1. O’ Level Study Notes All Subjects
  2. A’ Level Study Notes All Subjects
  3. Pats Papers


Economic activities are so varied.  The term industry is used to cover a wide range of economic activities, which may involve making, supplying or delivering goods and services of a number of people.

Types of Economic Activities (Industries)

Primary Industries (Activities)

The simplest form of industries concerned with extraction of raw materials to be supplied to the other industries.  Examples are Farming, Forestry, Fishing and Mining.

Secondary Industries (Activities)

These include both manufacturing and processing industries.  In this category the raw materials are assembled or manufactured into finished goods.  They are divided into two groups.

  1.   Heavy Industries

These are the industries, which produce heavy goods like metal goods, heavy chemical, locomotives and shipbuilding.

  1. Light Industries

These are the industries, which produce light goods, example are like Textiles, making of electrical equipment, plastic goods, cosmetics, electronic gadgets, and toilet articles.

They involve re-processing of the partially manufactured goods to make more complex products like watches, radios, computers, books, clothes etc.

(i)   Food processing, car assembly, manufacturing and building are secondary industries.

Tertiary Industries (Activities)

They are not a part of manufacturing at all but the industries whose jobs involve providing goods and services for the public.  Examples are transport, trade, tourism, and entertainment, catering (hotel services) medicine (doctors).

Quaternary Industries (Activities)

These include people who provide specialist information and expertise to all the above sectors i.e. primary industry, secondary and tertiary industries.  Example is research, design engineering (designers), and computer programming grown in summer in the region.  In the wheat zone cotton, maize, potatoes, sugar beet, soya beans, peanuts, flax and tobacco are also grown.  Nonetheless, Gargen vegetables are grown all over the country.

In the North and Northwest Grasslands Pastoral farming is dominant.  Sheep, goats, cattle, horses and camels are reared.  This area is too dry for arable farming since the amount of rainfall is usually below 500mm. In most parts of humid China, pigs and poultry are principal animals raised.

The Western Part

Is also too dry but there is farming around the oases (oases farming).


What is Agriculture?

Agriculture refers to a fundamental human activity, which involves cultivation of crops (arable farming) and domestication of animals (Livestock husbandry).  It is categorized as primary industry since it involves the production of raw material that can be used by other industries.


  1.   Food production for both people and animals.  For example in the Corn Belt in America most of the maize produced (about 70% of the total production) is fed to the animals in the farm and the rest is used for other purposes including food for human being.
  2. Provision of raw materials of production.  For example, cotton production is very important for the manufacturing of clothes in the textile industries. In Tanzania cotton is grown in Mwanza and other regions and has been a great dynamo to the development of textile industries in Tanzania like MwaTex, Friendship textile mill, MuTex, Mbeya Tex, Karibu Textile Mills in Dar es Salaam etc.
  3.   Employment creation for the population which is growing fast.  Some people are employed in the agricultural sector as laborers, managed etc.
  4.   Income generation for the government and individuals.  The country can get foreign currency by exporting some cash crops like tea and coffee.  Kenya for example exports tea to other countries like America, Tanzania etc where it is used for blending with other tea because of its high quality.
  5. Provision of clothing materials as a result of growing fiber crops like cotton etc, which are later, used in the textile industries for manufacturing clothes.
  6.   It helps man to live settled life in village rather than wandering from place to place in search of the basic life necessities.
  7. Generation of capital that can be invested in other sectors of the economy.


There are several factors which affect agricultural development and these are as follows.

  1. Climate: Climate influences agriculture through the impact of rainfall, temperature and wind.
  • Rainfall: Where there is adequate rainfall a variety of crops can be grown.  But where there is poor rainfall agriculture tends to have poor performance.  For example, in arid areas like desert, regions agriculture is usually poor due to lack of rainfall.  Rainfall also affects distribution of crops.  Crops, which need high rainfall like bananas, will be grown in areas that experience high rainfall like the coastal lands of east Africa and highland areas.  The crops that need slight rainfall (like cotton and wheat) will grow in the areas, which experience little (slight) rainfall.

Rainfall also can affect agricultural by causing destruction of crops and human settlement.  This happens when there are floods.  Floods are very common in Bangladesh and lowlands of China.  Apart from floods heavy rainfall can cause soil erosion leading to the reduction of arable land and other property.  These predicaments associated with climatic vagaries can lead to poor agricultural performance.

  • Temperature:  Temperature affects germination of the seeds, growth rate and length of the growing season as well as soil development.

In warm areas plant growth takes place very fast unlike in the areas where the temperatures are very low like the tundra regions and highlands.  Hence, moderate temperature like in Western parts of Europe encourages crop production and animal husbandry while where there temperature extremes (that is very high temperature or very low temperatures) agriculture tends to fail. If the area has very low temperatures the soils are frozen and hence lead to poor growth of crops and where the temperature is very high like in the tropical deserts the soils are very dry because of excessive evaporation hence discouraging plant growth and animal husbandry.

Microbial activities are also efficient where the temperature is high leading the high rate of organic decomposition and hence the addition of organic matter to the soil.

Optimum temperature for each crop encourages plant growth. Some crops need cool conditions and hence will be grow in areas which have cool conditions and hence will be grown in areas which have cool climate.  Other crops need high temperatures and hence will be grown in the areas that have high temperature.

  • Wind: Wind effects physical damage to crops especially when there are stormy winds like tornadoes, hurricanes etc.  It can also cause soil erosion especially where the surface is bare usually in the desert and semi desert areas.  Wind also accelerate evaporation and hence loss of water from the soil. However, wind also help in the pollination process and seed dispersal.
  1. Edaphic (Soil) factors

Soil also influences agriculture both positively and negatively.  Good soils, which are fertile and deep, encourage positive development of agriculture while poor soils, that is, infertile soils discourage agricultural development.

Soil also determines distribution of crops over space.  Crops which need acidic soils will grow in the areas which have acidic conditions while the crops which need slight alkalinity will grow in the areas which have alkaline soils like the halophytic plants which grow in the areas with saline soils.

  1. Topographic (Relief)

Nature of the relied affects agriculture either positively or negatively.  For example on steep slopes or hilly areas mechanization is difficult while where the area has gentle slopes or flat surface mechanization can be carried out easily. The prairies of Canada have been developed into extensive wheat cultivation because of the gently sloping undulating surface, which has allowed easy mechanization. The undulating surface also has made soil drainage take place very easily.

Flat areas facilitate transportation of crops from the forms to the storage or market places.  Mountainous areas pose problems of transportation. Altitudes influence the variation in temperatures such that high altitudes with very low temperatures limit agricultural activities. Low lands are prone to flooding; hence, they discourage the development due to being free of floods.

Aspect is another topographical factor.  The slopes, which receive more people sunshine and reliable rainfall are conducive the development of agricultural while the slopes which do not receive enough sunshine and experience rain-shadow effect (dryness) are not conducive for agricultural development.

  1. Economic Factors

Capital availability can influence agricultural development.  The places where people have high capital modern farming can easily take place due to investment in new and sophisticated agricultural facilities like tractors etc.  But where farmers have low or poor capital agricultural tends to be poor due to poor level of investment.

  1. Marketing system

Good marketing system encourages agricultural development while poor marketing system discourages development of agricultural. Price fluctuation in farm products is a big problem in the development of agriculture. Most farmers are discouraged due to the price fluctuation or low prices especially in the developing world. If prices are stable and are high, farmers can produce more and more so as to raise their living standards.

  1. Social Factors

a).  Divisions of  labor: In some societies most of the work in the farm is done by women and children.  This results in poor performance of agricultural activities.

b).  Tribal customs also affect the rearing of animals and growing of crops.  For example some tribes keep large number of animals for prestigious purposes while others for marriage purposes.  They do not keep them for sale in order to improve their family life standards.

c).  Religious beliefs affect much agricultural development. For example the Muslims do not keep pigs since they believe that pigs are not clean animals.

d).  Ownership and inheritance of land.  This encourages land fragmentation since the increase in the number of family members forces the family heads to divide the land into small plots.  Such land, which has been fragmented into small plots, cannot allow easy mechanization.
e) Transport and communication ( infrastructures)
f)Social services such as water, school, power, health services.

  1. Technological Factors

Where there is advanced technology, agriculture is also more advanced because of the use of the scientific methods. But where farmers have low level of technology due to low education agricultural performance is usually poor. This is caused by domination of traditional farming methods that employ simple tools and techniques.


  1. Biotic Factors

These include the influence of animals and plants on the agricultural development.  They can have both positive and negative effects as follows:-

a).   Some animals and birds destroy crops and cause great loss to the formers.  Other animals like lions attract livestock in the farms or in the grazing areas.  But animals can also facilitate pollination in plants and encourage production of fruits.

b).  Weeds also compete for food with crops leading to low production. Sometimes the weeds produce poisonous chemicals and end up killing the crops.

c).    There are some insects and fungi, which attack crops and lead to great destruction and losses in the farms. Sometimes insects help in the pollination process in plants.

  1. Demographic Factors

These are related to changes in population. The rapid expansion of population poses a problem of pressure for land leading to poor development of agricultural. Population pressure can cause land fragmentation and bring problems in applying mechanization in the farms, which are, after all, small in size. Sometimes due to the increase in population the farmlands are changed into settlement areas leading to the reduction of the size of the arable land.

Like wise, population expansion has brought the problem of high dependency ratio. This is due to the fact that the number of children and old people is greater that the young and energetic people.  This has negative impacts on agriculture since children and old people are not effective or efficient in the production process.

Population is also very migratory. There is high movement from rural to urban areas. The rural areas are left unattended because of lack of labor after the flow of the young people to the urban centers has taken place. This is a big problem in the Least Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs) and is indeed of grave concern to all the governments and their people. It is a problem that needs being addressed since it is ‘time bomb’ that has fatal effects to the society.

  1. Political Factors

Where there are clear policies on agriculture associated with strong support by the government, agriculture develops very fast unlike where there are poor policies and weak support from the government.  In European counties agriculture has developed positively in many areas due to the government involvement as well as formulation of clear agricultural policies. Likewise, the success in tea production in Kenya has been due to the strong support by the government.

When the government is not serious even farmers are discouraged since they cannot get a well – coordinated marketing system especially when it comes to exporting the cash crops.


Farming is a considered as a system because it has inputs, Processes and Outputs.


The components, which go into a system and these, include both physical and human inputs.  Physical inputs are like soil and climate (Rainfall and sunshine). Human inputs include fuel, chemicals, capital, experts, advice, technology, buildings, stock(cattle) and outside influences like grants.

These are the activities that take place in the farm so as to bring about products.  They involve activities like clearing the land, cultivation, sowing, applying fertilizers, weeding, spraying, thinning, pruning, harvesting, processing, packing artificial insemination, milking feeding the animals irrigation etc.  They are done in the farm.


These are the products of the system.  They include animal products like milk, hide, wool, fur, mohair, feathers, butter, meat, cheese etc.  And crops like eye, barley, maize, rice, oats, potatoes, sugar meet, apples, Guavas, etc. The output can be either stored for human consumption or sent to the market to be sold for profit. The profit gives the farmer feedback in terms of the nature of the farming activity.  The profit can be reinvested in a more advanced agriculture, but all depend on the farmer’s decision


Include profit new information and technology etc.  These can be reinvested into a farming system for further production.


Agriculture (Farming) can be classified according to a number of characteristics as follows:-

  1. According to Specialization

In this category there are systems like Arable farming which involves crop production; Pastoral farming which involves livestock keeping and mixed farming which involves both crop production and animal farming.


  1. According to Land Use Intensity:-

This includes systems like:

  1. Intensive Farming

In which large amount of capital and or labor are applied to the small piece of land including the use of scientific methods of production so as to get high production.  Horticulture is a good example.

  1. Extensive Farming

This system takes place where large areas of land are worked by small labor force. This usually requires the use of modern machines. It takes advantage of economies of scale that producing highly on a large area using low labor costs.

iii. According to Economic Level and Purpose:

This category includes systems like;

-Commercial farming where production systems is intended for sale.


-Subsistence farming in which the produce is basically for food in the family.

Legal and social accountability tools in agricultural investments ...

  1. According to Nature of Land Tenure

Under this category farming systems can be identified as:-

  1. Nomadic Farming

This is whereby people move from place to place in search of pasture and water supplies. In this system there can be included shifting cultivation (Migratory agriculture) and transhumance.  Transhumance is a seasonal movement of people with their animals in search of pasture and water.  In differs from nomadic farming in that there is permanent settlement. Nomads are the people keep on wandering from place to place in search of their basic needs for sustaining their life.  In Africa nomads are like Fulani of West Africa and the Maasai of East Africa.


  1. Semi – nomadic Farming (Semi – sedentary)

Is an intermediate farming system between sedentary and nomadic farming in which a farmer has started to settle and does not move for long distance.  A farmer now practices mixed farming where livestock farming and crop production are carried out.

  1. Sedentary Farming

Is the farming system, in which farmer does not move and has established a permanent settlement.  The farmer grows crop and keeps animals.  Cash crops are also grown for obtaining other necessary materials whose availability will need cash

  1. According to Methods of Production
  2. Shifting Cultivation (Slash and Burn)

This is a system which involves the cultivation of a farm till the soil gets exhausted then a  peasant moves to a new piece of land, clears it and cultivates.  In this case a peasant does not expect to return to the original land.

Rotational Bush Following

It is the system of farming in which a piece of land is cultivated such that on getting exhausted the farm is left idle to regain its fertility.  When the farm remains idle the forest or grass occupies the land to allow restoration of fertility in the soil.  Meanwhile a farmer cultivates another piece of land but expects to return to the former land when the current land is exhausted and the former land is replenished (regains its fertility).

Factory Farming

The system practiced where the livestock are kept inside small units to produce high outputs at competitive prices.

Plantation Agriculture

This is a system in which farming take place on a large area (large estate) characterized with a high level of organization, administration and technology (Mechanization).  Normally one type of crop is grown Plantations are basically monoculture in nature.

Analysis of Farming Systems

Farming systems are numerous but they can be categorized into arable farming systems are pastoral farming systems.

Arable Farming Systems

There are various arable farming systems and this range from traditional to modern arable farming systems.  They include, Extensive subsistence farming systems.


Shifting cultivation is a system in which a peasant keeps on shifting from one area to another as result of soil exhaustion. In this aspect a peasant cultivates certain piece of land until the soil is exhausted then shifts to a new piece of land where he clears and cultivates.  It is common in Africa, Tropical and Central America and South East Asia.

Farming is on self, sufficient basis in terms of food production.  It is also called migratory or slashes and burn farming.  Shifting cultivation has been given different names in different places; Milpa in Central America, Roca in Venezuela , Masole in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Shena in Sri – Lanka, Chitemene in Zambia and Ladang in Malaysia.

Characteristics of shifting cultivation.

  1.   Sites are selected in the virgin forest and therefore tend to be fertile.
  2.   Simple tools are used like hand hoes because of low technology.
  3.   It involves slash and burn of the bushes and grass so as to be able to cultivate using simple tools.
  4. Few crops are grown most of them being starchy crops and no animal keeping.
  5. It is practiced where there is low population for easy shifting.
  6.   It is practiced do not have permanent settlement since they expect to move any time.
  7. The land is owned communally such that no one claims possession of certain piece of land.
  8. It is associated with low production and low level of economy with little chance for improvement.
  1.  Production is for subsistence use since there is no surplus for sale.
  2. Cultivated areas are usually scattered and small in size. This can bring problems of organization or management.


  1. The system is not costly since simple tools are used in the production process.
  2. A farmer is assured of fertile soil due to the clearing of the virgin forest.
  3. Food supply is assured since the family cultivates on self- sufficiency basis.
  4. Family labor is used in the production process.  This contributes to cheapness of the system.
  5. Ashes add fertility to soil.
  6. Inter cropping ensures the supply of a variety of crops though the yield is usually poor.


  1. There is low yield and hence no surplus for sale leading to low life standard or poverty.
  2. Poor land use encourages deforestation and soil erosion.
  3.   Poor diet since most of the crops are starchy and animal farming is discouraged.
  4. The system cannot apply where there is high population.
  5. The use of fire kills micro-organisms in the soil.

