||Gravel road||Potential exists for dam construction needs further studies and design|
|Kudje||1000||10km from Jasikan||1st class road||Potential for agriculture|
The vegetation is generally depicted by a moist deciduous forest. Due to the relatively high rainfall experienced annually in the eastern parts, the vegetation is thicker and more luxuriant. These are forest made up of different species typical of the semi-deciduous forest. The western part of the district is also characterized by the mixed savannah dotted with tree vegetation. Bamboo and other wet species are also found, especially along the banks of the streams and rivers. The vegetation supports wildlife and major animals found are monkeys, antelopes, bushpigs, pangolins grass-cutter, and reptiles. As one of the few areas endowed with forest resources in the region, the district has a total land forest area of 1847sqkm with the Odomi River Forest Reserve (18.45sqkm) covering Jasikan, Bodada, Teteman and Bowiri in Biakoye District. The activities of timber firms and illegal chainsaw operators, industrial wood processing activities, etc also contributed in diverse ways to the degradation of the natural environment by reducing the forest from primary to secondary and even, in cases to savannah.
There are programs for the protection of the forests. These include:
• Collaboration with the local people through the formation of Collaboration Forest Management Committees (CFMC) to protect and manage the permanent forest estates.
• Promotion of Private/Community tree growing (woodlot establishment and amenity planting) through education and technical assistance.
• Recruitment and training of Fire Volunteer Squads (FVS) in the communities.
• Anti-bush fire campaigns through the district.
Recruitment of aforestation team for teak and other tree plantings
LAND TENURE SYSTEM
Land generally belongs to Clans, the Chiefs and Clan head hold it in trust for the people. Lands are acquired on lease or share-cropping bases known as abunu (50%: 50%) or abusa (33%: 66%) between the tenant and landlord respectively.
The outright purchase of land is becoming quite difficult/inapplicable. The land tenure system, on the whole, is very unfavorable to farmers due to its disincentives and insecurity.
Agricultural is the main source of livelihood for over 80% of the total population. Subsistence farming with shifting cultivation is mainly practiced with an average holding of less than one acre per person.
The District is quite self-sufficient in food production as a result of the favorable climate and demographic conditions.
To showcase the technologies for farmers’ adoption, MOFA Jasikan has Demonstrations of the various activities in their compound and which include;
c) Snail farming
d) Plantation crops etc.
Cocoa has been the principal cash in the district but its production dwindled over the years due to the severe drought and bushfires of the early eighties (1983) together with the threat of the Swollen Shoot, Capsid, and the Blackpod diseases. With the Government intervention of Hi-tech coupled with Mass Spraying Programmes, the industry is resuscitated tremendously.
Oil palm, coffee, and citrus production are other sources of revenue to the farmers and their production centers are in the east forest zone of Ayoma, Kute, Baglo, Awoma, Akaa Kudje, and Okadjakrom.
These are produced for domestic consumption and export outside the district. The major food crops produced are maize, rice cassava, cocoyam, yam plantain, banana, sweet potato, and vegetables.
AVERAGE PRODUCTION FOR SELECTED CROPS:
|CROP TYPE||AREA UNDER CULTIVATION (HECTARES)||AVERAGE YIELD(TON/HA)||METRIC TONNES||AREA OF MAXIMUMPRODUCTION|
|Maize||1,200||2.5||1,800||Bodada, Okadjakrom, Atakrom|
|Rice||900||5.0||3,600||Kudje, Bodada, Nsuta, Jasikan, Teteman|
|Cassava||2,500||20.0||47,500||Guaman, Atakrom, Kudje|
|Plantain||1,500||6.0||9,450||Takrabe, Bodada, Nsuta, Kudje, Guaman, Aboabo, New Ayoma, Old Ayoma|
|Vegetable||150||0.5||Not known||Throughout the district|
|Ginger||500||4.0||Not known||Throughout the district|
|Oil Palm||I,200||12.0||14,400||Throughout the district|
*2009 SRID Estimates
Livestock rearing in the district is on a very small scale. However, cattle, goats, pigs, sheep, and poultry production are on the increase.
NON-TRADITIONAL AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES
Ginger is the most important non-traditional commodity produced in the district mainly around Kute and New Ayoma. Other non-traditional crops like black pepper and sweeteners are also grown all over the district. Ginger is cultivated on quite a large scale and the Assembly is collaborating with Ghana Export Promotion Council and NBSSI to find good markers and suitable industrial use for the crop.
The good road network of both first and second class. There are also a lot of feeder roads that link some key farming communities which are in a deplorable state.
There are five (3) financial institutions in the District. These are Ghana Commercial Bank, North Volta Rural Bank, Teachers Credit Union.
Eighteen galvanized silos and four storage houses are spread all over the district and can be effectively exploited.
There is no dam dug-out in the district to support agricultural development.
A study by the Volta Regional Manager of IDA commissioned by the District Assembly to develop agriculturally and create employment for the youth identified several potential sites for irrigation schemes development.
