GEOGRAPHY Form 2 Topic 2

AGRICULTURE
Agriculture refers to a fundamental human activity involving cultivation of crops and domestication of animals (livestock husbandry). It is categorised as a primary activity since it involves the production of raw materials that can be used by other industries.
Agriculture is the practice of cultivating land, growing crops and rearing animals. Originally, agriculture was considered to involve cultivation of crops only. In modern times, it has expanded to include rearing of animals, poultry keeping andfish farming . Even activities like storage, processing and marketing of agricultural produce are also regarded as part of agriculture. There are two types of agriculture: small-scale agriculture and large-scale agriculture.
Small-scale agriculture is the type of agriculture that is practiced on relatively small plots of land that usually does not exceed four hectors. Small-scale agriculture is practiced for both subsistence and commercial purposes.
Characteristics of Small Scale Agriculture at Subsistence Level:
Explain the characteristics of small-scale agriculture at subsistence level
There are two levels in which small scale farmers can operate, commercial and subsistence level. When farmers produce with a basic focus on selling, this is typical commercial level but when they operate farms to feed their families and provide their needs, it is farming for subsistence level. The following are specific features of small scale agriculture at subsistence level;
  1. Labor force. Mostly agriculture at subsistence level involves the use of members of the families; they do not hire extra labor force outside.
  2. Mainly traditional. This has the implication on the use of simple tools like hoes, animals, pangas to cultivate and few cases they use animals. It goes further to the use of seeds from the previous harvest.
  3. Ways to improve fertility. There are varieties of ways to improve the fertility such as the use of organic manure from animals such as goats, cows and sheep, mulching (covering the top soil with dead crops and animal remains to retain moisture), various farming techniques like use of crop rotation.
  4. Many crops are grown at once. You can find the farm with mixed crops such as beans, maize, sunflower and some watermelon.
  5. Very little or no surplus. This is because; the major motive of subsistence agriculture is consumption.
  6. Size of the land. The land cultivated for subsistence farming is always small; this is the result of increasing in number of people occupying an area.
  7. Little or no use of technology inform of seeds, manure and tools.
  8. Mainly food crops. The common are maize (African staple food), millet, sunflower, fruits and vegetables.
The Effects of Rapid Population Growth on Small Scale Agriculture
Explain the effects of rapid population growth on small scale agriculture
Continuous increase in the number of people is a serious problem facing small scale agriculture because: it reduce the average size of land, results to over exploitation which lead to reduced soil fertility. In the other side increasing population has increased amount of labour force in agriculture.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Scale Agriculture
Describe advantages and disadvantages of small-scale agriculture
ADVANTAGES OF SMALL SCALE AGRICULTURE
Although small scale agriculture is very powerful to reduce poverty levels, in many cases it has been given less priority. The following are some of the merits of small scale agriculture.
  • Varieties of crops are grown on a small piece of land. This is very helpful because, crops such as beans are used to retain soil fertility and members of family eat healthy and natural balanced diet.
  • Reduction of costs. Because small scale agriculture uses family members, there is no big burden in the production cost. With regard to the use of small tools such as hoes and seeds from previous harvest, it makes the production input cheaper.
  • Growth of trade. Small scale farmers can sell their little surplus to gain money, it promote the supply and demand chain. Example, you can find many rice markets at Ifakara district in Morogoro region during the harvesting season.
  • Care for the crops. I.e the small farms are easy to manage closely. It becomes very easy to trace the development of crops and to control pests.
  • Environmental conservation. There is little or no use of chemicals like inorganic fertilizers; this makes it possible to conserve the quality of the soil.
  • If it will be improved, small scale agriculture will reduce poverty and reduce number of people fleeing to urban areas (rural-urban migration).
DISADVANTAGES OF SMALL SCALE AGRICULTURE
  • It is rain feed agriculture. Farmers depend on favorable weather condition, they do not focus on irrigation and when the rain fail or during the period of heavy storms, it is great loss and people will suffer from hunger.
  • Small harvest caused by poor techniques, poor seeds and small area.
  • Pest and diseases destroy crops. There is little use of pesticides, when pests attacks the small areas, the impacts will be huge loss and hunger.
  • The intensive use of small farms will make them infertile in the long term.
  • Due to its small size, it is makes it very hard and expensive to use machines.