6.Scattered nature of farms and their small size pose problems of organization and mechanization.

Decline in Shifting Cultivation

Shifting cultivation began declining as a result of the increase in population, advancement in technology, engagement in other economic activities and the influence of the government policies, which insists on stopping shifting cultivation, and embark on intensified sedentary agricultural activities.


Is the system of farming in which peasants cultivate a certain piece of land till it gets exhausted and then leaves it for a certain period to regain its fertility.  It differs from shifting cultivation in that the farmer is settled and hence the farms are rotates rather than crops.  It is therefore a simple form of sedentary farming.

The following period can range from 2 to three years depending on the density of population of the areas.

This system takes place after shifting cultivation fails to perform well due to the increase in population.  As population increases a farmer is restricted to smaller area and hence is forced to settle and produce with more advanced technology.

Characteristics of Rotational Bush Fallowing

  1. Farmers are settled but the farms are the ones, which are rotated (Cultivated rotation or in turns).
  2. Simple tools are also used though slightly more advanced than in shifting cultivation.
  1. There is also the use of slash and burn methods due to low technology.
  2.   The communities can engage themselves into other activities like fishing and hunting.
  3. It uses the technology, which is more advanced than shifting cultivation.


  1. Since people are settled they engage fully and effectively in the production process.  There is no time wastage as it is shifting cultivation.
  2.   Slash and burn involved in the farm preparation adds fertility to the soil especially nitrogen.
  3.   Fallowing involves gives room for the improvement of soil terms of fertility and encourage the recovery of vegetation, which was disappearing.
  4. It takes place where there is high population unlike shifting cultivation.
  5.   Because of being settled the farmers can engage themselves into other activities like fishing, hunting so as to get a variety of food products and other necessary materials.


  1. There is low production because of the use of low technology and simple tools.
  2. Slash and burn can lead to environmental degradation as well as loss of biodiversity.
  3. There is poor trade among the communities due to lack of surplus.

Intensive Subsistence Farming System

Is a system that involves cultivating on a small area using advanced technology to get high yield.  This system takes place where there is high population and where there are possibilities of using animals or chemical manure to maintain fertility.

A farmer does not only produce food crops but also cash crops.  The system is best developed in and practically confined to the monsoon lands of Asia (China, Japan, Korea, India, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka etc).

Crops grow include Wet paddy, Sorghum, Soya Beans, Maize, Sugar cane and vegetables. The farmers can carry out barter trade because of surplus production.  Manual labor is used intensively.

Reasons for Changes in Agriculture from Extensive Subsistence Systems to Intensive Subsistence Systems

  1. The changes from extensive subsistence systems to intensive subsistence systems have been caused by the following factors.
  2.   Decrease in the size of the arable land due to the increase in population.
  3.   Advancement in technology enabled people to produce highly on small areas.

4.Insistence from the government on encouraging people to live a settled life rather than a nomadic life.  The governments also like leaving some areas for forest conservation.

5.Growth of trade has made agriculture change from subsistence to commercial farming following the need to raise the standard of living among the people.

Shifting cultivation is threatened by other activities like timber and ranching projects who are invading the arable land, Extensive commercial arable farming systems.


It is a specialized commercial cultivation of cash crops on a large area.  Plantations are sometimes called ESTATES. They are common in many parts or Asia, Africa and tropical and sub-tropical America. Initially they were managed by the people from the colonizing countries, but recently the many governments of different respective countries have taken control.  Main crops include tea, coffee, cocoa, palm oil, banana, rubber, sugar cane and sisal.


  1. Farms are highly organized and scientifically managed.
  2. It is monoculture (involve growing of one type of crop)
  3. The farms are large and which can be 100 to 400 hectares and above.
  4. It needs large labor supply.
  5. There is the use of advanced technology (mechanization) for example there are processing factories like decorticators and coffee pulpers as well as hulleries.
  6. The farms can be owned by the government or companies.
  7. Plantation agriculture is capital intensive in the sense that it needs high capital to establish.


  1. The quality of crops and yield is high (Surplus is produced).
  2. Diseases and pests are controlled to keep damage at minimum and raise output.
  3. It is efficient due to the use of machinery.
  4. There is effective use of land.
  5. There is steady supply of crops for the market.
  6. It provides employment
  7. It is also provides housing facilities, schools and health care.
  8. The people around get new technology in agriculture.
  9. Plantations encourage industrial development.
  10. Stimulate the development of infrastructure and communication system.
  11. Contributes to the generation of government revenue.
  12. Promotes the living standard of the people.
  13. It makes the country well known worldwide.

Disadvantages of Plantations

  1. It is mono cultural and this leads to soil degradation.
  2. Large areas are cleared encouraging desertification.
  3. Most crops grown are sent overseas.
  4. The formers concentrate on cash crop production rather than food production.
  5. Local people are often exploited.
  6. It encourages labor immigration leading to social problems.
  7. They suffer price fluctuation in the world market.
  8. They suffer high capital for investment and hence they are expensive to establish.
  9. Mechanization can lead to unemployment since machines start doing what could be done by several people especially cultivation and harvesting using the combine harvesters.10.  Plantations can also lead to unevenness in the level of development within a country.  The areas around plantations develop faster than areas far away from the plantations.

Limitations of Development of Plantations in the Developing Countries:

  1. Low capital for investment and they are expensive to establish, hence poor countries suffer.
  2. Land is becoming smaller and smaller due to population exploitation.
  3. Mismanagement of fund by the government as well as poor agricultural policies.
  4. Poor transport and communication is another hindering factor.  There are poor reads and transport facilities posing problems in the distribution of farm inputs and products.
  5. Frequent civil wars such as in Rwanda, Burundi and Nigeria discourage this type of agriculture.
  6. Climate vagaries like drought, too much rain fall, frost action especially in the margins of subtropical areas and destructive stormy winds discourage the development of plantation agriculture.
  7. Frequent fires destroy crops. This is a common problem in tropical regions.
  8. Price fluctuation in world market.
  9. There is rapid growth of population which leads to pressure for land and land fragmentation.
  10. Low technology among the people is another hindrance for the development of plantation agriculture in the developing countries.
  11. Some areas like the Congo basin have dense and impenetrable forests.  Therefore, people are automatically discouraged to waste time clearing these areas for plantation agriculture.
  12. Rapid deterioration of soils especially in the tropical and equatorial areas due to leaching.
  13. Prevalence of diseases and pests that attack crops discourage farmers.




  1. Temperature should be over 250 C (Warm temperature) it needs an annual rainfall of 800-1000mm. Rainfall should be concentrated during the early growing season.  The picking season should be dry.
  2. The soil should be fertile and well drained, e.g. black cotton soils of Sukuma, locally known as ‘IBYSHI’.
  3. It needs abundant labor during the picking season.


  1. It is grown on small of the size between 2 to 4 hectares.
  2.   The cultivation process largely done by hand although in some areas the farms are larger and ox- ploughs or tractors may be used.
  3. Cotton is planted either in ridges or on flat hand.
  4. Most picking is done by hand.


  1. In Tanzania:  Mwanza, Bukoba, Musoma, Tabora, Shinyanga, Kigoma, Tanga.
  2. In Kenya, cotton is grown in Nyanza District.
  3. In Uganda cotton is grown in Buganga District.


1.After picking, cotton is sorted by hand and then graded, into AR = the best grade, uncontaminated. BR = Cotton (Left overs)

2.Then the farmer sells cotton.  Cotton is then transported to the ginnery where seeds are separated from the lint and the lint is compressed into bales of 182kg.  Then the lint is sold for being used in industries.

3.Cotton in Tanzania led to the development of industries like the Urafiki textile Mill, SunguraTex, MwaTex, KilTex, (Arusha), MbeyaTex, and MuTex in Musoma.

By Products

Seeds are crushed and squeezed to produce oil, Margarine.

Problems Facing Cotton production in Tanzania

  1. Unreliable rainfall.
  2. Loss due to disease and insect pests that attack crops in the farms.
  3.   Decline in fertility that leads to the fall in yields.
  4.   Poor transport and communication.




Tea grows best under the following conditions:

  1. Relatively cool temperature of about 100â‚’c
  2.   Rainfall from 1000 to 1300mm hence is confined to altitudes 1500 to 2000m.
  3.   It needs a sloping land.
  4. Well drained soils which are slightly acidic, deep and fertile
  5. Much cheap labor especially during the picking period.

Growing Areas are:

Usambara, Iringa, Mbeya in  (Tanzania), Kenya highlands especially Kericho, the slopes of Ruwenzori in Uganda, Also in Malawi, India, Sri Lanka, Java, China and Japan

Preparation and Planting

Tea can be propagated by seed or vegetatively by cutting or budding.  Young plants are transplanted at the beginning of the rains.  Transplanting is done at a spacing of 120cm x 75cm.

Care Given to Crops

  1. Young plants should be shaded for few weeks.

2.Mulching should be done in that newly established tea estate to prevent excessive evaporation.

  1.   Apply fertilizers containing Nitrogen.
  2. There should be spraying, weeding, pruning.


  1.   First picking is ready after three years. But usually it is after four years and the harvesting goes on to 50 years.
  2.   Plucking goes on throughout the year and the leaves picked are sent to the factory for processing.


  1. The tea leaves are dried in the sun for a day or two to remove moisture.
  2.   The leaves are rolled to break up the fibers.
  3.   Leaves are dried again or baked highly over charcoal.  They turn reddish brown.
  4. The leaves are fermented to remove tannic aced that can affect the flavor.
  5. The leaves are roasted and dried over fire until they are black in color.
  6. The leaves are sieved to remove stems and other unwanted particles.
  7. The leaves are graded and packed for export.



Sisal is grown for its fiber used for making ropes, string, sacking, carpets, etc.

Required Conditions

  1.   Need high temperatures ranging between  250 C to 300C.
  2.   Slight rainfall (650 – 1250mm)
  3.   Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions.  But it should be well drained.
  4.   It is drought resistant


Tanga, Muranga, Machakos and Taita – Taveta in Kenya


  1.     Bulbils are grown in nurseries and after a year are transplanted in double rows.
  2.   The cutting of leaves starts after two years and may go on up to 5 and 10 years.
  3.   The cut leaves are transported by tractors or trucks or rail carts to the decorticators where the leaves are crushed and the fiber is separated from the leaf.
  4.   The fiber is then washed and dried in the sun.

In sisal estates, cultivation is mechanized but planting, transplanting and cutting are done by hand.  Weeding can be either manual or mechanized.




Pyrethrum bears white flowers which contain toxic substance called Pyrethrene which is used to manufacture insecticides.


  1. Fairly high rainfall (1000 to 1500mm), which must be well distributed.
  2. It needs a dry spell during the flowering and harvesting stages.
  3. It needs cool and moist climate.
  4. Altitude between 1800 to 3000m above sea level.
  5. It needs fairly fertile soil, well drained, and limed volcanic soils.

Cultivation / harvesting

  1.   Pyrethrum seeds are first planted in nurseries
  2. Then the seedlings are transplanted in rows on the farm
  3.   Weeding is dome to encourage plant growth by reducing competition for food.
  4. Harvesting is done by hand and it takes place after one year.
  5. The picked leaves are dried under the sun or over burners.
  6. The dry flowers are bagged and transported to factories.


In the factory pyrethrum is crushed into power and then into active liquid form. Then Pyrethrene is extracted in the liquid form.  It is finally containerized for export or local consumption.

Uses of Pyrethrum

Manufacture of insecticides, disinfectants and mosquito coils.



  1. High temperature between 21°C and 27°C throughout the year.
  2. It needs abundant rainfall of at least 1270mm, if it grows without irrigation.
  3. It needs deep fertile soils which can retain water.  The soil must be well drained.
  4. It needs flat or undulating land for easy mechanization.
  5. They are high need for cheap labor.
  6. Infrastructure is required for transporting the cane to the factories.
  7. Large capital is required for acquired for acquiring the machinery and other equipment needs for manufacturing processes.

Cultivation and Processing

  1. Cutting from old plants are planted.
  2. It manure’s after 16 – 24 months, depending on the crop variety.
  3. Little work is done during the growing period except weeding in the early stages.
  4. Before harvesting the field may be set on fire to get rid of foliage, pests, reptiles and other dangerous animals.
  5. Then cutting starts using sharp pangas.
  6. Sugar cane are loaded on to the trucks and ferried to the factory.


  1.   The cane is crushed between rollers and then boiled with lime.
  2.   Sugar is allowed to crystallize to form the row or brown sugar.
  3.   Finally brown sugar is refined to give brown and white sugar in different grades.
  4. The by – products of crushing are used in different ways: e.g. the cane residue (Bagasse) can be used for furl, manure pr fodder.  It can be used for producing paper, fiber boards, or synthetic textiles.  Molasses is commonly used to process alcohol and produce fuel alcohol.  Sugarcane can be grown on small farms and estates like Kilombero. Also Kenya, America and Australia.


  1. COCOA


It’s a beverage crop.


Central America, Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’ Ivories, Cameroon and East Indies


  1. High temperature to above 25°C
  2. High rains at least 1100mm and above without a dry spell.
  3. It needs shading to protect it from strong sunlight and strong wind which can destroy flowers.
  4. Absence of strong winds.  Hence, windbreakers are necessary.
  5. Soils should be fertile, deep and well drained. Loamy sold rich in iron and potassium are ideal but light clays are also sustainable.
  6. Labor it needs high labor supply.


  1. Plants are propagated from seeds.  It grown in the forest area of West Africa on small farms and estates.
  2. Trees are planted about 3m apart.
  3. It needs occasional weeding, manuring, etc. During harvesting the ripe pods are removed from the trucks and branches using a long knife.  The crop is harvested twice a year.

Cocoa Processing

  1. Splitting of cocoa pods using machetes to get the beans.
  2. Beans are fermented (1 week) to remove unpleasant taste and to prevent germination.
  3. Then the beans are washed and sun – dried.
  4. Dry beans are bagged and transported to the factory.
  5. Then they are cleaned, roasted and husks are removed to remain with “coco nibs”
  6. Then cocoa nibs are ground into powder, ready for consumption.
  7. The powder can be used for making chocolate.

In   Ghana

The Southern part is the major cocoa producing area.  The greatest concentration is the cocoa triangle formed by towns like Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi.


  • It originated in West Africa countries producing include, Nigeria, DTC, Ghana, Cote d’lvore.
  • Uses of palm oil.
  • Palm oil is produced from the palm tree. Also kernel oil is manufactured.  The oil is good for cooking.
  • Remnants are used for animal feed and as fertilizer.
  • Also the residues can be used for fuel.
  • It is grown both on small farms and large farms.


  1. Heavy rains of about 2,030mm which are well distributed.
  2. High relative humidity.
  3. High temperature to 270C and plenty of sunshine.
  4. It tolerates a wide variety of soils.
  5. Wind brakes should be set up to protect the trees.
  6. Manure and fertilizers should be frequently added.


  1. After the land is cleaned, the young palms are transplanted from the nurseries.
  2. Spraying and weeding are done


  1. After harvesting, he fruits are cooked in streams.
  2. Then the pulp is separated from the kernel.
  3.   The pulp is pressed to extract palm oil and the kernel is crushed to remove the shells.
  4. Then the kernel oil is extracted.





  1. High temperature throughout the year.
  2. Heavy and reliable rain of not less than 1400mm.
  3. Deep fertile soils.
  4. High humidity throughout the year.
  5. Plenty of cheap labor during harvesting.


West Indies, Zanzibar, Mauritius

  1. It is grown in large plantations
  2. Seeds are sown in the nursery bed
  3. Seedlings are transplanted.


Just before the flowers open, the buds are picked by hand.  This is done twice a year.  Harvesting can go on for some 50 years.


  1. The picked dubs are dried, then processed and packed ready for export.
  2. Oil of cloves is made and is used in preparing Vanilla flavoring.
  3. It is added to sweets, cakes, cigarettes, and chocolates.
  4. Oil is used also in the manufacture of perfume, soap and medicine.



It is widespread in the temperature zones.  It is cultivate in other regions.


