Physical And Natural Environment
The project is situated in the south-west of the Atwima Mponua district in the Ashanti region, Ghana. 146 km south-west of Kumasi. The district covers an area of approximately 894.15 square kilometers with Nyinahini as its capital. It lies between longitude 2o00’W and 2 o 32’W and latitude 6 o 32’N and 6 o 75’N. The District shares boundary with eight Districts, principally in the South with the Amansie West District, Ahafo Ano South to the north, Atwima Nwabiagya in the East and Bibiani – Anwhiaso – Bekwai District of the Western Region. Nyinahin, the capital is more in the west of the west of the District, about 70km from Kumasi. The district is the leading cocoa producer in the Ashanti region, the area produces over 5000 ton of cocoa per year. The adult farming population consists of about 2,000 people, the majority of them are between 30 to 45 years old. Their cocoa fields are on average 1.2 ha.
According to the Ghana Living Standard Survey, the district is one of the deprived districts in Ashanti region. The people have inadequate economic ventures and social amenities such as hospitals, schools, pipe born water and good extension support services in agriculture. The beneficiary communities (in total comprising about 870 square kilometres) are mainly agrarian. Some of the farmers in these communities have never witnessed the visit of any extension officer from the government extensions services.
Atwima Mponua District Map Like most areas that lie in the wet semi-equatorial forest zone in Ghana, the District is marked by double maxima rainfall seasons. The major rainfall period begins from March to July peaking in May. The average annual rainfall for the major season is about 170 centimeters – 185 centimeters per year. The minor rainfall period begins in August tapering off in November with an average minor annual rainfall of 100centimeters- 125 centimeters per year. December to February is dry, hot and dusty. Mean annual temperatures of 27oC in August and 31oC in March are recorded in the district. The climate in the District is ideal for the cultivation of cash and food crops as cocoa, cola, oil palm, maize, cocoyam, plantain, cassava, rice and all kind of vegetables.
Vegetation and Forest Resources
The vegetation is basically of the semi – deciduous type. The flora and fauna is diverse and composed of different species of both economic and ornamental tree species with varying heights and game and wildlife. Forest occurs along the major rivers and streams. There are three (3) forest reserves in the district stocked by such valuable timber species as wawa, sapele, esa, asafena etc. The reserves include the Asanayo, Gyemara, and Tano - Offin Forest Reserves. The vegetation of the District has been extensively disturbed by human activities depriving the District of valuable tree species and other forest products. There are however on-going programs to replant some of the degraded lands.
These soil types occur extensively in the District and are found around Beposo and Nyinahin occurring on gently undulating slopes (3 to 8 degree slopes) susceptible to from slight to moderate erosion when under cultivation. The problem can be overcome with soil management practices. Good for cocoa, coffee, cassava, cocoyam and plantain. The soils in the District are deep and can support a wide range of Crops; they are subject to erosion and leeching when exposed to the direct vagaries of the weather.