 
   Large Scale Agriculture
Large- scale agriculture is the farming system which takes place on a large area. Examples of plantation agriculture include sisal plantation in Morogoro and Tanga –Tanzania, Tea plantation in Kericho – Kenya, Rubber plantations in Liberia, Ranching in Australia, Argentina and USA for sheep farming, Kongwa-Tanzania for beef farming and sheep ranches in South Africa. The types of systems of large-scale agriculture in the world are categorised according to land use intensity as follows:
1. Intensive Farming
Name types of large-scale agriculture in the world
This is the system of agriculture in which large amount of capital and labour are applied to a small piece of land including the use of scientific methods of production so as to get high production. Horticulture is a good example.
2. Extensive Farming
This system takes place where a large area of land is worked by a small labour force. This usually requires the use of modern machines. It takes advantage of economies of scale that produce highly on a large area using low labour costs. For example tea, sheep farming and coffee. The following are the characteristics of large-scale agriculture:
  1. It takes place on a large area and the farms are large for example plantations and ranches.
  2. It involves the use of modern farming equipment like machines.
  3. The farmers are skilled.
  4. It needs a lot of capital for investing.
  5. It needs cheap and efficient transport system from the farms to the market.
  6. Production is mostly for commercial purposes.
  7. It is monoculture in nature.
  8. It involves the use of chemicals.
  9. Production is high.
Major Crops Grown in Each Type of Large Scale Agriculture
List the major crops grown in each type of large-scale agriculture
Large scale agricultural production is done mainly for commercial purposes. However, in intensive farming where the population is high, food crops are grown together with cash crops. Crops which are grown in large scale include tea, coffee, cocoa, bananas, sisal, sugarcane, grain and rubber. Large scale cultivation is very common in Asia, Africa and America.
Characteristics of Large Scale Agriculture
Describe characteristics of large-scale agriculture
Large scale agriculture is organized scientifically and involves the cultivation of large area about 100 to 400 hectares and above. Single type of crop is grown normal and due to higher cost of establishing and need for sophisticated technology, farms are owned by big companies and government. The cultivated large plots are called estates or plantations.
Requirements for Growth, Farm Preparation, Planning, Care, Harvesting, Processing, Storage and Transport
Describe the requirements for growth, farm, preparation, planning, care, harvesting, processing, storage and transport.
The following are the requirements for large-scale farming:
  1. There should be enough capital and reliable supply of skilled labour and unskilled labour.
  2. There should be a ready market where the produce can be sold and reliable transport for carrying the crops from the farm to the market and industries.
  3. There should be a large area which is almost a flat land or undulating surface for easy mechanisation, sparsely populated and efficient management.
  4. The climate should be conducive depending on the nature of the crop to be grown.
  5. There should be reliable storage facilities and efficient processing facilities.
Farm Preparation
Planting
Care Given to Crops
The following care must be given once crops are planted:
  1. Young plants should be shaded for four weeks.
  2. Mulching should be done in that newly established estate to avoid excessive soil water evaporation.
  3. Apply fertilisers containing nitrogen.
  4. There should be weeding and pruning.
Harvesting of Crops
Tea
Tea harvesting is done in the following ways:
  1. Tea leaves are ready for picking three years after planting. Usually it is after four years that is when one gets a very good harvest and harvesting goes on for 50 years.
  2. Plucking goes on throughout the year and the leaves are packed and sent to factories for processing.
Clove
Clove harvesting takes place just before the flowers open and the buds are picked by hand. This is done twice a year and harvesting on one clove tree can go on up to 50 years.
Coffee
Harvesting coffee may start three years after planting, a very good harvest can start after four or five years. Coffee-picking is done by hand by removing the ripe berry from the stalk. The harvesting interval is from 7 to 14 days.
Rubber
Harvesting of rubber is done through tapping; the trees are ready for tapping after about seven years. This long maturity time makes it difficult to invest a large amount of capital which is required to establish rubber plantations.
Major Producing Countries for Respective Crops in the World
Identify and locate major producing countries for respective crops in the world
Tea
Tea is grown in Tanzania mainly in Mbeya, Bukoba, Iringa, Kagera and Tanga regions.
Cotton
In Kenya, cotton is grown in Nyanza district while in Uganda cotton is grown in the Buganda District.
Sisal
In Tanzania sisal is mostly grown in Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Morogoro, Lindi and Mtwara regions. Mombasa, Thika, Murang’a, Machakos and Taita Taveta are areas where sisal is produced in Kenya.
Sugar Cane
Sugar cane is grown in small farms and in estates like Kilombero in Tanzania. Sugar cane is also widely grown in Kenya, America and Australia.
Cocoa
Cocoa is grown in central America, Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’ Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cameroon and East Indies.
Palm
Palm originated and is widely grown in West African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d‘Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Clove
Clove is grown in the West Indies, Tanzania Islands of Zanzibar and Mauritius.