Kenya, Canada, USA, China, Argentina (Pampas), Australia (Australian downs), India Russia (Ukraine stepper), France (Paris Basin)


  1. Average temperature should not exceed 20°C or fall below-60°C.  The weather should be warned during the early period of growth with sunny and dry conditions.
  2. It needs slight rainfall from 305mm to 1,015mm.
  3. Light clay or heavy loam soil is suitable. The soil should be will drained and fertile.
  4. Rolling topography is good because if facilities drainage and the use of machinery.
  5. It is produced on a large scale in plantations.  It is used for making different species but three major types are commercially cultivated.



Is also a beverage crop and is of different species. There are some forty different species but three major types are commercially cultivated.

These include;-

  1. Arabica: This type of coffee is the most important in the world trade.  It originated from the Mocha coffee native to the Arabian Peninsula.  It is grown in the major producing countries like Brazil.  It is the least hardy of the major coffee species.  It also grows in East Africa.
  2. Robusta Is the West African variety which is hardy but yields poorer quality coffee.  It can survive even in arid conditions and is diseases – resistant.
  3. Liberica.  This too is hardy and disease-resistant species.  It is indigenous to Liberia and suited to lowland rather than to upland conditions.  It gives them heavy yields of moderate- quality coffee.  Both Robusta and Arabica are widely grown in Africa, mostly by small holders. They are particularly suitable for making ‘Instant coffee’ and are gaining greater importance.


  1. Temperature: Coffee can do well in hot climates with day temperature about 320C.  But it is usually grown in highland conditions (cool conditions) where the temperatures range from 140C to 260C (570C to 780F).

2.It needs high rainfall (1500mm to 2250mm), which is well distributed.

  1. Shade is necessary to prevent direct sunlight from affecting the trees when they are still young.
  2.   Upland conditions 610m to 1830m (2000ft to 6000ft) are preferred.
  3.   Soils should be fertile and well drainage. Hence, volcanic soils like those of Brazil containing Potash and organic material are the best.
  4.   It needs protection from the strong wind using windbreakers.
  5.   These should be a good supply of labor. The harvesting process needs alt of labor since coffee involves hand picking.


Coffee seeds are selected and then propagated or sown in nursery beds 2 to 3 cm deep. After about six months it is transplanted to the field.  The plants are positioned 3 meters apart.

The plants are cared for through shading, watering, weeding, manuring, spraying and pruning.


Harvesting may start years after planting but a good harvest starts after four of five years.

Coffee picking is done by hand by removing the ripe berry from the stalk.  Picking is selective so as to control the quality of coffee. The harvesting interval is from 7 to 14 days.

       Coffee Processing

  1. Pulping: Passing the berries through the machine to remove the cover or pulp.
  2. Then the beans are fermented.  Fermentation can be done by heaping the beans for about for 12 to 24 hours.
  3.   Curing involve washing and sun drying.
  4. After curing the machines peel off two layers of inner husks.  Then the beans are winnowed and graded.
  1. After grading they are packed in sacks for export. The importing countries roast the beans and then grind them into powder which is later used to make beverage.

    Production countries include
    : Brazil, Uganda, Ethiopia, Angola, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Indonesia, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Malagasy, Cameroon and Tanzania in Mbeya, Kilimanjaro and Bukoba.




Conditions for growing rubber:

  1. Constant high temperatures of around 270C and should not be below 210C.
  2. Rainfall should be high at least 1525mm to 2540mm.  It should be well distributed.
  3. It can grow in different types of soils but the ideals soil should be deep, fertile, well drained, heavy and acidic.  Cover crops can be grown to reduce soil erosion.
  4. Land should be flat or gently undulating but highlands are not suitable.  This is because it needs mechanization during cultivation.
  5. Plenty of shade during its early stages of growth (this is often provided by inter-planting with banana trees.)
  6. It needs a lot labor especially during the harvesting time.

Rubber Cultivation

  1.   The land is first cleared to establish the estate or small holdings.
  2.   Majority of rubber trees are propagated by bud grafting. This is done by sowing rubber seeds in damp fertile soil in nursery, where they quickly germinate. After about nine months the young rubber plants are about 6.3 meters (12 inches) high, a bud from a very high yielding parent tree is grafted onto each of the young rubber trees which then are transplanted in rows in the plantation.


Harvesting is done through tapping. The trees are ready for tapping after about seven years.  Such a long time makes it difficult to invest a large amount of capital which is required for the establishment of a plantation, because for seven years there is no return on the capital investment. Also, it is difficult to forecast what the demand of rubber will be seven years from sowing the seed.

Tapping of the Trees:-

  1. This takes place before day-break because this time the later (white milky liquid) flows best.
  2. Tapping consists of cutting a thin bark from the truck of the trees. The latex oozes out into the cup.  After few hours the latex ceases to flow out.  The cups are emptied and the latex is taken to the rubber factory.


In the factory, the latex is first diluted with water and then poured into aluminum tanks where it is coagulated by adding small quantities of acetic or formic acid. The solid rubber is then passed through rolled at squeeze out water and produce sheets, which are then cut into standard sizes.  The sheets are later dried after which they are graded by holding them to the light to see whether they contain holes or bits of foreign matter such as wood. They are then packed into bales for export.

Areas Producing Rubber

Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Liberia, Vietnam etc.

Limitations (Drawbacks) of Large Scale Farming 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 is poor support by the government.
  4. Climate problems like drought and too much rainfall that causes floods.
  5. Price fluctuation and especially low prices discourage the farmers.
  6. Rural – urban migration lead to the problem of labor supply.
  7. Mismanagement of fund set for agriculture as well as poor agricultural policies.

Advantage (Importance of Growing Cash Crops in Any Country)

  1. They encourage the development of industries for example the cultivation of cotton can lead to the development of textile industries like Mute, Kiltex, Mwatex, and Friendship textile mills.
  2. They countries to the generation of capital and the government revenue.
  3. They stimulate the development of transport and communication systems.
  4. They lead to the creation employment opportunities.
  5. Encourage the improvement of the living standard of the people in the country.

Give an Account of the Agricultural Development in South Africa

Apart from mining of gold, diamond, uranium, platinum, coal, iron and manganese and industrial production, South Africa involves itself in agricultural production.  The main crops are maize, which is largely produced in the ‘maize triangle’ located between Ermelo, Lichtenburg and Lady brand and wheat which is grown in winter in the Southern Cape Province, the Eastern Orange Free State and Transvaal. In the Transvaal wheat is produced under irrigation.  Other crops include sugarcane, tobacco, potatoes, cotton and groundnuts.

Farm Organization

There are some estates and small holdings some of which are under irrigation.  The areas for cultivation include:

  1. The Natal where sugarcane estates are located, Cape Province (Mediterranean) where tobacco, wheat and fruits are grown.  The fruits include important grapes (under viticulture), lemons, organs etc.  Other areas are in the Orange Free State.
  2. Livestock is also important in South Africa.  In drier areas sheep rearing, mainly for wool, is important.  About two thirds of sheep kept in South Africa are Merino type which yield fine wool.  Cattle are reared where rainfall exceeds 500mm a year.  Dairy cattle are mainly fond in Southern Transvaal, northern Orange Free State and in south East Cape Province and around big towns such as Johannesburg and Cape Town.  About half of all cattle in South Africa belong to African cattle rearers.


  1. Conducive climate which allows the growth of a variety of crops, the climate ranges from Humid subtropical, continental interior, Mediterranean to Semi arid conditions.
  2. Availability of good and deep soils which are fertile.  The soils are well drained in many areas especially the highlands.
  3.    The availability of capital, which was invested in agriculture, has been another factor.  The country is the richest in Africa and capital availability has been easy due to mining and industry.
  4. Fast development of transport and communication.  In the continent, South Africa has the densest network of railway lines and roads.  This has also encouraged the development of agriculture since the products and inputs can be transported easily.
  5. Advanced technology used in agriculture has been another factor. The farming system especially in the estates in mechanized leading to high production.
  6.   The government support has been another factor.  The government has been supporting the farmers in terms of financial support and advice.
  7.   Labor availability in the country due to high population.  Some of the people are from the other neighboring Africa countries.  These offer labor in the estates.
  8.   Market availability due to the development of other sectors like mining, industry and tourism.  These press demand for food and hence encourage the development of agriculture.

Water availability from precipitation and rivers especially the Orange River has encouraged irrigation.


  1. Water shortage: This is due to the fact that most of South Africa receives little rainfall. The large part especially in the West in semi arid and the rivers do not contain enough water and the dams experience the problem of silting. The water available is not enough and is under high competition posed by other sectors like mining manufacturing industry and tourism.
  2. Labor shortage: This is due to fact that there is competition from other sectors, which are more lucrative than agriculture. People run away from agriculture and go to the mining sectors, manufacturing industries and tourism leading to the problem of labor supply in the farms.
  3. The shortage of labor is also caused by political and social unrest that has been prevailing from long time ago during the Apartheid system.  In fact, the problems of apartheid system have not been totally eradicated; there still exists some relics, (vestiges) of apartheid in South Africa.
  4. Severe erosion since the soil in South Africa is unstable and has been exposed to erosion as a result of overgrazing.  Overgrazing has been caused by overstocking.
  5. Land shortage since most of the land is under mining, towns and manufacturing industries.  The land in the western part of the country is dry hence unfit for the rain – fed agriculture except under irrigation.
  6. Unreliable rainfall availability is another problem.  Sometimes the rainfall is not available leading to the occurrence of drought.

7.There is low capital availability among the Africans leading to poor investment in agriculture.

What are the problems facing cash crop production in east Africa?

  1. Diseases and pests that attack the crops both in the farms and in the storage facilities.  Diseases also attach the farmers such that they cannot concentrate on the agricultural activities.
  2. Price fluctuation in the world market which tends to discourage farmers.
  3. Poor transport and communication systems.
  4. Poor climatic conditions like unreliable rainfall which sometimes can be too much or sometimes very little.  Long droughts and frequent floods are a big problem.
  1. Decline of soil fertility due to over cultivation of the farms and leaching (Refers to the loss of nutrients from the top soil layer as a result of being washed down in solution.)
  2. Frequently fires that end up devastating (destroying) the crops in the farm.
  3. Conflicts between the cultivators and the pastoralists like in Kilosa (Morogoro in 2000) and among the farmers themselves like in Mara in 2001.
  4. Low level of technology associated with the use of simple tools.
  5. Rapid population growth, which has forced people to concentrate on food crop production rather than on cash crop production.

What are the causes of land conflicts in Africa?

  1. Population pressure that has led to the shortage of land in some areas.  This has been due to the rapid population growth.
  2. Poor agricultural policy which does not state property on how to undertake agricultural activities.
  3. Lack of land tenure such that farmers are not given special land to own.
  4. Poverty that makes people keeps on depending on the land rather than investing in other sectors of the economy.
  5. Customers and traditions by which the farmers keep on claiming the ownership of land left by the forefathers who were the clan members.
  6. Some tribes like portraying their superiority over other tribes.
  7. Environmental problems like soil degradation and lack of pasture have made farmers clash when migration to the new areas in search of better land for cultivation of pasture.
  8. Colonial legacy in which the foreigners were favored more than the indigenous in the country.  For example in Zimbabwe there occurred conflicts between the whites and the natives in 2000.
  9.    Historical factors.

What should be done to address conflict in Africa?

  1. Other activities than agriculture should be created so as to reduce pressure for the land.
  2. The farmers should be encouraged to control population.
  3. The governments should formulate good policies that can govern agricultural activities.  The policies should involve land tenure so that the farmers can have their own pieces of land that are well demarcated.
  4. The farmers should be given capital so that they can be able to invest in better agricultural methods in order that they can be able to get high production using a small area or small number of animals.
  5. The farmers should encourage settling in one place so that they cannot keep on moving from place to place and cause clashes.


It is an intensive farming system in which animals and crops are raised on the same farm.  It is one of the most important agricultural forms found in the highly developed parts of the world like North Western Europe, East North America, Parts of Russia and the temperature latitudes of parts of the southern continents.  The system was introduced in Africa by European farmers (Settlers). It is evident in most parts of Kenya highlands, specifically central Rift Valley provinces, South Africa, some highlands of Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Farmers with advanced technology grow crops, which have been carefully selected and keep animals for milk or beef.  The farms are cultivated under mechanization and are concentrated along the transportation lines or near large towns and cities where there is market.  The crops, which can be grown, include maize, tobacco, wheat, cotton, etc. The proportion of animals in the farm will depend on many interrelated factors like locality of the far, soil fertility, the animal carrying capacity of the land, the market demand prevailing price of crops and animals and the government policies.  Commercial mixed farming is capital intensive.

Advantages of mixed farming:-

  1.   Crops and animals are integrated.  Crops are grown for fodder and manure from animals used for encouraging plant growth (Promoting fertility).  Hence, less money is needed to buy artificial fertilizers.
  2. A farmer diversifies the source of income rather than risking on one type of income source. The income comes either from animals or from crops.
  3.   A farmer is assured of getting good and balanced diet. This is because of getting both crop and animal products.
  4. The use of scientific methods leads to good quality of products.
  5. Animals can be used for providing labor in the farm for cultivation and for transportation.
  6.   A farmer is settled on one place and does not waste time mobbing from place to place.
  7. Crop rotation practiced in this system maintains soil fertility.
  8.   It can take place where there is high population.


  1. A farmer is likely to concentrate on one item only especially animals and forget drops.
  2. Close attention is needed for both crops and animals, and especially animals.
  3. The system needs high capital to establish but many farmers in the third world do not have enough capital for running mixed farming at a commercial level.


  1.   State the difference between substance small – scale agriculture and commercial large – scale agriculture.
  2.   Outline the factors hindering the development of large – scale agriculture in Tanzania.
  3. What are the problems caused by large scale farming in any country?
  4. What are advantages of plantation agriculture in Tanzania?
  5.   Show the disadvantages of plantation agriculture.
  6. What are the major requirements for the development of plantations, in any country?
  7. Show six main characteristics of plantation agriculture.



Historical Background

Agriculture in China can be categorized into two periods that is the period before revolution (1949) and the period after revolution.

Before 1949

The period before 1949 was characterized by unplanned agriculture.  It was impossible or difficult to cultivate without modifying the land in one way or another because:-

  1. It was either a desert or mountainous or swampy.
  2. Population was very high such that three people could share one acre.  The farmland was only 11% and thus people had to apply intensive subsistence farming.
  3. Farms were extremely small and fragmented.

However, the peasants were able to carry out agriculture though not in an advanced way because of the following natural advantages:

  1.    Soil fertility that could support plant growth.
  2. Climatic variation that allowed a variety of crops to be grown from the north to the south of the country.
  3. The growing season was long for crops to thrive into maturity especially in the Tsinling Shan.
  4.   Cultivation was manual or using oxen due to low technology.  Out per worker was very low.

After 1949

Planned agriculture started revolution. During this period there were substantial advancements in agriculture.

Organization of Agriculture

Agriculture was organized in communes, which were established after the overthrow of the feudal government by the communities. Land was then owned communally and the government encouraged cooperative production.  The commune covered the range of economics, social and administrative activities.

The communes were divided into five brigades in whom there were brigade committees that made decisions on their own.  Brigades were responsible to the government in the communes.  They were responsible for all planning, but left the farming details to the production terms.  A Brigade could consist of 3000 people and covered about 200ha.  Brigades recorded each member’s contribution in the production process.

Brigades were then divided into terms ranging from 10 production terms and above.  Production terms were at foot of the hierarchy consisting of 50 families (300 people) responsible for, on average, 20ha.  Each production team was responsible for its finances, planting weeding manufacturing and harvesting.

How the Communes Worked

  1. Mobilizing manpower for public activities like building of dams dykes, roads, and cultivating the existing land intensively.
  2. Diversifying the rural economic activities from agriculture to forestry, fishers, and small industries.
  3. It generated revenue, which was later used as capital for further investment in the commune industries.
  4. The commune was also responsible for the provision of social services to all rural people especially education, health centers and recreational grounds from commune’s own savings.
  5. Decentralized rural planning so as to allow mass participation in the planning system for effective production process.

Achievement of the Commune System

  1. It has led to the diversification of the China’s economy and hence the future is bright.
  2. The communes have inculcated the sense of cooperation among the people through the establishment of cooperative projects.
  3. It led to the improvement of social services like education, health, electricity, water supply etc.
  4.   It has facilitated the advancement of technology because of involving the local people.  The local people’s ingenuity was encouraged in improving tools etc.  This stimulated industrial development.
  5. China began producing highly leading to food sufficiency despite high population.
  6.   It has stimulated the development of transport and communication because people cooperate in the construction of roads, bridges etc.
  7. Cooperation promotes the sense of equality and social justice among the people.