The district is an important producer of food crops, livestock, and fish in the region and as a result, several market settlements have developed where vigorous trading takes place. These markets offer producers locations to meet buyers and also allow them to buy agricultural inputs. Traders from Volta south, Accra, Koforidua and Kumasi throng the district foodstuff. Potential markets exist export of perfume rice produced in the district to the West African sub-region. Below is a table of some prominent markets:
MAJOR LOCAL MARKETS
|No.||MARKET CENTER||DAYS||PRODUCT SOLD|
|1||New Ayoma||5 days periodical||Food Crops|
|2||Ketsi Nkwanta||Tuesdays and Fridays||Food Crops|
Agricultural produce is a cart by vehicles, push trucks, bicycles or by head loads to these markets. Most of the leading produced like yam, groundnut, maize, gari, cassava chips (kokonte), plantain, banana, cocoyam, and cowpea attract middlemen from outside the district, mostly Accra, Ho, Hohoe, Aflao, and Koforidua. They buy from the markets and the farm gates and the items transported in big (mostly 10 tons) cargo trucks to urban areas outside the district.
RSSP (Rice Sector Support Project)
This is an ongoing project which seeks to develop lowlands in some districts in Ghana for intensive large scale rice production. The project’s objective is to enhance food security and increase farm family income. This project targets the development of over 1500 ha of lowland rice in the district.
NERICA RICE PROJECT
This project seeks to develop high yielding upland rice varieties for production by local farmers. The project’s objective is to enhance food security and increase farm family income. Demonstrations in varietal trials have produced over 50 ha of upland Nerica in Ghana with its success stories among participating farmer groups.
RTIMP (ROOT AND TUBER IMPROVEMENT AND MARKETING PROGRAMME)
The RTIMP national coordinating office is in Kumasi. The Jasikan East District is coordinated by Kumasi in Ashanti of Ghana. The project seeks to multiply and distribute improved high yielding cassava planting materials to farmers. However, the emphasis is to link up all actors in the value chain in other to establish an effective marketing system that would be beneficial to all the players. The RTIMP began in the Jasikan District the year 2008.
This is also an ongoing national project on cassava. This project seeks to promote the development and multiplication of cassava in the district
There are few NGO extension agencies are in the district. Significantly the extension service in the district has expanded considerably with the posting of some number MOFA staff as Agricultural Extension Agents (AEA) to the district. The current AEA number is 9. However, the AEA/Farmer ratio remains very low (about 1:5000).
MANUFACTURING AND PROCESSING:
Manufacturing is limited by the relatively small size of the domestic market. It is centered around carpentry, block making, blacksmithing, welding, masonry, dressmaking, a distillation of local drinks, oil extraction, soap making using local materials and cassava processing. The manufacturing industry continues to be underdeveloped and characterized by small-scale Agro-based processing set-up. Soaps, palm-oil, gari and cassava dough are the main products of the small scale agro-based processing. These are carried out by individuals and groups and the activity centers are – Guaman, Atakrom, Kute, New Ayoma, and Bodada.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY:
Buying and selling account for the major commercial activity of the district. The industrial and commercial sectors have also not seen any remarkable improvement over the last five years, due to the unfavorable economic conditions of the district and other external factors. The mineral resources: gold, diamond, jasper and shale deposit identified in the 1980s remain unexploited, perhaps because prospecting results have not proven that these exist in the quantities worth exploiting. For now, it looks like the mineral resources are only in traces, but not in commercial quantities.
Tourism is relatively less developed though the potential is immense.
The district is endowed with rich cultural diversity and festivals.
i. High potential exists for the cultivation of cash crops such as;
Oil palm, citrus, and spices including ginger
Rice (over 2500 ha of arable lowlands)
Sugarcane (over 3000 ha of potential lowland for sugarcane)
The establishment of a ginger-processing factory could support the cultivation of the crop
Establishment of Jatropha farms on the over one thousand hectares stretch of land.
ii. The surrounding forests and environment can greatly support beekeeping, which is fast catching up in the district. Beekeeping could also be supported shortly by the establishment of honey and wax processing industries.
iii. The establishment of an industrial starch-producing factory to support the extensive cultivation of cassava in most parts of the district.
iv. The abandoned structures and site at the former Akaa cocoa station is an adequate potential site for oil palm nursery and plantation.
v. Forest development for an income-generating activity in the district, leading to the production of lumber, fuelwood, eco-tourism sites, etc.
vi. The availability of fruit trees (especially mango plantation)
at various locations in the district could support micro-fruit processing industries.
Fish culture in the district is virtually non-existent. The fishery sector in the district is non-existing since most natural water bodies do not hold that much for harvesting. Investment in cultured fisheries, especially, the dugout production systems holds the potentials for a very profitable business.
Jasikan District has enormous potential for agro-processing industries, both in the animal and crop sectors, but currently, this activity is limited to the subsistence level with very little improved technology utilization.
There are few rice mills in the district and there is the need for investment in the establishment of a Cassava Processing Factory or facility to process raw cassava into the following products should be a very profitable business:
i. Starch for industrial use
iii. Tapioca and biscuits
iv. Animal feed – for livestock and poultry.