Wheat
The wheat yields in the world are highest from countries of Western Europe. The following are leading producers of wheat: Russia, usa, China, India, Canada France, Turkey, Australia, Pakistani, German, Romania, Itary and Argentina.In East Africa, Kenya is the leading procedure of wheat followed by Tanzania.
Coffee
Coffee producing countries include Brazil, Mexico, Colombia,Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, India and Angola.
Rubber
Rubber is mainly produced in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri-Lanka, Nigeria, Liberia and Vietnam.
Contribution of Produced Crops to the Economy of USA and Tanzania
Describe contribution of produced crops to the economy of USA and Tanzania
The following are the major contributions of produced crops to the economy of USA and Tanzania:
  1. It has stimulated the development of industries. Cash crops provide raw materials for processing and manufacturing industries for example Mbeyatex in Tanzania.
  2. It has led to the creation of employment opportunities in the country.
  3. It has contributed to the generation of government revenue in the country and capital development.
  4. It has stimulated external trade and international relations.
  5. It has contributed to the development of transport and communication systems.
  6. Encourages the improvement of living standard of the people in the country.
Explain Problems Facing Large Scale Agriculture (Tanzania and USA Case Study)
Drawing example from Tanzania and USA explain problems facing large scale agriculture
The following are the problems facing large- scale agriculture in Tanzania:
  1. Low capital for investment.
  2. Land is becoming smaller and smaller due to the increase in population and land degradation
  3. There are frequent tribal conflicts like those in Mara and Morogoro between the Maasai pastoralists and non-Maasai agriculturalists.
  4. There is poor support from the Government.
  5. Climatic problems like drought and too much rainfall that cause price fluctuation and especially low prices discourage the farmers.
  6. Rural-urban migration lead to the problem of labour supply.
  7. Mismanagement of funds set for agriculture as well as poor pro-agricultural policies.


Livestock farming refers to the rearing of animals and birds such as goats, cattle, sheep and poultry. Livestock farming is segmented into traditional or subsistence livestock farming and modern or commercial livestock keeping.
How Pastoralism, Sedentary and Commercial Livestock Keeping are Practised
Describe how pastoralism, sedentary and commercial livestock keeping are practiced
TRADITIONAL LIVESTOCK KEEPING
1. Traditional Livestock Keeping
Traditional livestock keeping is also known as nomadic herding. This is livestock farming where the livestock are let out in search of pasture and water. A person who moves from place to place in search of pasture and water is called a nomad. The system is extensive and subsistence in nature as farmers keep animals for food and not for sale.
Example 1
Places where nomadic pastoralism takes place
Fulani tribe in West Africa. Also the Sukuma and Maasai in East Africa who sometimes move between Kenya and Tanzania.
Characteristics of nomadic pastoralism
Below are the main characteristics of nomadic pastoralism:
  • The cattle are kept for prestige and traditions such as paying bride price.
  • The breeding process is controlled and depends on the local breeds.
  • The herds of animals are large in size.
  • Diseases are common because of poor care given to animals.
  • It is not expensive as the production does not involve investment of large capital.
  • There is no permanent settlement as farmers move constantly with their animals.
  • Many animals are grazed on the same field.
2. Semi-nomadic or Semi-sedentary Pastoralism
Semi-nomadic pastoralism is a system whereby a livestock farmer starts settling and begins growing crops like maize, millet and sorghum (apart from keeping animals). A livestock farmer can also use some cattle dung as manure for plant growth. Example: The Sukuma of Tanzania and the Karamajong of Northern Uganda.
3. Sedentary Pastoralism
Sedentary livestock keeping is the system by which a livestock farmer keeps animals while settled permanently in one place. He does not move from place to place.
Characteristics of Sedentary Pastoralism
Below are the characteristics of sedentary pastoralism:
  • The method uses more advanced technology than nomadic technology.
  • The number of animals is not so high but provides high yield.
  • The animals are kept in sheds, can feed using fodder as zero grazing.
  • There is diseases control since the number of animals is very low and modern methods are applied in the controlling of diseases.
  • The system can take place where is high population like in towns and villages for example on the slopes of Kilimanjaro among the Chagga.
COMMERCIAL LIVESTOCK KEEPING
This is a system of keeping animals and birds for sale. It can be intensive or extensive. Examples of commercial livestock farming are beef farming on ranches and dairy farming.