Launching of Comprehensive National Schemes for River Control

The government took part in the planning and launching of the comprehensive National Schemes for the control of great rivers like Hwang Ho, Sin kiang and Yang tse kiang.  River control was aimed at achieving the following goals.  Flood control by building dams and dykes, conserving water for irrigation, establishment of hydroelectric power centers, land reclamation and creation of navigable waterways. The schemes were aimed at setting examples for the communes to imitate and develop similar projects.

To further facilitate river control the government the government incorporated these aspects in the First, Second and Twelve year plans.  The Twelve Year Plan was launched in 1996 and was aimed at formulating techniques and methods of increasing agricultural output per hectare.

This plan zoned the country into three main belts and set a target of average increase in production per hectare for each belt. To Guide farmers, the Twelve Year plan of development has eight slogans including, Fertilization, Deep laughing, Seed improvement, Close planting, plant protection, soil improvement, tool production and irrigation.  This was the adoption of the Green Revolution.

Soil Improvement

New and efficient ways of fertilizing or manuring were devised.  Much emphasis was put on the use of compost manure making use of seaweeds and mud from ponds.

Plant Protection

Emphasis was put on the use of pesticides and other chemical for controlling diseases both fungal and bacterial diseases. To achieve this goal large scale chemical factories were established some of them were located at Kirin, Canton, Nanking, and Dairen.

Close Planting

This was encouraged so as to use the land maximally and produce more yields per hectare.

Seed Improvement

Agricultural colleges and research centers were established and were responsible for developing quick-maturing and high-yielding seeds (Green Revolution).

Tool Production and Improvement

Small machines were invented.  These were designed and manufactured locally but not so much of tractors and large – scale mechanization.  Old simple ones were improved.  Local groups of farmers, cooperative and production teams were encouraged to bring their ingenuity (skills) to bear on improving old tools.  Hoes and ploughs were improved, simple drills and water wheels were invented.

Irrigation and Water Conservation

These were undertaken mainly by the government through river control schemes and much work of expanding irrigation was done by cooperatives and communes.  Expansion was done in two stages:

  1. Expansion done simply by extending the existing irrigation area by storage ponds at the head of villages.
  2.   Building of large earth dams and long aqueducts and large network of channels.  This was done by mobilizing much more labor after the formation of cooperatives, production terms and brigades.

The role of river control in the agricultural development can and is summarized as follows:-

  1. Floods were controlled to a large extent and agricultural losses were largely reduced in the communes.
  2. Water conservation led to the development of irrigation schemes especially in the northern parts of China where rainfall is little.
  3. Control schemes about five times the natural farmland was brought under agriculture.
  4. It stimulated the development of hydroelectric power centers and creation of navigable waterways.  This in turn enhanced the development of industries.
  5. It helped in the production of more food leading to self-sufficiency despite high population.

Introduction of Family Responsibility System during the Reformation Period:-

Family responsibility system was introduced in 1979 as a more flexible approach, which encouraged farming families to become more responsible.  In this system the land was given to individual farmers in their villages or districts.  The farmers then, had to take contracts with the government, which fixed the amount to produce.  The farmers were given tools and seeds.  After fulfilling their quotas, the profit could be used by the farmers.

The family farm size of the arable land per family is less than a hectare and the cultivation of food grains dominates the agricultural sector.

The family responsibility system encouraged farmers to work hectare and the cultivation of food grains dominates the agricultural sector.

The family responsibility system encouraged farmers to work harder and the immediate effect was an increase in yield.  The rural markets thrived and some becomes wealthy.  The living standard of most the farmers improved especially those were near the market areas and cities.

Agricultural Regions in China

About three quarters of China’s population is engaged in agriculture.  The arable land is largely concentrated on the plains and river valleys of humid China.  The agricultural regions are as follows.

Map showing the 10 major agricultural planting regions


From the Southern Part to the Yang tse Basin

Rice is a dominant crop and it takes up to 99% of the cultivated land.  In the very extreme South of this region where the rain is plenty (2000mm) there are three rice cropping periods and the middle part of this region there are three rice cropping periods and the middle part of this region (with rainfall ranging from 1000mm to 2000mm) is dominated by double cropping where even sugar cane and tea in the hills are grown and the rest especially in the Yangtze valley there is one rice crop in summer and one especially in the Yang tse valley there is one rice crop in summer and one winter crop of wheat or vegetables.  This region has irrigated areas with double cropping of maize, sweet potatoes, tea, sugarcane, cotton, jute, barley, and citrus fruits.

To the North of the Yangtze Basin

Summer and spring wheat dominates up to Manchuria. There is no rice since the area experiences little rainfall ranging from 1000mm to 500mm.  Millet and sorghum are also grown in summer in the region.  In the wheat zone cotton, maize, potatoes, sugar beet, soya beans, peanuts, flax and tobacco are also grown.  Nonetheless, Garden vegetables are grown all over the country.

In the North and Northwest Grasslands

Pastoral farming is dominant.  Sheep, goats, cattle, horses, and camels are reared.  This area is too dry for arable farming since the amount of reared.  This area is too dry for arable farming since the amount of rainfall is usually below 500mm. In most parts of humid China, pigs and poultry are principal animals raised.

The Western Part

Is also too dry but there is farming around the oases (Oases farming).

In general, agricultural success in China has been attributed to the following factors:-

  1.   The adoption of Green Revolution that involve the use of fertilizers, quick maturing and high yielding seeds, and advanced technology in the production process.  Improved tools were use and irrigation systems were established.
  2.   The role played by researches, which were being conducted for the sake of improving seeds and promoting agricultural methods in general.
  3.    Control of diseases and pests that were attacking crops.  This reduced losses that could be caused after the death of plants.
  4. High involvement of the government in the agriculture activities was a great dynamo towards agricultural development in China.

The government contributed in organizing agricultural activities in communes, Formulating agricultural policies governing production and launching exemplary agricultural schemes like irrigation schemes as well as river control schemes.

  1. The available land was naturally fertile hence it was easy to harness.
  2.   Water availability from the great river of Sin kiang, Yang tse kiang and Hwang Ho.  This was supported by water conservation systems, which were established by the government.
  3.   Conducive climate, which allowed the growth of a variety of crops, like rice, wheat, oasis, barley, millet, vegetables, sugar cane, tea and cotton.  The climate varies as one move from the north southwards.  In the north there is little rainfall such that irrigation takes place.  In this region rice is not grown.  In the Middle Eastern part the rainfall ranges from 100mm to 2ooomm and double cropping dominates.  In the south and the extreme southern part of the country the rainfall is over 2000mm and hence rice cultivation takes place three times a year.  Hence with this climatic blessing China has been able to produce highly to feed the highest population in the world.
  4.     Sense of cooperation and hardworking attitude among the farmers in the communes helped much in promoting agricultural development in China.
  5.     High population that provided both labour and market stimulated agricultural development.
  6. Improvement in transport and communication especially after the control of the great rivers was another propelling factor.
  7. Another factor that stimulated agricultural development was involvement of minimal capital in the development schemes.  The capital was low contributed much in providing labour and their ingenuity.
  8. Availability of social services like medical treatment, educating etc had positive influence in the agricultural development in China.
  1. Environmental conservation measures adopted by the government and communes facilitated substantial agricultural development.  For example the government launched comprehensive schemes of river control, which were geared towards solving the problems of floods, among other aims.  The control of floods stimulated agricultural production by reducing losses.

Limitations of Agriculture in China

  1.   Floods are still a problem especially in the Hwang Ho river valley which is called ‘the Great Sorrow of China’.
  2. The communes did not allow people to own the land hence it later led to inefficiency.
  3. There is a problem of soil erosion due to population pressure, which led to deforestation.  In solving this problem Mao encouraged the launching a forestation and re-afforestation programmes turn the Country Green’ in 1956.  The twelve year plan also encouraged giving education peasants on the importance of forests and woodland in preventing erosion and controlling floods.
  4. Limited arable land, which is concentrated in the eastern side of the country in along the valets of river like Hwang Ho, Sin kiang and Yang tse Kiang.
  5. Explosive population growth, which makes the country, keep on feeding the excessive number of people rather than investing in other economic sectors.
  6. Some farmers in the rural areas are still using poor or low technology, which lead to poor yield.
  7. Poor farmers face the problem of low capital such that they fail to invest in more advanced agricultural activities.
  1.  Unreliable rains especially in neither the north nor no rains at all.  In winter the area receives little snow with frequent frost and storms (blizzards).

What was the rationale behind the introduction of commune and family responsibility systems in China?

Rationale for introducing communes in 1958:

  1.    The communist government found that just after confiscating the land from the feudal lords or emperors the plots given to the peasants were too small to support individual farmers.  Hence, after several interim experiments the government created the ‘people’ communes so as to form collective farms.  Putting the land under the communal ownership people could use it more effectively and more productively since there could be higher control of production than the way it was before the introduction of communes.
  2. To encourage cooperation among the people in mutual aid terms.
  3. To make administration become easy through decentralizing the planning process and give room for great people’s participation for the sake of achieving fast development.
  4.   To make agricultural activities in run a more organized way and more efficiently by involving the local people in their own areas so as to facilitate rural development.
  5. Involving the communes could reduce the cost of production in the agricultural activities since the local people could provide labour. It was easy to mobilize labour when people were together in communes and hence assisting them was very easy.
  6. The use of communes could facilitate the advancement of technology by encouraging the local people to bring in their ingenuity in order to improve some farm implements and invent new ones.
  7.   Communes were also geared towards promoting equality and social justice.

Family responsibility system introduced in 1979 was intended to encourage people to become more responsible by giving then (i.e individual farmers) their own land in their districts and villages.

This was to make farmers work harder than before leading to high production.  As result the formed worked harder and there was an increase yield and some farmers become wealthier.  Through increased production the living standards improve among the farmers.  High yield also created more profit that could be used to buy better seeds and machinery to creative village industry.

What lessons has Tanzania learnt from China?

Tanzania has learnt the following from China’s agricultural development.

  1.   The importance of great government involvement in the agricultural activities.  The government can help in the planning, formulating policies, establishing pilot schemes and financing people’s efforts.
  2. Involvement of the local people is very important for smooth agriculture development.  When the local people are involved they feel part of the development schemes and hence they work very hard.  In China the government decentralized agricultural activities and established communes.  The same applied in Tanzania were Ujamaa villages were established to fully involve the local people in the production process.
  3. Tanzania has learnt that it is important to develop technology through stages starting from low-level local technology to advanced technology.  This can make the local people to adopt easily the new skills and engage themselves into agricultural activities without many problems.  In doing so Tanzania is trying to adopt appropriate technology, which makes use of the local skills and resources.
  4. Tanzania has learnt how man can transform inhospitable physical environment into the useful state. In China the major problem was frequent and severe floods.  But through the river control the river valleys are used for production and the supporting the largest population in the world.  Irrigation schemes in the dry areas in the north have been established.  The same can be done in Tanzania especially the central parts of Tanzania.
  5. Tanzania has also learnt the importance of cooperating in agricultural activities and at one time, in the villages, there established cooperative farms.
  6.   The family responsibility system, which gave land ownership to the farmers, encouraged the production process since people began working harder.  The same has to apply in Tanzania.  Farmers should be given land to own so that they can feel responsible for taking care of the land and produce harder and harder.
  7. Tanzania has also has leant the necessity of controlling population in order to avoid the problem of population pressure and get surplus production for sale instead of utilizing the whole of the production lot for feeding people.  China produces highly but production loses significance because of very high population.


North America is dominated by the United States and Canada.  Agriculture is one of important economic sectors in North America and is well diversified.  Agriculture is highly advanced due to the use of advanced technology associated with mechanization.  Factors which have led to the agricultural development in North America include availability of rich agricultural land, conducive climate whose variation has contributed to the diversification of agricultural activities, relief which has allowed good drainage and mechanization due to being either flat or undulating, the use of advanced technology which has facilitated the use of mechanized methods in the production process, market availability, power supply as well as enough capital which could easily be invested in the agricultural development.

Agricultural Regions in North America include:

In Canada the prairies and the Great Lakes – St. Laurence Lowlands that produce 90% of the Canada’s agricultural output. Prairies which include Manitoba Saskatchewan and Alberta are the most important agricultural region in Canada famous for producing 95% of Canada’s wheat.  Other regions include Maritime Provinces (New Brunswick, Novascoti, and Prince Edward Islands), Lakes peninsula where farms are highly mechanized and electrified, Few parts of the British Columbia.  The Canadian Shield area is generally unsuitable for agriculture because of its cold climate, poor soils, underdeveloped transport and communication network, and insignificant markets.  Only two areas in this region have been successfully farmed namely the Cochrane Clay Belt and the Clay Belt of the Saguenay Basin where oats, barley, potatoes, vegetables, and hay are gown and dairy farming is practiced.

The average farm can be 200 hectares or ranches can be over 4,000 hectares.  Most farms are on individual’s basis.

In the USA there are so many agricultural regions and the average forms are about 160 hectares and most of them are highly mechanized and electrified.  Fertilizers are used but very intensive farming is practiced in only a few areas, such as the North East, The pacific Lowlands and Western plateau where irrigation is carried out.  As in Canada, most farms in the USA are run on individual basis.

States like Florida, California, Oklahoma, North and South Carolina etc are important agricultural areas. California is the most prosperous agricultural state where agriculture is very intensive and highly capitalized.  It produces more barley, lettuce, peaches and other fruits than any other state.  It’s cotton yield per hectare if three times are national average. All United States lemons, figs, and most of its sugar beet are grown here.

Agricultural success in California has been due to;

  1. Good and variable climate. If has a Mediterranean climate but is also attitudinally diverse allowing for the cultivation of both temperature and tropical crops.
  2. Good soils, which encourage the growth of crops.
  3. The state has a large supply of labour.
  4. There is efficient effective and extensive transport and communication network.
  5. There is ready market and a tradition of cooperative marketing, which ensures efficiency and reduces costs.

Importance of Agriculture in North America

  1. It has lead to the supply of food in the country to feed the country’s population.
  2. It has contributed to the generation of foreign exchange as a result of exporting some crop and animal products.  For example, three quarters of wheat produced in Canada is exported.
  3. It has promoted the standard of living among the people in North America.
  4. Agriculture has stimulated the development of industries and tourism.  There are textile industries, which have developed as a result of cotton production especially in the Cotton Belt.
  5. Towns have developed because of agricultural development for example Chicago and St. Louis city.
  6. It has stimulated the development of transport and communication systems like railways, road and waterways.
  7. North American agricultural development has become a good example to be imitated by other countries especially in the developing world like Tanzania and Kenya.  This involves the necessary of using high technology in the agricultural process.
  8. Agricultural development has also created employment opportunities in the country.

Limitations (setbacks or bottlenecks) of agricultural development in North America include the following:

  1.    Adverse climatic variations, which involve severe winter blizzards, heavy snow, droughts, hail storms, torrential rains, short growing season in some areas and tornadoes especially in the Western plains.  There affect animal and crop production.
  2. Pests and diseases that attack crop cause great losses.  For example the attack of cotton in the old Cotton Belt by boll weevils caused a lot of damage to the plants.  These led to the shifting of the cotton Belt westwards into the new Cotton Belt.
  3.    Severe soil erosion is another major problem especially in many parts of North America particularly in High plains where fertile topsoil has been blown away as a result of attempts to grow wheat in an area with insufficient rainfall.  Another area where erosion has been extremely eroded is the ‘Old South’, the former center of the Cotton Belt.  Erosion in this area has resulted from mono-cultural system in which cotton has been grown continuously, without taking soil conservation measures.

In these and other areas soil conservation measures are being undertaken in the attempt to reclaim some of the lost arable land.  Some of these measures include crop rotation, planting trees, construction dams, use of fertilizers and natural manure, dry farming, irrigation, terracing, contour plaguing, etc.

