BRIEF PROFILE OF AGONA EAST DISTRICT ASSEMBLY
The Agona East District Assembly (AEDA) was carved out of the defunct Agona District Assembly in 2008 by Legislative Instrument 1921.
The District has an estimated population of 85,920 with female slightly dominating at an estimated population of 44,885 while male population was estimated at 41,035. With the district’s population of 85,920, that of the region is 2,201,863 representing 3.9% of the Central Region’s total population. The district has sex ratio of 91.4, i.e. for every 100 females there are 91 males. 56.7% of the population resides in rural localities.
The District has a youthful population of 41.2% below 15 years with only 6.0% elderly persons (60 years and older). The population density of the District is 159 persons per square kilometer. (Source: 2010 Population and Housing Census)
The vision of the Assembly is to; “enhance the human resource capacity of the people in the District for them to develop and improve their standard of living.
The District exists to; “ensure sustainable and qualitative improvement in the living conditions of the people, through the efficient mobilization and usage of resources, to support the development of the agricultural, health, education, trading and other sectors of the economy in collaboration with the communities, NGOs, Private and other Development Partners”.
Tourism plays a leading role in the socio-economic development of the country, but in the Agona East District, the situation is far from right. Tourism does not constitute any key development activity in the district economy. There are several potential tourist destinations both cultural and environmental in nature, which when developed could place the district on the tourism map of Ghana. These include;
- Winding Palm Tree at Konyako
- Ancient Caves at Obosomase and Obotomfo – Akuoo
- The 9 tributaries of River Ayensu at Mankrong
- Hospitality Industry at Oketsew, Duakwa
- Virgin Forest at Akuoko and Obosomase
- Wood Carving at Mensakrom and Gyasikrom
The District has many economic potential areas, both natural and man-made. The most spectacular is the presence of markets in most major towns to promote trade and commerce.
Granite for the production of quarry stone for all types of construction abound. Mining of sand occurs in several parts of the district, particularly, Asafo. Palm kernel oil is processed into local soap in several communities. Distillation of local gin is predominant in the Duakwa and Nsaba areas.
Agriculture is the major economic activity in Agona East District and engages 65% of the district’s population. The high soil fertility supports cultivation of treess and cash crops, food crops, vegetables and sugarcane. Tree crops such as cocoa, citrus, oil palm and cola are cultivated. Food crops like maize, cassava, cocoyam and vegetables are also cultivated.
Livestock sector is equally increasing, as an alternative livelihood programme in the district. It begun with 32 gilts in 2012, which were distributed to interested farmers (10 primary beneficiaries). The success of the project enabled the initiation of same in Upper Denkyira West District. The project has expanded to reach 55 secondary and 150 tertiary beneficiaries.
The use of hired farm labour is important during peak farming periods for land preparation. Some farmers use their own family for these tasks.
The district can boast of experienced agricultural officers who are highly qualifies to deliver free extension services to farmers to increase production.
A major determinant of crop productivity is the use of improved seeds and planting materials. Though the district has the tenacity to produce, there are very fewer farmers in the District who are into seed production.
Most of the farmers either reserve some of their produce to be used as seeds or travel to other Districts to purchase certified seeds. The area of seed production is a lucrative venture for investment opportunity in the District. Seeds such as maize, okra, garden eggs, and pepper can be produced and certified in the District. Farmers in the District and its environs could purchase from these certified seed growers to sustain their production.
STORAGE AND MARKETING
Storage is a very huge problem most farmers in the District are grappling with. This contributes to very high significant post-harvest losses, especially during the bumper seasons. Crops such as cassava, maize and plantains which are much produced in the District rots at these times.
The insufficient storage facilities provides an avenue for investors to construct storage facilities such as silos to store produces for farmers at a competitive prices. Investors can also go into marketing ventures by purchasing from farmers in a marketing scheme or cooperative ventures between the farmers and other city centres of the country.
AGRO – PROCESSING
The District has a very high potential for investors to invest in the processing of Cassava, maize, cocoyam, plantain, sweet potato, oil palm, citrus, sugar cane, pineapple, pawpaw etc. into various finished products such as Gari, cassava dough, tapioca, starch, flour, wine, juices etc. There are abundant row materials being produced by farmers in the District.
The District department of Agriculture is growing the row material bases through its continuous multiplication of improved planting materials and distributing freely to farmers to increase production.