Extensive Commercial Livestock Farming
This is a livestock keeping system that takes place on large scale. It involves keeping a large number of animals on a large stretch of land called a ranch. Animals kept in a ranch are usually cattle for beef (beef farming), sheep for wool, mutton/goats for meat and milk production and pigs for pork. Examples of ranches include beef farming in the pampas of Argentina, USA and Kenya; sheep ranching in Australia and South Africa. Tanzania ranches include Kongwa in Dodoma, Kalambo in Rukwa, Mzeri in Kagera, West Kilimanjaro, Dakawa in Morogoro, Mkwaja and Uvinza in Kigoma etc.
Characteristics of Ranches
The following are characteristics of a ranch:
  • They are usually established on a large area and they are scientifically managed due to use of high technology.
  • There is little or no migration due to permanent and reliable food.
  • Animals are kept in large numbers and production is for sale.
  • They involve high capital investment in relation to the labour required.
  • Usually the type of animals kept are aimed at one type of produce.
The Benefits and Constraints of Livestock Keeping Practices
Explain the benefits and constraints of livestock keeping practices
Livestock keeping is very important because it provide food, lead to growth of industries, ranching is done in the land which is not conducive for agriculture which make use of unproductive land and it raise income as individual and as well a nation. However the practice face limitations such as inadequacy capital, pests and diseases and low yield breeds which are not adopted to climatic changes.
Comparison of Livestock Keeping between Australia and Tanzania
Compare livestock keeping between Australia and Tanzania
LIVESTOCK KEEPING IN AUSTRALIA
The Australian continent is found in the Southern part of Africa and the Northern part of Antarctica. The continent is famously known as the founder of sheep farming in the world. Sheep are kept for wool or meat. The sheep kept for wool require dry and cool conditions. The sheep kept for meat need wet conditions which encourage a great supply of pasture. Sheep also produce products like skin and milk. Australia has a sheep population of over 135 million. The sheep farms are very large. A single farm can have up to 50,000 sheep. Australia is the world’s leading wool producer.
Factors that led to the Development of Sheep Farming in Australia
Factors that led to the development of sheep farming in Australia
  • The use of advanced technology like the use of refrigerators
  • Availability of pasture supporting large-scale sheep farming as it assures reliable supply of pasture
  • Good climate providing reliable rainfall
  • Good soil that supports the growth of grass
  • Reliable water availability due to precipitation
  • Ready market for selling sheep products
  • Good agricultural policies
  • Availability of capital
LIVESTOCK KEEPING IN TANZANIA
Livestock production is one of the major agricultural activities in Tanzania. This contributes to the natural food supply, converts arable land resources into products suitable for human consumption. Tanzania’s Government provides about 30 per cent of the agricultural commercial ranching in Tanzania, which accounts for about 2% of the total cattle herd. The national ranching company is responsible for managing all ranches in the country. Most of the livestock products are for domestic market. This sub-sector needs to be developed particularly in the dairy farming and its products, meat processing to meet the domestic demands and for export market opportunities.
Advantages of Livestock Keeping
Mentioned below are the general advantages of livestock keeping
  1. Livestock keeping can provide manure that is used in gardens and farms.
  2. Livestock keeping increases the living standard of people due to fast economic growth from animal products.
  3. It ensures the availability of food especially when the animals are so many, example nomadic pastoralism.
  4. Sedentary livestock keeping encourages environmental conservation as the animals do not move from one place to another.
  5. It facilitates the development of transport and communication systems, example farming in Argentina.
Disadvantages of livestock keeping
Disadvantages of livestock keeping include:
  1. Livestock keeping can lead to soil erosion due to movements from place to place for finding pasture and water. Example: nomadic pastoralism
  2. Farmers do not settle for cultivation but move place to place with their animals for finding pasture and water in semi-nomadic pastoralism
  3. Expensive in establishing ranches and capital for establishing and maintaining the project
  4. Acceleration of deforestation as most ranches result from clearing forestry in order to be established
  5. Livestock lead to environmental pollution example the decomposition of dungs leads to the emission of methane gas that pollute the air
Conclusion
Livestock keeping in Tanzania has many benefits; it leads to employment, provision of food and other animal resources like skin and dairy products. So the government must provide capital and support to livestock keeping in order to promote development of the nation.
Livestock Keeping as Practiced in Different Communities in Tanzania
Describe livestock keeping as practiced in different communities in Tanzania
Livestock keeping is activity which is also carried by majority of Tanzanians. Animals which are kept includes cattle, goats, sheep, poultry, donkeys and horses.Livestock keeping in Tanzania is carried out more traditional. Pastoralism as done by Massai, Sukuma and Kwavi, sedentary livestock keeping among Chaggas and commercial llivestock keeping in highlands and dry areas of the country.

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