  1. Competition from other countries like China that are also using advanced technology in agriculture.
  2. Limited farms land in some places like the Canadian, Shield, which is unsuitable for agricultural activities because of poor soils.  The places also experiences very cold climate, has undeveloped transport and communication system and insignificant markets.
  3. Rising costs of operation like in the old cotton belt pose adverse effects on the production process.


Cotton is the most important cash crop grown in the Southern United States.  It is largely grown in the Cotton Belt which formerly included the state of Mississippi, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma.  The New Cotton Belt is concentrated in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and California.  Cotton requires at least 200 days free from frost. It also needs a minimum of 500mm of rainfall per year.  Heavy rain and swampy lands grows best on heavy soil with a high proportion of clay lime.  It uses up many nutrients from the soil therefore the use of fertilizers is important.

Florida and Tennessee have large reserve of phosphates which California supplies potash.


Fiber is used for manufacturing clothes in the textile industries.  Seeds are crushed for their oil, which is used for making margarine, soap, candles, and lubricating oil.

Hulls or seed coverings are used for making animal feed, and in making paper in the paper industry.  Short fibers or linters, which are attached to the seed after pinning, are used in making celluloid, photographic film and other products.  Stalk can be caused for animal feed, manufacture of paper or fertilized while roots are said have medicinal value.

Ranges in the Old Cotton Belt:

There has been westward shift in cotton growing.

Instead of monoculture mixed farming and afforestation have been introduced.

More efficient methods of cotton growing have been introduced in the old cotton belt to ensure high yield.

For shifting of the cotton belt

Sons for shifting of the cotton belt are divided into problems in the cotton belt within the Eastern side and the advantages of the new belt in the Western side.  These have been explained in details as lows.

Problems in the Old Cotton Belt

  • Soils were severely eroded due to monoculture leading to the reduction of arable land and decline in fertility.
  • The climate in the eastern part is wetter hence not suitable for cotton production.
  • Pests in the eastern part like boll weevil led to mass destruction of cotton.
  • The eastern part was highly populated leading to population pressure and hence land degradation.
  • High costs of production in the east due to poor mechanization.

Advantages in the New Cotton Belt

  1. The soils are fertile and drier than in the old belt.  Cotton does not need swampy areas.
  2. Flat land surface has allowed for mechanization to take place easily.
  3. Absence of boll weevils due to drier conditions.  Boll weevils thrive in the swampy areas.
  4. Low costs of production due to the use of mechanized methods and natural fertility, which does not create the necessity for using artificial fertilizers.
  5. Low population allowed for large-scale cotton cultivation to take place with mechanized methods.

Importance of Cotton to the Country

  1. It has contributed to the employment creation in the country.
  2. It has stimulated industrial development especially textile industries in the southern states where there is over 95% of the American textile industry located today.
  3. Cotton production has stimulated the development of transport and communication systems.
  4. It has earned North American an international repute.
  5. There has been development of towns like Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.  The living standard in these towns has been raised due to, among other things, cotton production.
  6. Social services have improved such as medical services, education, etc.
  7. Land is utilized effectively for the development of the country at large.

Limitations of Cotton Production in U.S.A

  1. More and more farmers are concentrating on intensive farming rather than extensive farming and hence farming and hence they are producing other crops.   Diversification of agriculture has been put in place so as to avoid plunging into losses, which can be caused by too much reliance on one crop, which is full of uncertainties.  Most farmers believe that relying on the type of crop is tantamount to putting all eggs in one basket, which is very risky, such that once the basket drops all eggs can break.
  2.   There has been emergence of other of other occupations like fishing, industries etc.
  3.    Decline of soil fertility because of leaching and soil erosion.  Cotton also uses up some nutrients in great quantities.  Erosion has been a consequence of mono-cultural practice in the Cotton Belt.
  4.   The problem of diseases and pests like boll weevils has led to poor production.
  5. Competition from synthetic fibers, which are more demanded than cotton.
  6.   Price fluctuation has been another limiting factor, which has discouraged the farmers.
  7. There has nee strong competition from other sources of raw cotton.
  8.    Swampy conditions are other limiting factors especially in the eastern part of North America (in the Old Cotton Belt).


The Corn Belt covers the states of Lowe, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio where maize is dominant, but mixed farming is practiced in this belt.  It is used for fattening beef cattle, which have been raised in the western drier parts of USA.  Other adjacent states, which produce maize, are South Dakota, Minnesota and Missouri.

The limits of the maize belt are set by the climatic needs of the crop and by the extent of competition from other types of land use which may be more profitable.

In the north the summer isotherm 210C sets the rough boundary.  In the south, the maize belt gives way to a general farming region because of unsuitable topsoil of the Ozarks and competition from tobacco and winter wheat.

Why Success in Maize Production in the Maize Belt?

  1.   Good climatic condition conducive for maize production.  That is, temperatures are between 190C and 210C, rainfall is adequate to above 500mm and adequate growing season of 150 days free from frost.
  2. Good soils rich in nutrients, moist, well drained and deep.
  3. The use of advanced technology involving mechanization.
  4. Proper farming methods like crop rotation, deep ploughing, and use of hybrid varieties since 1930s.
  5.   High disease control by the use of chemicals.


Most farms are worked on individual’s basis and new employ hired labour farm size averages range from 140 hectares and above.  Farming is highly mechanized and advanced methods of cultivation are used.  Crop rotation is used and manure as well as artificial fertilizer is used.  Crop rotation involves wheat or barley, oats, or other fodder crops like Alfa and clover.  Planting is done at the end of April or early in May.  By the middle of August some maize is out as fodder or it is chopped up stored as solage.  The rest of the crop is harvested by autumn (September – October).  Most of the farms in the Corn Belt are mixed that is they involve both crop production and rearing (husbanding) of animals.  The animals kept include beef cattle, and pigs.  The Corn Belt leads in keeping livestock in the USA.

Uses of Maize

Maize is used for making fodder or silage for animal food and this take about 70% of the total production of maize from the maize belt.  More than 15% is used for human food or converted into alcohol, starch glucose and cooking fat.  The stalks are used for papermaking etc.  Less than 1% of maize from the Corn Belt is exported.

Limitations of Maize Production in the Corn Belt

  1. Leaching process has led to the decline in fertility causing the loss in fertility.
  2. Competition from other countries in Europe, Asian countries and Africa.
  3. Diseases and pests, which attack crops.
  4. Winter frost especially in the southern part where winter wheat is produced.

Importance of Maize Production

  1. It has stimulated the development of industries for utilizing the maize produce and animal products.  For example as a result of maize production promoting beef farming, there are meat packing centers in Chicago, Kansas city, and St. Louis.
  2. Livestock farming has been promoted both beef farming and dairy farming.  The maize belt is used for fattening the beef cattle raised in the western parts of the country.
  3. It has contributed to the generation of government revenue and individual income.
  4. Maize has created employment opportunities since some farmers use hired labour.
  5. It has stimulated the development of towns like Illinois, Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City.  There have growth fast because of the contribution made by the maize belt.
  6. Maize from the maize belt has created a strong foundation of the nation’s food supply and of its exported food materials.


Wheat is cultivated on a large scale or extensively.  Winter wheat is grown – in the south where winters are mild e.g. Texas.  It is planted in autumn and ripens in summer.  Winter wheat has higher yield per hectare than spring wheat.  Spring wheat is the one, which is grown within 90 days.  It is produced in the north such as the prairies provinces of Canada.

Varieties of Wheat Include Soft and Hard Varieties

Soft varieties are grown in the wetter areas and are used for making biscuits while hard varieties grown in the drier parts in the west with chernozem soils and are used for making bread.

Wheat Production in the Canadian Prairies

Canada is one of the leading wheat exporters and the current production is about 20million tones produced from about 10 million hectares (25 million acres) of land.  Canadian prairies are the major areas in Canada where wheat is grown on a large scale.  95% of the wheat comes from the Prairie Provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba.

Saskatchewan alone accounts for as much as two – thirds (2/3) of the production.  High wheat production has made the Canadian Prairies to be referred to as one of the Granaries of the world.

The following factors have contributed to the rise of the Canadian prairie as one of the wheat granaries (leading wheat producers) of the world.

  1. Extensive tracts of land.  Canada has a total land area of 9,221,000 sq. km supporting estimated population of 26,104,000 people.  Out of these 76% live in urban areas and less than enabled large – scale mechanized wheat cultivation to take place.
  2. Elaborate transport network.  Canada has an elaborate railway network that criss crosses the prairies.  This has enhanced the region’s ability to offer mass transport services of wheat to market and coastal ports for export as well as movement of labour to the production centers.  Also the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence sea route offer a chief export route for Canadian wheat.
  3. Fertile soils which are full of humus due to the fact that the carpet of prairies grass has not been disturbed for centuries due to sparse population in that area.  These soils are rich in nutrients like phosphorus and potassium.
  4. The topography of the area is characterized by flat or undulating surface.  This has offered advantages like soil drainage suitable for wheat cultivation and ideal condition for mechanization; using tractors for ploughing and sowing and the combine harvesters for harvesting the wheat crop.
  5.   The climate of the Canadian wheat belt is conducive.  It lies is the temperature belt with summer temperatures of 150C and mean annual precipitation of about 450mm.  Light rains are experienced during germination.  These are ideal conditions for wheat cultivation.  The Chinook wind melts the snow in spring and helps to extend the growing season.
  6. Reliable market offered by large urban population in the country as well as external market in China, Japan, Western Europe and less developed countries.
  7.     The government support by creating agricultural policies that encourage individual farmers to undertake large – scale agriculture using mechanized methods.

Factors Limiting Wheat Production in the Canadian Prairies:-

  1.   Price fluctuation in the world market poses a great challenge to the wheat production in the praises of Canada.
  2.   Bitterly cold winters are other limiting factors, which hinder smooth wheat production.  These make the production process to be very seasonal and little work is done during the period of severe winters. During winter frosts and blizzards affect crops leading to great losses.  There is a danger of hail and droughts ruining the crops.  Also, tornadoes in summer cause damage to the crops.
  3.   There is also a problem of soil erosion that takes place after removal of the grass.  Erosion is caused by wind and convectional rainstorms.
  4. When soil is wet it it’s very difficult for large machines to work on it.  Hence, ploughing is done when the land is dry enough in April and May.

The growing season is short and hence the work of ploughing and sowing should be completed as soon as possible.

Map diagram:


Examples of main tree crops in Africa and other countries include tea in Kenya, Malawi and India; Oil palm in Nigeria; Cocoa in Ghana; Rubber in Liberia and Malaysia as well as coconuts in Tanzania.


Kenya is recently the largest producer of tea in Africa.  Its tea ranks among the best in the world market.  It is among the top six large world producers.  Tea production in Kenya may overtake coffee production in the future with the expansion of tea acreage done by the government through establishing Nyayo Tea Zones.

Production areas of tea can be divided into highlands on the east and west of the rift valley.

The Western high lands include Kericho which leads in having large tea estates (plantations), Nandi, Kakamega, and Cherangani hills.

The Eastern highlands include Nyambene Hills in Nyambene, Nyeri, Muranga , and Kiambu districts.


Tea is grown on plantations but smallholder production is rapidly gaining momentum with the backing of the Government.  There was developed the Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA) which become so instrumental in the promotion of tea among small scale farmers.

Why Success in Tea Production in Kenya?

The success in tea production in Kenya has been attributed to the following aspects.

  1.   Favorable geographical conditions like climate, which are warm, with high rainfall, hilly relief and good soils.
  2. Labour availability from the country’s high population.
  3. The government support by establishing KTDA, formulating good policy agricultural development and providing financial assistance to the farmers.
  4. Good marketing system organized by KTDA.  Through this farmer got a good bargaining base for their crops.
  5. Quality products, which attracted market both within the country and externally.
  6. Capital availability, which was later, invested in the production of tea.

Contribution of tea to the development of the country:-

  1. It has stimulated the development of industries especially those related to the processing of tea.  The manufacturing industries are spread out in the tea growing districts of Kisi, Nandi, Kericho, Kirinyanga, Nyeri, Embu and Meru.
  2.   It has led to the creation of employment opportunities in the country.
  3. Tea production has contributed to the generation of government revenue in the country.
  4. It has stimulated external trade and international relations.  Kenya’s tea accounts for nearly 50% of tea export in Africa.
  5. High quality tea has earned Kenya high repute.
  6. The tea industry assures a farmer of income throughout the years.  This because tea picking is done throughout the year

Problems Facing Tea Farmers in Kenya:

  1. Diseases and pests attack crops leading to great losses.  For example the black tea thrip attack the undersides of the tea leaves, red spider mites attack the upper surface of the leaf, Weevils and beetles attack tender leaves thus damaging the output from the crop since the tender leaves are the ones which are picked.  Fungal diseases also attack the crop in many production areas.  Hence, these need frequent use of chemicals adding to the costs of production.
  2. Hailstones affect the crop by causing physical damage.
  3. Price fluctuation in the world market affects the trend of tea production in the country.  Sometimes the prices are low and hence discourage some farmers.
  4. Kenya is facing another problem of fast population growth, which has brought about the pressure for land in some places.  Population pressure inhibits the application of mechanized methods.
  5. In some places there is a problem of soil erosion since the farms are in the hilly areas.
  6. Labour problem as a result of people engaging into other activities whose income is more stable than tea production especially industries and trade.
  7. Droughts also are another problem, which have contributed to the limitation of tea production in Kenya.


Malawi began cultivating and growing tea in Africa as far back as 1878 in Blantyre.  Other farms were established at Mlanje, in Chalo, the slopes of Zomba Mountain and recently in the Nkata bay area.  The type of tea is Aswan from Assam, Burma and Indo- china.

Factors for Developing of Tea Production in Malawi

  1. Relief; There are highlands which have encouraged the production of tea.  Hilly surface has encourages drainage.
  2. Soils are good for tea production since they are well drained and slightly acidic for tea production.
  3. Enough rains caused by the highlands most of which are orographic           in nature.
  4. Easy export since Malawi located along the coastal strips.
  5. The government involvement in encouraging agricultural activities in the country so as to promote the economy of the country.  This has been due to the fact that Malawi’s economy depends on agriculture.
  6. Labour availability in the country has also facilitated tea production.

Advantages of Tea Production in Malawi:-

  1. It has provided employment opportunities to the population in the country.
  2. It has stimulated the development of some towns.
  3. It has promoted income to the individuals leading to the rise in the standard of living.
  4. It has stimulated industrial development in the one country by generating capital.
  5. It has contributed to the generation of foreign currency in the country.
  6. Tea production has acted as a dynamo to the improvement in transport and communication system as well stimulation of the energy supply in the country.

Limitations (Bottlenecks or Setbacks) of Tea Production in Malawi:-

  1. There has been massive migration (exodus) of people from Malawi to South African mining areas especially in the rand.  This has led to labour shortage in some of the farms leading to low production..
  2.    Stiff competition from other countries like Kenya, China etc.
  3. Rainfall unreliability is another problem.  Sometimes there is too much rainfall and sometimes there is drought.
  4. Snow and frost in the highlands affects the crop.
  5. Erosion is another problem that tends to destroy the crops in the farms on the slopes of the mountains.  But the farmers have decided to use contour farming and planting vegetation on the slopes so as to conserve soil.
  6. Diseases and pests attack crops leading to the decline in production.
  7.   Price fluctuation in the world market discourages the farmers.  More often than not, prices in the world market tend to drop leading to adverse affects in the level of production.
  8. The country itself is small in size leading to the limitation in the scale of production.  Malawi is 11,484 sq. km.  Its distance from North to South is 840km and width ranges from 80 – 160km.
  9. Poor transport and communication is another hindering factor facing tea production in Malawi.
  10. Concentration on tea production has decreased due to people’s involvement in the production of other crops like tobacco, rice, cotton, groundnuts, maize, cassava, beans, millet, bananas, and engagement in fishing.


Tea is being produced in Tanzania as a beverage cash crop.  The tea produced in Tanzania is of high quality and is both exported and used locally.

Organization of Farms

  1. There large estates controlled by both private sector and the government.  Examples of estates are like Ambangulu and Amani in Tanga.  The size of the estates tends to be over 1000 hectares.  Some estates are having some factors for processing tea.
  2. There are also small – holder farms of 3 to 10 hectares using family labour and to low extent, hired, labour.

