OVERVIEW: AGRICULTURAL SECTOR IN THE ASHANTI REGION
|Weather||The region experiences double maxima rainfall in a year, with peaks in May/June and October. Mean annual rainfall is between 1100 mm and 1800 mm. The mean annual temperature ranges between 25.50C in the southern districts and 320C in the northern parts of the region. Humidity is high, averaging about 85% in the southern districts and 65% in the northern part of the region.|
|Drainage||The rivers are: Pra, Offin, Afram, and Oda. Lake Bosomtwe, a meteoritic lake of 47.68 sq km, measures about 10 km across at its widest point.|
|Vegetation||The southern districts are covered with moist semi-deciduous forest whilst the Guinea Savanna covers the northern part, consisting of short deciduous and fire-resistant trees. Riverine forests also occur along the Afram River and streams of the savanna zone.|
|Soils||Soils in the Ashanti Region are mainly of two types. Forest ochrosols are found in the southern districts whilst the savanna ochrosols are confined to the northern districts. The pH and nutrient status of the soils is shown in the table below.
|Land Use||Agricultural LandAgriculture is the dominant sector of the region’s economy and it is endowed with abundant arable lands that support the production of cash crops such as cocoa, coffee, oil palm, citrus, cashew, mango and food crops like cassava, plantain, rice, yam, cocoyam, maize and vegetables.
Ejura Sekyeredumase dominates in the production of maize, yam, groundnuts and cowpea. Asante Akim North produces plantains on a medium to large scale.
About 3,180 sq km representing 22.5% of Ghana’s forest reserves are in the region. About 2,340 sq km (65%) of this is being exploited whilst the remaining 1,240 sq km (32%) is protected.
The region’s economic tree varieties include Wawa, Odum, Sapele and others. Lumbering activities therefore take place in almost all the districts in the region.
|Farming Systems||Mixed cropping, mono-cropping and shifting cultivation (short fallow periods, usually less than 5 years, are practiced). Tree crops such as cocoa, oil palm, citrus and mango are grown as mono-crops in plantations. However, these plantation crops are inter-cropped with food crops during the early periods of establishment. About 77% of farmers have farms of less than 1.2 ha. Mechanized farming is practiced mainly in the Ejura Sekyedumasi, Mampong Municipality and other transitional zones.|
|Land Tenure System||Stool, family ownership, leasehold and sharecropping.|