Annexes SWOT analysis Maize and Cassava Western Ghana. 2007

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Ghana

Ghana is a small West African country. Paragraph § 1.1.1 discussed the geography of the country and § 1.1.2 will discus the tropical climate of Ghana.

Geography

The Republic of Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast) lays on the gulf of Guinea on the western coast of tropical Africa only a few degrees north of the Equator. Ghana extends for a maximum of 672 km from north to south and for 536km east to west. It is bordered to the west by Côte d’Ivoire, to the north by Burkina Faso, to the east by Togo and the south by the Atlantic Ocean. Ghana is not a large country by African standards; it has a total land area of 238.537kmE (Briggs, 2004).

Ghana is divided into ten administrative regions; Greater Accra, Eastern, Western, Central, Volta, Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Northern, Upper East & Upper West. English is the official national language, and it is widely spoken as a result of the country’s long links with Britain and an unusual high standard of education from colonial times to the present day. A total of at least 75 African languages and dialects are spoken in Ghana (Briggs, 2004).

Half of the country lies less than 152 meters (500 ft.) above sea level, and the highest point is 883 meters (2,900 ft.). The 537-kilometer (334-mi.) coastline is mostly a low, sandy shore backed by plains and scrub and intersected by several rivers and streams, most of which are navigable only by canoe. A tropical rain forest belt, broken by heavily forested hills and many streams and rivers, extends northward from the shore, near the Cote d'Ivoire frontier. This area, known as the 'Ashanti,' produces most of the country's cocoa, minerals, and timber. North of this belt, the country varies from 91 to 396 meters (300-1,300 ft.) above sea level and is covered by low bush, parklike savanna, and grassy plains (www.ghana.com).

The climate

The climate is tropical. The eastern coastal belt is warm and comparatively dry; the southwest corner, hot and humid; and the north, hot and dry. There are two distinct rainy seasons in the south-May-June and August-September; in the north, the rainy seasons tend to merge. A dry, northeasterly wind, the Harmattan, blows in January and February. Annual rainfall in the coastal zone averages 83 centimeters (33 inch.) (Briggs,
2004).

Maize

Maize is a cereal grain that was domesticated in Mesoamerica. In the United States, Canada and Australia it is called corn, but in other countries that term may refer to other cereal grains. Maize is on of the first crops for which genetically modified varieties make up a significant proportion of the total harvest.

While some maize varieties grow 7 m (23 ft) tall, commercial maize has bred for a highend height of 2,5 m (9 ft). Sweet corn is usually shorter than field corn varieties (wikipedia, 2006).

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