Factors Favoring Tea Production in Tanzania

1.Market availability both locally and internationally since the produced is of good quality and taste. The local market has been growing high due to strong advertisement of tea made by the producers of tea in the country.  For example there are different brands of tea products like CHAI BORA by Tanzania Tea Packers include Tanzania Tea Blenders, Green Label, Milk cafe Limited, International Food Packers Limited, Tukuyu Packing Company Limited, etc.

  1. Researches on tea production have been taking place – leading to the increased quality of tea produced in Tanzania.
  2. Favorable climatic conditions in the highland areas. They have enough rainfall, which is well distributed.  The temperatures are relatively cool between 150C to 210C.

4 . Capital invested by some individuals, the government and the financial institutions.  The Tanzania Investment Bank played a great role in the provision of capital for establishing ten estates in Tanzania.

  1. Labour availability due to the high population in the country.  Both skilled labour and semi – skilled labour are available for the production process in the estates.
  2.   Soil quality in the highlands has also contributed to the tea production in Tanzania.  The soil in these highlands is fertile, acidic, deep, well drained, friable, aerated and volcanic in nature.
  3.   Peaceful state of the country that encourage people to effectively engage themselves in agriculture being assured with security.  Tanzania unlike other countries is a haven of peace where people are living peacefully and cooperate amicably in different agricultural matters including tea production.
  4. The relief (The presence of highlands like the Usambara Mountains and Southern Highlands that range from 1500m to 2000m above the sea level.  As a result of this elevation the climate is cool and the amount of orographic precipitation is high enough to facilitate the production of tea in the country.


The Three Major Tea Growing Areas in Tanzania are:-

  1. Usambara Mountains, both the south – east and north – east parts.  There was established at tea research centre at Marikitanda.
  2.   Southern Highlands including the Iringa, Mufindi, Njombe Lupembe and Mbeya (Rungwe) areas.
  3. The West Lake region also produces a small amount.

Importance of Tea Production in Tanzania

  1. It contributes to the generation of the government revenue in the country and this is used for running different social and economic aspects in the country.
  2. Creation of employment opportunities to the local people in the country leading to the reduction of the problem of unemployment among the Tanzanians.
  3. Development of infrastructure required for the transportation of distribution of tea products in the country has been encouraged.
  4. There has been stimulated of the development of industries for tea processing in the country.  Some of the factories are located in the estates.
  5. It has promoted the living standard of the people since it is used for drinking by the people.

Limitations or Setbacks of Tea Production in Tanzania

  1. Pests and diseases affect the production of tea since this attack the crops leading to the death of plants or rusting of the leaves.
  2. Low technology especially the small-holder farmers.  These farmers use poor facilities in the processing of tea.
  3. Poor capital availability that discourage investment level in the country.
  4. Poor marketing system associated with price fluctuation in the world market.  The market for the local tea is also limited as a result of the impact of the sea smuggled was impounded with some 580 tonnes of tea bearing fake labels.  The confiscated tea included Tausi, Moto moto, Five Roses, Midland, Lipton, Tetley, Ketepa, Maaze, Chombe and African Tea Brand.
  5. Highlands are affected by soil erosion which leads to land degradation and reduction of the arable land.  But this is being solved through afforestation programmes, which have been encouraged throughout the country.
  6. Some areas are affected by the decline of soil fertility due to the over use of soil nutrients by the plants.
  7. There is a problem of labour supply affected by diseases, rural –urban migration and the development of other economic sectors especially tourism and mining industry.
  8. Climatic vagaries characterized by droughts especially in the current time.
  9. Pressure for land in the highlands which has led to the problem of land fragmentation.

10.Most farmers are poor hence they cannot afford investing in tea production.


Although in recent decades several African countries have become important for the production of tea, the bulk of the world’s tea production still comes from Asia with India being the leading producer. Sri Lanka and China are the second and third respectively.

         Conditions, which have favored tea production in India, are:-

  1. Conducive climatic condition, that is, humid and warm monsoon climate with oceanic influence.  Also, enough orographic rainfall, which reaches about 1500mm to 2500mm.  These aspects lead to fast growth of tea and increase in the frequency of tea picking.
  2. Topography is suitable for tea because of the presence of hills and highlands that offer well drained soils and conducive climate E.g. on the Southern slopes of Himalayan foothills, Assam hills and Nilgiris hills (where tea is grown mainly at heights over 1200m with rainfall from 1500mm to 2500mm per annum).
  3.   Soils are fertile, deep, well drained because of hilly surface and easy to cultivate.  Also the soils are slightly acidic hence good for tea production.
  4. Labour is available because of high population in the country, India is the second highly populated country in the world.
  5.   Availability of market inside and outside the country.  One of the largest importers of tea from INDIA is U.K and others include Australia and West European countries.
  6. Technological advancement associated with Green revolution of 1970’s has contributed to the success of tea production in India.  Farmers are using scientific methods in cultivation, sowing, caring, and processing tea to ensure that the products are of high quality so as to get good market.
  7.   Combination of small holdings and estates, (encourages by the government) as facilitated positive advancement in tea production in India.  This is a good lesson to be learnt by other countries like Tanzania and Kenya where tea is also grown to some extent.


Tea is grown both on large scale (estates owned by companies) and small holdings.  These two are combined to facilitate smooth running of production activities.  These are many factories for processing tea and these serve both estates and small holdings and this has led to the concentration of small holders near factories.  On small holdings there are now cooperative, factories serving so as to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the processing process.

Tea Growing Areas in India:-

Most of the India’s tea is grown on large estates which are concentrated in three main areas:-

  1. ASSAM: This includes Assam hills, Khasi hills at an altitude of around 1070m, in the Brahmaputra and Surma valleys.  Assam produces the greatest yield due to large estates covering thousands of hectares.  Each estate is a self-contained community with good factories.  The factories are equipped with up to date machinery for processing and grading.
  2. DARJEELING: Is the district on the Southern slopes of Himalayan hills.  The best tea comes from this region.
  3. KERALA: The area, which includes Nilgiris Hill (where tea is mainly grown at heights of over 1200m, receiving the rainfall ranging from 1500mm to 2500mm), the upper slopes of the Western Ghats and Cardamon hills.  But production in the Nilgiris Hills of Southern India is less important but is of high quality.

Importance of Tea Growing in India

  1. It is a good example for the third world countries to emulate.  For example, the importance of combining both large scale and small holdings for the sake of promoting economic position of both large scale and small farmers.
  2. It has helped in solving the problem of employment in the country by creating opportunities for the burgeoning (rapidly growing) population.
  3. It has made India highly reputed for being the leading tea producer in the world.
  4. Social services and people’s living standards have been improved to a great extent.
  5. It has encouraged industrial development.  For example, the capital generated from tea has been re-invested in industries like textile and bicycle manufacturing industries.
  6. Tea production has also stimulated the improvement and expansion of transport and communication systems.

Limitations of Tea Production in India

Notwithstanding its success, India, lake other countries tea producing countries faces some problems in tea production.

  1. There is a problem of high population leading to pressure for land.  The area is overpopulated with density of 223 persons per sq. km.
  2. In some places farmers are still using old methods and living a traditional way of life. For example, farmers are still having small plots which are fragmented and scattered in the manner that mechanization, irrigation, drainage and pest control are difficult.
  3. Rainfall is seasonal and unreliable.
  4. There is a competition from other crops especially cereal crops and other crops.  Most people cultivate cereal crops, rice, wheat, and millet and other cash crops like cotton and rubber.
  5. Emerging of other countries as the tea as the producers pose a great challenge to India.  For example many African countries like Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania producing tea.  Also around India there are other countries like Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which produce tea posing a stiff competition to India.
  6. Tea production is costly for small and poor farmers.  The people in the villages fail to afford costs since tea needs skills and high capital for buying good equipment.  Machines for processing are needed such that small farmers fail to buy because they are expensive.
  7. Because of the problem of malnutrition and other diseases many people are of poor health and hence they cannot engage themselves effectively in the production process.
  8. Price fluctuation in the world market discourages farmers to great extent.
  9. India is facing a great problem of earthquakes, which affect people life.  People become restless and fail to concentrate in agriculture because of panic and being unsettled.  Also, the earthquakes destroy infrastructure and power systems.  This problem is so common in India because it is located within the converging plate tectonic boundaries, which continue colliding leading to such sporadic earthquakes.
  10. Frequent conflicts that involve India lead to the problem of labour unrest and hence affect agriculture leading to dwindling crop production.  For example the conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir.
  11. Erosion in the country has also led to destruction of soil and declining trend in tea production.  Erosion has been accelerated by excessive clearing of the land as a result of result of explosive population growth.
  12. Also the soil fertility has declined due to many years of constant land use following the increase in population.


Unlike cocoa and rubber (both of which originated in Tropical America) the oil palm is indigenous to West Africa and Nigeria is regarded as the original home.  It is grown widely throughout the forest zone.  In Nigeria it is especially grown in the South – East around Port Harcourt in the palm belt.  The palm belt has ideal conditions for growing oil palm because of heavy rains of about 1500mm, enough sunshine, well – drained soil and labour availability because of high population.

Conditions Required for Oil Palm Production

  1.    It requires heavy, well distributed rainfall of about 1,500mm to 2030mm per annum.
  2. The soil should be well drained and fertilizers should be added frequently.
  3. High humidity is ideal.
  4. The tree requires high temperatures of at least 210C and plenty of sunshine.
  5.    There shouldn’t be strong winds and wind breakers should be set up to protect the trees from being damaged.
  6.   It requires plenty of cheap labour to weed the young seedlings, harvest and transport the products to the oil mills.
  7. Oil mills need to be situated close to the navigable rivers and on flat land so as to facilitate road and railway construction.
  8.   It needs easy transport to the factory.

Farm preparation and Cultivation and Harvesting

The land is first cleared and the land is cultivated.  The young palms are raised in the nurseries and are later transplanted to the field.  In the farm cover crops are usually planted between trees.  Much care is needed to keep the weeds from the farm.  The farms must be inspected for pests and spraying is necessary. Pruning is also essential.

During the harvesting period, the fruits are harvested on a weekly basis.  After harvesting the fruits should be pressed immediately last they deteriorate..

Farm Organization

There are both plantations and small holdings in Nigeria. Oil palm is largely grown in villages (smallholdings by peasants).  Some peasants still use simple hand methods in the process of extraction but in plantations mechanized methods are used.  Many villages have their own oil press and the oil is sold to traders who arrange for its export.  The crop is helping farmers to get cash and protein.  Over 90% of produce is obtained from small holder farmers while the rest comes from plantations.

Uses of Oil Palm

  1. Oil palm yield two kinds of oil, that is palm oil, which is got from the fleshy pericarp, and the palm kernel oil got from the kernel.  The oil is used for making cooking fat, margarine, soap, candles, and cleansing agents.
  2. Waste material may be used as fuel and oil residue may be used as fertilizer or animal agents.
  3. The trunks of the tree can be tapped to yield alcoholic drink known as palm wine.
  4. The oil palm products can be exported to generate foreign currency.

Factors which favoured the Development of Oil Palm production in Nigeria:-

  1. Warm conditions in the southern part of Nigeria, which are due to the influence of the oceanic Guinea current.
  2. Most or humid condition which is influenced by the ocean and the presence of trees in the forest belt.
  3. Good fertile soil has encouraged oil palm production in the country.
  4. Heavy rains in the forest region, which have encourage the growth of oil palm trees.
  5. The use of improved varieties, which have short trees.  The new varieties have much thicker pericarp and hence yield more.
  6. Large scale production on plantations and the use of mechanized methods in the production process.  Estates account for 10% of the total put.
  7. Transport and communication has also stimulated the development of oil palm production in Nigeria.
  8. Paying of bonuses to farmers has encouraged the promotion of quality.
  9. Also, researches and the use of centralized mills have contributed to the development of oil palm production.

Decline in palm Oil production

The decline in oil palm production has been due to the following reasons;

  1. The government encouragement of production of basis food crops in order to minimize the importation of foods.  Some farms have been left uncultivated and no oil palms have been planted on those areas.  This has contributed to the decline of the importance of oil palm products.
  2. Poor methods of oil extraction due to low capital among the peasants who cannot afford investing in mechanized production.
  3. Rapid population growth has led to the increased concentration on food production.
  4.   Attack by diseases like Anthracnose caused by fungus which turn the leavers yellow, brown, or black and can be presented by spraying; Freckle caused by fungi which also attack leaves and can prevented by spraying; Blast, a root diseases which attacks nursery beds and is usually fatal.  There is no cure, but it can be prevented by careful cultivation, growing seedlings in polythene bags and watering effectively.


Rubber does not grow well in East Africa.  In West Africa the largest rubber producers are Liberia and Nigeria, with smaller amount being produced by  Cote d’ Ivories and Ghana.  Rubber is the native crop of Brazil, Malaysia also produces rubber.


Rubber growing in Liberia started as far back as 1910 when the British planted 80oha at Mt. Barcley near Monrovia, but later on had to abandon the project due to the falling world prices.  Hence, in the past rubber production came from foreign – owned plantations, but today Liberian farmers account for an increasing proportion of the country’s production.

The most important single producer is the American owned Firestone Company which obtained a 99 year lease in 1926 to establish rubber plantations.    Since then rubber has played a vital role in the development of Liberia’s economy.  The company established a large plantation at Harbel near Monrovia and a smaller one near the Cavalla River.  In 1980s the cavalla plantation stopped production due to the falling rubber prices in the world market.

In Liberia there are about 120,000 hectares land are devoted to rubber production, of which 60,000 hectares belong to Liberian farmers, themselves who produce approximately 20% of Liberia’s total production of 80 million kgs of rubber.

Hence, it can be concluded that rubber production in Liberia is organized either in plantations per small holdings.

But small farmers do not produce much (less than 29%) due to; inefficient small farms, absentee landlords and poor standard trees.

Factors the facilitated the development of rubber production in Liberia:

  1. Failure of Henry Ford’s plantations at Belterra and Ford Landia in the Amazon Basin in the 1920’s due to labour shortages, diseases and transport problems.  This made the firestone company to obtain a 99 – year lease to establish rubber plantation in Liberia.  Rubber has since then played a fundamental role in the development of Liberia’s economy.
  2. Rubber in Liberia was also stimulated by the effects of the Second World War, especially when Malaysia, which used to the leading producer, was overrun by Japan.
  3.   Conducive warm, humid climate and good well drained soils.
  4.   Liberia’s accessibility also encouraged the production of rubber in the country.

Uses of Rubber:

  1. Making of rubberized water proof materials.
  2. For making rubber shoes and boots (the rubber soles).
  3. Making the insulating materials for electric implements and wires.
  4. Making of carpet backings.
  5. Making of vehicle types and hence facilitates transport systems.

Importance of Rubber growing in Liberia

  1. It has created employment.  About 35% of wage earners in Liberia are employed by rubber industry.
  2. It contributes to the foreign exchange earnings.
  3. It has greatly assisted Liberians who grow rubber.  These earn some cash after selling the products to the company.  Also the company assists the small farmers by supplying seeds, giving advice etc.
  4. Rubber growing has stimulated the development of other sectors like research of other crops like coffee, oil palm, rice, banana and livestock under the instrumental role of the Firestone Company.
  5. Various infrastructures such as roads, health units, schools and recreational facilities have been established so as to benefit the local Liberians.  The Firestone Company has established research centers on tropical diseases which affect the local workers and the rest of the people in general.

Problems Facing Rubber Growers in Liberia

  1. The farmers find it difficult to invest large amount of capital since it takes a long time from planting to the period of harvesting.
  2. There is a stiff competition from other countries like Ivory Coast, Malaysia, etc.
  3. Small farmers are not well experienced and therefore they produce poor quality rubber.
  4. There is also a strong challenge from the synthetic rubber made from other countries, which is made from oil by great industries.  But natural rubber is still in a great demand.
  5. Price fluctuations have been discouraging production in the country.  Sometimes the prices become very low.
  6. There is a problem of vagaries of weather, especially unfavorable climatic conditions like heavy rains, which interrupt tapping procedure.
  7. Reliance on cheap labour supply, which is most cases, may fail to be obtained.  If labour becomes very expensive it is like to affect world prices for rubber and therefore, reduction in production.
  8. The other problem the sector is facing is the competition from other sectors like iron mining, which has led to a decline in rubber production since mining is more paying.
  9. Labour unrest because of political problems, which are prevailing in the country.  There are wars going on between the government regime and the contra-rebels.  Such wars bring worries and make people keep on fleeing without concentrating on the cultivation.

