Published on 2015-08-19
The Potential Analysis
Potentials are latent resources in the district, which are capable of promoting development in the district when tapped and used efficiently. The districts’ resource potentials were categorized into natural, human, institutional and infrastructure potentials. The derived potentials within each of these categories were further classified into first level and second levels, as shown in
For instance, within the natural resources, irrigation potentials can be derived from the vast arable land in the district and the availability of water resources. From the institutional potential realm, the capacity for local administration and governance can be derived from the existence of traditional authority and District Assembly. Besides, a vibrant local economy can be derived from a maximum use of road, electricity, telecommunication and water infrastructure in the district.
The economy of the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam District depends largely on agriculture, a few small-scale agro-based industries, trade and commerce, and to some extent, on its natural resources. Agriculture is the mainstay of the people, with 80 to 90% of the populace depending on it directly or indirectly. The cultivable land area is about 74,400 hectares and about half of it is actually under cultivation.
Basically, two forms of land tenure systems are practised in the district – the family land holding, which is favoured for cultivation of seasonal crops and the ‘abusa’ system employed generally for the long term cultivation of perennial crops.
Abusa means dividing the farm produce or crops into three parts with the one cultivating the land taking two parts and the landowner taking a third. Average farm size is rather small and ranges between 0.0324 and 0.0608 hectares. The main food crops grown are cassava, maize, plantain, yam and cocoyam.
In Enyan-Maim zone, vegetables are also grown extensively, while in the recent past, different types of beans and cow-peas have been introduced in the Ba zone. It is estimated that, average yield per hectare for maize is 637 kg, cocoyam, 445 kg, and plantain, 5.7 tons. Cash crops, mostly perennials such as cocoa, citrus and oil palm, are cultivated extensively in the district.
Cocoa cultivation is done mostly in the Sunkwa, Breman Essiam, Enyan Denyira and the Bisease zones. The cultivation of oil palm and citrus is done extensively and plays a significant role in the area and the cultivation of these crops is rising steadily. Generally, livestock production in the district is underveloped, which leaves plenty of room for private investment to be made in a profitable manner.
There are few commercial production activities, such as poultry, cattle or piggery farms. While output has been on the rise since 1992, the environment is ripe for enhancement of investment in this area. Industrial activity is restricted to agro-processing, which is done on large, medium and small-scale basis.
The Nkwantanum West Africa Fruit and Food Processing Company used to be the major large-scale processing unit. Private capital is welcome to reactivate it since it holds great potential if recapitalised, retooled, and operated in a properly efficient manner.
Medium scale processing is carried out by edible processing activities at Owane, Essaman, Ochiso and Kromain, while Ochiso also hosts local soap making. The successes recorded by these firms is an indication that, the presence of abundant raw materials and cheap labour provides an enabling environment for such activities to be carried out with heavy profit margins.
Being a forest area, timber is available in the district in large commercial quantities. Typical among these are the export types, including odum, wawa, emire and kyere. The forest is also the main source of fuelwood, which is the main energy source of households in the district.
The Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam District is also rich in minerals, although the sheer volume is not yet fully known since a complete geo-physical evaluation has not been done yet. So far, however, mica, kaolin and gold have been identified as being present in the district in commercial quantities.
Mica is available over an approximate 13 kilometre area from Ampia-Ajumako stretching to the west. Kaolin is also found behind Ochi, over another 13 kilometre stretch between Ampia-Ajumako and Kwanyarko. There is gold at Nkwanase in the Enyan-Maim zone. Finally, there is a stone quarry at Bedukrom in the Sunkwa zone.
Commercial mining has not taken off properly, and most mining activity is done by artisans. Those that are engaged in such ventures are rather causing damage to the environment by indiscriminate digging for mica and gold. Therefore the District Assembly welcomes well-organised investors willing to apply scientifically and environmentally friendly mining techniques to exploit the vast natural resources in the district.
Indeed, the District Assembly is fully committed to encouraging and assisting private investors, both local and foreign, to set up productive enterprises. The local government also recognises that social development is generally determined by the provision of the conventional infrastructure projects in education, health, water and sanitation, housing, employment and gender issues.
Adequate good road network and efficient transportation and communication systems are high on the District Assembly’s list of priorities in order to create the best possible enabling environment for private investors. Investors are assured of co-operation and assistance from the District Assembly.