By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
TOPIC/ SUB-TOPIC OUTLINE
INTRODUCTION (8 LESSONS)
Definition of agriculture
Branches of agriculture
Crop-farming (Arable farming)
i) Field crops
- Floriculture (flower farming)
- Olericulture (vegetable farming)
- Pomoculture (fruit farming)
i) Pastoralism - mammalian livestock farming
ii) Fish farming (Aquaculture)
iii) Apiculture (Bee keeping)
iv) Poultry keeping
Systems of farming
• Large scale farming
• Small scale farming
Note: Study each of the above systems under:
Methods of farming
• Mixed farming
• Nomadic pastoralism
• Shifting cultivation
• Organic farming
Note: Learners should be reminded that any of the above methods can be subsistence or commercial
Roles of agriculture in the economy
• Food supply
• Source of employment
• Foreign exchange earner
• Source of raw materials for industries
• Provision of market for industrial goods
• Source of capital
Introduction to Agriculture
Definition of Agriculture
Agriculture is the science and art of cultivation of crops and rearing of livestock.
As a science, it involves experimentation and application of scientific knowledge in such areas as;
Branches of Agriculture
Crop Farming (Arable Farming)
The practice of growing crops on cultivated land.
It is subdivided into:
Field crops Cultivation:
Maize, beans, potatoes, coffee, tea, cotton to name but a few.
It involves the growing of perishable crops which have high value.
It is further subdivided into:
This branch deals with the rearing of livestock for various products.
It is further subdivided into:
It deals with the allocation of scarce resources (land, labour, capital and management) for agricultural production.
This branch of agriculture deals with the use and maintenance of farm tools, machinery and structures.
A farming system is the organization of the various enterprises in a farm.
It is determined by the following factors:
It is a system where a large piece of land with low investment of resources per unit area is carried out.
Advantages of extensive system
Disadvantages of extensive system
This system utilizes the factors of production to the maximum and involves high level of management.
Advantages of intensive farming
Disadvantages of intensive farming
Large Scale Farming
Refers to the farming practice under large areas of land over 20 hectares.
It is used mainly for commercial purposes.
The system is highly mechanized.
Advantages of large scale farming
Disadvantages of large scale farming
Small Scale Farming
Refers to farming carried out on a small area of land less than 5 hectares.
Family or casual labour can be engaged during the peak periods.
Most of the Kenyan farmers are small scale due to unavailability of farmland.
Advantages of small scale farming
Disadvantages of small scale farming
Methods of Farming
A method of farming is an established way of carrying out farming activities.
The following are the common methods of farming:
It is the practice of growing crops and keeping of livestock on the same land.
It’s common in high potential areas.
Advantages of mixed farming
Disadvantages of mixed farming
This is the practice of livestock rearing whereby animals are moved from one place to another in search of water and pastures.
It is practiced in the arid and semi-arid areas where in most cases beef animals are kept.
Nomadic pastoralism is gradually changing to ranching with the introduction of:
Advantages of nomadic-pastoralism
Disadvantages of nomadic-pastoralism
It is a traditional method of cultivating a piece of land until the soil is exhausted and crop yields decline.
The land is abandoned and the farmer shifts to a new field as the previous land is left fallow to regain its fertility.
Advantages of shift cultivation
Disadvantages of shift cultivation
It is a fanning method where crops are grown and livestock reared without the use of agrochemicals.
It is a method of farming which has been adopted to reduce the long term effect of the agro-chemicals on crops which may eventually end up in man and livestock.
Agro-chemicals are also expensive thus organic farming reduces the cost of production. Organically produced goods fetch high market prices.
Advantages of organic farming
Disadvantages of organic farming
This is the practice of integrating trees and crops on the same piece of land.
With land resources becoming scarcer, agroforestry is becoming more important.
Examples of common agroforestry trees and shrubs include:
Advantages of AGROFORESTRY
Disadvantages of Agro-Forestry
Importance of Agriculture to the Economy of Kenya
QUESTIONS ON TOPIC (INTRODUCTION TO AGRICULTURE)