The Future of Natural Rubber:-

Natural rubber has a bright future because the demand is increasing.  The increase in demand is due to:-

  1.   Its good natural quality compared to artificial rubber which is not such much durable like natural rubber.
  2. Low cost of production involved in natural rubber.  Artificial rubber production is more costly.  Hence, because of low cost of production even the prices of natural materials tend to be lower than those made of artificial rubber.
  3.   Natural rubber is better because is replaceable while synthetic rubber tends to use resources, which have diminishing supplies, and are non – renewable.  For example, synthetic rubber uses petroleum which is non replaceable after being exhausted and it is environmentally unfriendly.
  4.    Family planning and AIDS control programmes, which encourage the use of condoms, will promote the market of rubber and hence lead to its increased production.
  5. Greater need of expanding the transport system is another factor that will promote rubber production.  As more and more cars are being made, there is a greater demand for tires and hence larger production of rubber in the world including Liberia.

Nonetheless, in Liberia, further rubber production rests on the political situation and improvement of technology among the local farmers.

Economic activities in Liberia


Rubber was introduced in Malaysia by the British in 1878.  They established plantation agriculture on the western side of the Malay Peninsula.

Factors that facilitated the establishment of Rubber plantation in Malaysia

  1. Already established transport systems of railway, roads, and port links.
  2. Availability of large and unpopulated forest land.
  3. The climate of Malaysia is conducive for rubber production since it is wet and hot.  The Temperature averages are about 320C all the year.
  4. The rainfall is high all the year round (about 2540mm).  The wettest areas receive 6480mm a year.
  5. Relief, The relief has allowed the establishment of transport system.
  6. Cheap labour availability provided by both Malays and immigrants from India.
  7. Rubber is produced both in plantations and small holdings.

Malay produces about 25% of the world’s rubber production.  A half (1/2) of Malaysia rubber is still on plantations which are now run by the government.  The other half (1/2) is now produced by farmers in the small holdings on the eastern side of the peninsula.  Small holders are given financial support by the government to protect their interests.  These grow crops for home consumption as well as rubber for cash.

Production is affected by price fluctuation in the world market and stiff competition from the synthetic rubber, which reduced the demand of natural rubber. But of late 80’s there has been revival in the industry due to the AIDS scare and hence the need for condoms.  Malaysia claims to produce 60% of the world’s condoms.


Ghana is one of the leading producers of cocoa production in the world and it is second to Cote d’Ivoire in the West African region.


Cocoa growing activity in Ghana is organized entirely on small holdings.  It is undertaken by small farmers (peasants) on small plots whose size range from 2 ½ to 4 hectares.

Factors which have led to the development of cocoa production in Ghana are:-

  1. High temperature, which are about 270C.
  2. Heavy rains ranging from 1250mm to 2000mm.
  3. Forest trees provide the necessary shade and save as windbreakers to protect the trees and flowers from being damaged.
  4. Undulating surface that has facilitated drainage and development of loamy soils, which are deep and fertile.
  5. The use of cheap small holder farming.  Cultivation on small holdings has led to several advantages like being cheap since family labour is used, they do not need a lot of capital hence good for poor governments, high quality of products than from the plantations, easier disease control and soil conservation, small holdings improve the life standards of the local people faster than plantations, individual’s technology have improved, and can be used where there is high population.

Location of Cocoa to Ghana

The main cocoa lands are found in the south (the area extending between the towns of Koforidua and Sunyani) where rainfall is heavier and land is little higher than other areas.  Ashanti is the chief cocoa producing area and Kumasi is the center of the producing area.  The towns of Accra, Kumasi are the center of the producing area.  The towns of Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi have formed a triangle of the area where there is the greatest concentration of cocoa production.

Importance of Cocoa to Ghana

  1. Cocoa is the greatest money earner in the country accounting for 60% of exports.  Cocoa is shipped to many parts of America and Europe.
  2. It has promoted the income of the peasant farmers and their general living standard.
  3. It has encouraged the development of towns, like Kumasi, Takoradi and Accra.
  4. It has stimulated the development of transport and communication.  For example the development of Takoradi as a port owed to the cocoa industry since it was aimed at easing the shipment of cocoa and other exports.
  5. It has earned Ghana an international repute and improvement of social services like education, health, etc.
  6. It has encouraged the development of industries and other sectors like mining.  This is because the money got from cocoa sales is reinvested in such other sectors.

Trend of Cocoa production in Ghana

Cocoa production in Ghana has been experiencing a declining trend due to the following limiting factors.

  1. There has been predominance of old trees in the farms, which have not been replaced, hence they don’t give enough yield.
  2. Lack of disease and pests control because of low concentration on cocoa production and the use of poor farming methods.  There are fungal diseases like black pod, swollen root, manilla and witchesbroom and pests like capsid which have led to great problems in the trend of production.  The only way of dealing with swollen root problem has been to cut down the infected trees and burn them. The government has sponsored the cutting out scheme and millions of infected trees have been destroyed.  The problems of capsid are being solved by spraying with an insecticide.
  3. Poor farm management by the local farmers because of lack of proper managerial techniques.
  4. Low government incentives to improve production.  But nowadays there is more emphasis than in the past to encourage local farmers to embark on improved methods like spraying so as to increase yield by protecting the plats.
  5. Climatic problems for example rainfall in the north is insufficient for cocoa production and in the southwest the rainfall is too heavy (above 1800mm. Optimum conditions for cocoa lie between 1300mm and 1500mm with a dry spell, so too much moisture has encouraged fungal diseases like swollen root and black pod.
  6. Another problem is the predominance of low quality variety in the farms, which give low yield per hectare.
  7. Price fluctuations in the world market have been discouraging farmers from increasing the production of cocoa.  In 1970’s a lot of cocoa was thrown in the ocean because of lacking market such that farmers were highly discouraged.  To address this problem, today the government is trying to diversify her crop production and emphasizing industrial development, although cocoa growers are still reluctant to accept these new innovations.
  8. There is limited mechanization because of predominance of traditional methods.

Frequent fires also cause great devastation of cross in the farm leading to low yield.


Coconuts are typical of coastal plain in the tropical areas where conditions are favorable such as:-

  1. High temperatures of about 300C.
  2. Heavy rainfall above 1500mm per annum.
  3. Well – drained sandy soils.  It also tolerates salty soils.

Coconuts are both cash crop and food crop and roughly the growers consume half of coconuts.


Coconut coir can be used for making ropes and carpets.  Other uses invoice making oil from copra.  Copra residues can be fed to the poultry, making wine, the leaves and trunks provide materials for ma’s shelter, hard shells can be made into utensils and lastly it can be used to manufacture margarine and soap.

Trees are grown in small fields as well as plantations.  The government in Tanzania established the coconut schemes in Tanga, Mtimbwani, Mkwaya and Kerge Ujamaa village.  In Zanzibar coconuts are grown throughout the Island especially in Chwaka, Uroa, Paje, Mangapwani and Makunduchi.  The production in Zanzibar has been encouraged by the presence of the factories like:-

  1. The coir factory at Mtoni that makes carpets, ropes and baskets.
  2. The copra factory also located at Mtoni that dries the copra and then heats and presses it to extract oil for cooking, making margarine or for export.  Poorer quality oils are sent to the soap factory in Kwahani and the reside is used for cattle food.

In Pemba coconuts are extensively grown but are fewer than in Zanzibar.  There are also some industries for coconut oil extraction.

Problems of Coconut Cultivation in Tanzania:-

Coconut production in Tanzania has been facing the following problems:-

  1.   Low production due to the predominance of small farmers (peasants) who use poor methods.
  2. The varieties of coconuts are tall hence harvesting becomes a big problem since people have to climb the trees.
  3.   Most people do not give first priority to coconuts as the commercial crop and focus on other crops, which tend to grow fast.
  4.   Low government support on growing coconuts.  Zanzibar is more advantaged because of the processing factories.
  5.   The trees especially in mainland Tanzania are very old, but there are some new short varieties, which are now being introduced.
  6. Other countries like South – East Asia (Philippines, Malaysia, Sumatra, and other countries like Sri – Lanka, India etc), pose stiff competition in the world market.
  7. There is labour shortage in the coconut farms since most of people especially the young ones have migrated to towns for other activities like petty trade.

Suggestive Conclusion

There is a strong need for the government to pay more attention to the production of this crop.  The crop has some advantages that include:

  1. It requires little investment so not very high capital is needed unlike other crops.  Even small farmers can afford the production of coconuts.
  2. It doesn’t require very advanced specialized knowledge production.
  3. It can propagate itself.
  4. It has many uses and almost every part of coconut palm is used.  Advanced factories should be established and good (short) varieties should be introduced.    Marketing system has to be coordinated properly.  Transport and communication system should be improved so as to facilitate exploitation.  Some new areas like Rufiji Basin should be opened up for larger plantations.


  1. Livestock or pastoral (husbandry) farming is the rearing of animals and birds (goats, cattle, sheep and poultry (birds).
  2. It can be distinguished into traditional (subsistence) livestock farming and modern (commercial) livestock farming.


  1. Nomadic Pastoralism
  • This is also called as nomadic herding.
  • It is livestock farming in which pastoralist constantly move from place to place in search of pasture and water.  A person who moves from place to place in search of pasture and water if called a nomad.
  • The system is extensive and subsistence in nature as the farmer keeps animals for food and not for sale.
  • Examples of places where nomadic pastoralism takes place are West Africa by the Fulani tribe who move from Lake Chad down to the Jos plateau in Northern Nigeria.  In East Africa by the Maasai who move between Tanzania and Kenya.  In Ethiopia by the Nubia, in south Africa by the Hottentots and in the Sahara by the Tuareg.

Characteristics of Nomadic Pastoralism

  1. The cattle are kept for prestige, paying bride price and not for sale.
  2. The breeding process is uncontrolled.
  3. The herds of animals are large in size.
  4. The land is commonly owned.  This causes overgrazing and serious soil degradation.
  5. Diseases common because of poor care given to the animals.  For example farmers do not vaccinate their animals.
  6. Low technology is involved.
  7. The animals are of poor quality (poor health) and of low value.
  8. The system takes places where there is sparse population.
  9. It is not expensive.

10.There is no permanent settlement as farmers move constantly with their animals.

11.There is no crop cultivation and hence the animals are the sole base or support of the family life.

12.Many animals are grazed on the same field.

Advantages of Nomadic Pastoralism

  1. The system is cheap (not costly).  It does not need advanced technology or sophisticated tools.
  2.   It assures the family the availability of food especially when the animals are so many.
  3. The traditional varieties of animals are resistant to diseases and other environmental hardships.

Disadvantages of Nomadic Pastoralism

  1. Animals give poor production and are of low value.
  2. Many animals die due to lack of disease and pests control, which attack the animals.
  3. A farmer wastes a lot of time moving from place to place.  He /she cannot settle and engage into other into other activities like crop production, etc.
  4. Movement from place to place and overgrazing lead to the large scale destruction of vegetation.  This in turn causes Desertification and soil erosion.
  5. It cannot take place where there is high population since the number of animals tends to be large and hence large open area is needed.
  6. There are poor storage facilities hence the farmer suffers a great loss.
  7. During the movement the pastoralists come into conflict with the wildlife conservation sector and agricultural cultivators and this can head to death.

What should be done?

  1. The farmers should be given proper education that can enable them to get new and advanced technology.
  2. The number of animals should be reduced (destocking) so that they can be managed well.
  3.   Farmers should be encouraged to keep the animals good quality varieties like hybrid or improved breeds.  These give good yield compared to the traditional varieties.
  4. The government should help the pastoralist to improve the faming system.
  5.   The farmers should stop moving from place to place.  They should settle in one place in order to be able to engage themselves in crop production and other activities.
  6. There should be disease control by dipping the animals in chemical solution and vaccination.
  7. The marketing system, transport and communication services should be improved so as to encourage the farmers to embark on the advanced livestock farming methods.
  8.   Farmers should also grow grass through irrigation so as to ensure reliable supply of pasture.

  9. Semi – nomadic (Semi – Sedentary) Pastoralism
  10. Semi – nomadic or semi – sedentary pastoralism is a system in which a farmer has started setting and begun growing crops like maize, millet and sorghum apart from keeping animals.
  11. A farmer can also use some cattle dung as manure to encourage plant growth.  Examples include the Sukuma of Tanzania and the Karamajong of northern Uganda.

Nomadism is increasingly decreasing due to:

  1. Improvement techniques such that pastoralists can improve production without shifting.
  2. The governments are encouraging the people to settle down and stop moving since it is wastage of time and energy as well as a danger to the environment.
  3. Rapid increase in population has forced people to engage into intensive livestock farming systems rather than extensive system.
  4. Sedentary Livestock Farming

It is the system in which a farmer keeps animals while settled permanently in one place.  He does not move from place to place.

There are several factors that have led to the change from nomadic pastoralism to sedentary pastoralism.  These include:

  1. The advancement of technology and the increase in the level of education, which have made farmers, find setting more economical than moving from place to place.
  2. The increase in the size of population has led to the decrease in the size of pastureland.  Hence, nomadism cannot take place where the population is high.
  3. The governments have been insisting on the farmers to settle instead of moving so that they can be assisted easily.  The farmers have been advised to reduce the number of animals and keep good varieties of animals.
  4. The reaction by the environmentalists. These have been encouraging farmers to settle so as to conserve the environment.
  5. Also, pastoralists themselves have begun to engage into other different activities like fishing, lumbering, and crop production.  These have force them to settle.

Characteristics of Sedentary Livestock Farming

  1. The method uses more advanced technology than in nomadic technology.
  2. The number of animals is not so high.
  3. The animals are kept in sheds.  Some can be fed using fodder as zero grazing.  Zero grazing is when the animals are given feeds where they are in the shed, without making them go into the field so as to obtain pasture.
  4. There is disease control.
  5. The system can take place where there is high population like in town and villages. E.g. on the slopes of Kilimanjaro among the Chagga.

Advantages of Sedentary Livestock Farming

  1. The animals are healthy and hence the yield is high. Settling on one area the risk of becoming sick is reduced both in animals and farmers.
  2. Since a limited number of animals is kept there is better care of animals in terms of diseases control and food supply than in nomadism.
  3. A pastoralist does not waste a lot of time moving from place to place.
  4. It is easy for the pastoralists to get assistance in terms of education, dipping the animals and loans.
  5. The population of animals in the country can be assessed easily when people are settled. That is it can be easy to country the animals in the country.
  6. It encourages the improvement of the environment and its resources (Environmental conservation).
  7. It enables a farmer to engage himself in other activities like crop cultivation, fishing and trade.  It contributes to the rise of the life standard of people.
  8. Manure can be used in the gardens and other crop farms.
  9. A farmer gets balanced diet since there is availability of both proteins and carbohydrates.


Transhumance is the farming system, which involves seasonal movement of people with their animals.  It differs from nomadism because of being characterized by permanent.Shifting the Fulani in West Africa practice this system.  The move from Lake Chad to Jos plateau in the Northern Nigeria and extend to southern Niger along the River Niger.

During the rainy season (May – October) they migrate northwards and graze the cattle up to December.  When it is dry season they move to the south in search of green pasture and water.  They graze in the south up to April when the rains begin. However, some Fulani today are involved in commercial livestock rearing. Tsetse fly infestation is the major problem that is encountered during this movement.

Identify the factors determining sedentary livestock agriculture in Africa:

  1. Climate:  Where the rainfall supports pasture growth sedentary agriculture takes place easily unlike where there is severe drought.
  2. Soil: Where the soil is poor pasture also is poor hence sedentary livestock farming cannot take place.  But where the soil is good and can support pasture growth the system can develop easily.
  3. Nature of pasture: If the pasture available is palatable sedentary agriculture can develop easily unlike where the pasture is of poor quality and inadequate.
  4. Political stability can encourage or discourage: For example where there are political conflicts people are not settled or feel insecure, hence they cannot develop sedentary livestock farming.  But where people live in peace they feel confident to develop sedentary livestock farming.
  5. Government policy on agriculture.  Some governments in some countries like Kenya are encouraging the development of sedentary livestock farming such that ranches have been launched.  Likewise in Tanzania there are cattle ranches, which have been started like Kongwa, Mkata in Morogoro and Kagera ranch in Kagera region.
  6. Technology also influences sedentary livestock farming in Africa: Where technology is low farmers do not settle and they don’t produce highly compared to the areas where people have high technology and are settled.
  7. Transport system.  Where the transport is well developed the farmers establish sedentary livestock farming but where transport is poor sedentary livestock is also poorly developed.
  8. Market availability can encourage sedentary livestock if it is good but where the marketing systems are poor sedentary farming also tends to be poor.
  9. Capital availability.  If the capital is available then sedentary farming tends to be more advanced due to the investment in technology while where the capital is poor the system tends to be poor also.

Mention the problems caused by sedentary livestock farming

  1. It causes land degradation due to overgrazing and clearing of the vegetation.
  2. It leads to environmental pollution.  For example the decomposition of dung leads to the emission of methane gas, which pollutes the air, and the use of chemicals pollutes the soil.
  3. It can lead to the decline of other sectors since a lot of capital can be directed to animal farming.
  4. Sedentary farming brings problems of conflicts especially when the animals stray in the crop farms.
  5. Some diseases affecting the animals like East coast fever, cancer and Foot and Mouth Disease can affect the people also it no keen care has been taken.

Outline the problems facing subsistence live stock farming in East Africa:

  1. Low capital to be invested in the animal keeping. E.g. buying of chemicals and good varieties of animals.
  2. There is high disease incidence affecting the health of animals and the farms.
  3. High rate of population growth, which force the farmers to produce for food only rather than for sale.
  4. Poor storage and processing facilities.
  5. Poor transport and communication.
  6. There is poor yield because of animal varieties.
  7. Low level of technology among the farmers.
  8. Religious beliefs such that some people like Moslems cannot keep animals like pigs.
  9. Attitude of pastoralists who believe that keeping of many animals is the sign of prestige.
  10. Poor climatic condition like inadequate rainfall, which can lead to shortage of pasture etc.
  11. Poor quality of pasture.  The grass in coarse (rough, not tender) and unpalatable.
  12. Rural – urban migration has led to the problems of labor supply.
  13. Rustling (cattle stealing) discouraged the pastoralists.
  14. Land conflicts between the cultivators and the pastoralists because of struggle for land.  This problem has been accelerating by the lack of land tenure system due to poor agricultural policies.


This is a system of keeping the animals and birds for sale.  It can be intensive or extensive.

Examples of commercial livestock farming are beef farming on ranches, dairy farming etc.

 (a) Extensive Commercial Livestock – Farming

This is the system that takes place on a large scale.  It involves keeping a large number of animals on a large stretch of land called ranch.  The animals kept in ranches involve:

  1.   Cattle for beef (Beef farming) cattle for milk (Dairy farming).
  2.   Sheep for wool and mutton.
  3.   Goats for mohair and milk production.
  4. Pigs for pork.

Example of Ranches;

  1.   Beef farming in the Pampas of Argentina, Kongwa in Dodoma (Tanzania), USA, and Kenya etc.
  2. Sheep ranching in Australia and South Africa. Ranches occupy very large areas about thousands of hectares. They are more developed in the temperature grasslands like the prairies of Canada, Pampas of Argentina and the downs of Australia.

The temperate regions are better due to:-

  1.   The cool healthy climate.
  2. Palatable grass which is not coarse compared to the tropical grass.
  3.   High fertility that encourages prosperous growth of pasture.
  4. Better supply of water due to a fairly distributed rainfall and absence of extreme evaporation.
  5.   Lower disease incidence.
  6. Higher market availability.

Characteristics of Ranches

  1. It takes place on a large area.
  2. They are scientifically managed due to use of high technology.

3.There is little or no migration. This is due to permanent and reliable food supply supplemented by fodder.

  1. Improved breeds or hybrids are used.  These give high yield.
  2. The animals are kept in a large number.
  3. The production is for sale.
  4. There is continuous cover of green pasture because of the use of irrigation system. The farmers tend to grow well – selected pasture like Alfa, Lucern and cloves.
  5. It involves high capital investment in relation to labor required.  Capital is needed for fencing and buying farm machinery.
  6. Usually one type of animals is kept aimed at one type of production.  This is for controlling the quality of products.

Advantages (Merits) of Ranching

  1. There is high production and the products are of high quality because of the use of high science and technology.
  2. It stimulates the development of transport and communication systems.
  3. It encourages the development of towns.
  4. It creates employment for managers and other people who provide labor.
  5. It assures a constant supply of meat and milk to the consumers.
  6. They contribute to the generation of the government revenue.

Disadvantages (Demerits or Weakness)

  1. The ranches are costly since they need high capital to establish and maintain.
  2. The system needs of a large area with sparse population.  It can’t take place where there is high population.
  3. The system can lead to pollution of the environment because of the use of chemicals and the decomposition of the organic matter. When the animal dung decomposes methane gas also pollutes the air, water and the soil.
  4. Ranches can also accelerate deforestation because large areas are cleared for establishing the pastureland.  Deforestation can lead to desertification and soil erosion.



The USA is the greatest beef producer in the world but because of large local demand of beef it has little surplus for export.  Most of the beef is bought locally. Today there are over 100 million cattle in the USA most of which are reared for beef. There are large ranches for beef farming which have been established in the western part of the country especially the Great Plains, prairies and semi areas of California. Also, there are so many beef cattle, which are bred and fattened entirely in the Corn Belt leading to the emergence of mixed farming in the zone.

Factors which have led to the successful beef farming in USA are:-

  1. The use of advanced technology involving the machinery in the production Alfa Alfa.
  2. Reliable supply of water especially from the rivers and dams, which have been established in the California region.
  3. Reliable availability pasture some of which is being growing under the irrigation schemes.  The pasture produced under irrigation schemes includes alfa alfa or fodder as well as maize from the Corn Belt.
  4. Reliable transport and communication network like railway line; which is used for ferrying animals animal products.
  5. Good soils, which have encouraged the growth of pasture.
  6. Enough local market following high demand for beef by the local people in the country.  The local demand in USA is such high that little beef is exported to other countries.
  7. Availability of enough land especially in the western part of the country (California, the Great Plains etc) due to sparse population. Also, most of the land has an undulating surface.  Because of this it has been very easy for the individuals to establish large – scale mechanized beef farming (ranching).
  8. Climate characterized by slight rainfall that encourages the growth of grass and conducive temperature has stimulated the successful development of beef farming in those regions.
  9. The use of irrigation schemes to ensure consult supply of pasture has been another stimulating factor.
  10. The area has few diseases and also there is high disease control leading to the reduction of deaths of animals.
  11. Availability of capital to be invested in beef farming has stimulated the successful development of beef cattle industry.
  12. The presence of good animal varieties like Aberdeen Angus, Red Angus, Polled Hereford, Polled Shorthorn and the cross breed of Zebu..  Most of the breeds in the USA are European except the cross breeds with Zebu.

Fattening of Cattle

  1. Fattening is done either traditionally in the Corn Belt whereby the cattle are reared in the Western grassland areas for two years and then sent to the Corn Belt for fattening before being sold or slaughtered.
  2. Nowadays it is done locally in the feed yards such that many western cattle are no longer sent to the east in the Corn Belt. It has been possible because of developing of irrigation scheme where crops like sorghum and grass like alfa alfa are grown.  Many fattening concerns are still based in the Mid-west.

Hence, it can be summarized that fattening process has been shifting westward from the traditional Corn Belt because of availability of large amount of pasture due to irrigation and fertilization of soil of large dry areas in the west and the shift of the slaughter houses and meat packing factories to the west. Processing of animal products is done in towns like St. Louis, Omaha and Kansas City.


In Argentina beef farming is in the Pampas (The temperature grassland).  It lies between the subtropical latitudes 300S and 400S.  The ranches in Argentina are called estancias and can be up to 200mk2 in area.

Conditions favoring beef production in the pampas of Argentina

        Physical Conditions

1.Presence of the extensive low rising flat land which allows for large scale mechanized livestock farming to take place.

  1.   Reliable supply of pasture which is good in quality.
  2. Fertile soils have given rise to good pasture.
  3. Well – distributed rainfall throughout the year with annual total of about 1000mm encourages good grown growth of pasture and regular supply of pasture.  This rainfall if reliable because of the oceanic influence.
  4. The temperatures are not very low (100C to 240C) and hence encourage the growth of pasture.

Human Factors

  1. Introduction of good quality cattle from Europe like the short horn and Herefords.
  2. Application of advanced technology like the use of refrigeration facilities etc.
  3. Availability of ready market in the European countries.
  4. Farmers plant grass like Alfalfa, which has lead to the increased supply of pasture and hence high production of beef.
  5. There is good organization in the ranches and they are mechanized.  Farmers use machines in the production process.
  6. A good railway network, which help in transporting cattle to the factories and markets areas.
  7. The government policy encourages the development of animal husbandry to take place at a large scale.

Advantages of Beef Farming in Argentina

  1. It has encouraged the development of towns and ports like Buenos Aires, La Planta and Bahia Blanca.
  2. It has facilitated the development of transport and communication system.
  3. The ranches provide employment to people. For example in the estancias (or ranches) the employed cowboys called Gauchos drive horses around the farms to look after the cattle.
  4.   Argentina has provided a god example to other countries especially the developing countries like Tanzania, to copy and improve the livestock farming in the country.

Other products apart from beef are hides, fat, bone meat for fertilizer and glue made from horns and hoofs.  The major limitations that are facing Argentina involve political chaos caused by the economic slump.  There has been economic crisis leading to the devaluation of the local currency.  This is going to bring problems in terms of investment and hence the beef farming section is also going to be affected.


Sheep are kept for wool or for 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 provide the products like skin and milk.

Australia has a sheep population of over 135 million. Sheep farms are very large. A single farm can be having up to 50,000 sheep. Australia is the world’s leading wool producer and more than 90% of her production is exported. The areas where sheep farming takes place are in the rolling downs on the western side of the Great Divide Range.

 Factors that Led to the Development of Sheep Farming in Australia

  1. The use of advanced technology like the use of refrigerators. Skilled labor is highly used in the production process.
  2.   Availability of pasture which can support large scale sheep farming.
  3.   Good climate healthy to animals and which provides rainfall leading to regular water supply.
  4.   Good soil that supports the growth of grass.
  5. Reliable water availability due to the precipitation especially in the south – eastern part.
  6. Ready market.
  7.   Good quality products because of the use of good animal varieties like Merino.
  8.   Good transport and communication.

In Africa sheep farming takes place at a large scale in South Africa. Tanzania also has sheep farming taking place especially in Iringa.

Map Diagram:-


Dairy farming is the keeping of animals for milk production. It is an intensive activity and the farmers are producing for sale. Apart from Netherlands dairy farming also takes place in Denmark and Kenya.  But it is more developed in European countries than Tropical African countries due to the extremely high temperatures, poor technology, and poor quality of animals and animal products, poor market, prevalence of disease and poor capital. In the Netherlands dairy farming is most intensive north of Amsterdam.

Factors that have led to the development of dairy farming in Netherlands

  1. Plentiful  availability of capital that is invested in mechanized methods.
  2. The government policy favoring scientific .and commercial agricultural farming.
  3. Good climate associated with mild winters. The climate is moderated by the warm ocean current and the wind that blow from the North Sea.
  4. The land is flat allowing for easy mechanization to take place; especially cultivating the land for growing pasture.

5.Good soil that was reclaimed from the sea encouraged the growth of pasture  leading to the reliable supply of food.

  1. Reliable water supply by the rainfall, from the North Sea and the Lake Yssel.  The rain fall is adequate and evenly distributed supporting Lush for pasture.
  2. Large nearby urban markets.
  3. Good animal breeds like Friesians, which dominate the dairy Farming in the Netherlands.

Chief Dairy Cattle Products

Milk, butter, cheese


Unlike other European countries, Denmark is not endowed with basic raw Material for the development of  heavy industries like iron and steel, or oil. Also, the country has been facing a great challenge from North America, which supplies the grains more cheaply than what are being  produced in the country. Hence, it has emphasized on dairy farming which has become the main agricultural activity in the country. The Country is the one of exporters of butter.


The farms have long been organized into cooperative and are very small in size   usually less than 20 hectares. The cooperatives are responsible for buying and selling .The cooperative system is very effective in quality control, advertising and marketing. There are cooperative creameries, which collect milk from the farms in order to produce and market butter, cream and cheese.  Cooperatives also provide farmers with processing facilities, credits, research service and advice. They also buy for them some machinery and farm input like fertilizer. Every dairy farmer is a registered to a member of a diary cooperative. Types of animals kept include Danish red (the traditional cow of Denmark),

Friesian that accounts for 75% of the dairy cattle in the country, Channel Island cows like Jersey (small), Guernsey and Alderney.

Factors for the successful Development of  Dairy Farming in Denmark;

  1. The use of mechanized   methods due to the advanced technology. This is not the case in East Africa. Denmark is highly mechanized compared to East Africa countries. There are good facilities for processing and preserving the dairy products in all the cooperative farms.
  2. Assured supply of pasture and the farmers grow fodder. They depend on fodder due to its high nutritional value and the nature of climate. The climate is too cold in most part of the year and hence discourages the growth of grass. From November to March the animals are fed in doors with fodder since it is very cold.
  3. There are both local and external markets  readily available for Denmark. This is due to the fact that the dairy products from Denmark area of high quality because of the use of advanced technology and nutritious food, that is fodder.
  4. Good breeds like Friesian are widely kept (75% of all types of cattle) and these give high yield to the country.
  5. There are good transport and communication systems, which facilitate the distribution and exportation of the dairy products. The use of internet service has facilitated advertising the sector in the other   countries.
  6. Good marketing system organized by the cooperatives encourages the farmers to keep on carrying out dairy farming activity.
  7. High capital investment in dairy farming and growing of pasture especially fodder has   encouraged the successful development of dairy farming in Denmark.
  8.   High yield  throughout  the year has been achieved by keeping of Animals indoors during severe cold condition where they   are being Fed with fodder.
  9. Availability of cheap food stuffs from other countries like North America, which provides cereals for feeding the animals.

Importance of Dairy Farming in Denmark;

  1. It provides nutritious food that is milk.
  2. People get income because of dairy farming leading to the rise in the living standards.
  3. It has stimulated the development and expansion of the transport and communication systems and industries.
  4. It is a foreign currency earner .E.g. Denmark is the fifth leading exporter of cheese and the sixth leading world’s producer.
  5. It has earned Denmark an international repute and has given a good  lesson to other countries, which are undertaking dairy farming.
  6. It has attracted tourist who come to study dairy farming from the other countries whose economies are based on agriculture.


The system of keeping animals and growing of crops in the same farm Unit; USA in the Corn Belt (Maize Belt) is the best example of the Placer where mixed farming because of the factors like plentiful rain that Support plant growth, Fertile soils, the use of advanced technology, high capital available and conducive temperatures to   20oC. The maize produced in the Corn Belt is fed to the animals it is Used as the fattening area for beef cattle and pigs. Dairying in the Corn Belt takes place eastwards near the towns.

Problems facing live stock Farming in East Africa;

  1. Lacks of capital for investing in the livestock farming since most of the farmers are poor.
  2. Poor technology as a result of predominance of traditional methods. Livestock in many areas is not mechanized.
  3. Disease and pests, which attack both animals and farmers, bring adverse effect to the livestock farming. In central parts of   Tanzania like Tabora are infested with tsetse flies leading to the Decline in livestock farming in those areas .There are other disease like Foot and Mouth disease ,  Rinder  pest, Nagana  and anthrax that affect animals.
  4. Transport and communication are still poor. Hence, distributions of Animal products become very difficult. Some of the roads are impassable during the rainy season.
  5. Climate vagaries, which involve the occurrence of prolonged Droughts, lead to the problems of water and pasture supply.  In some Areas there are problems of frequent floods like in Kilosa. This discourage livestock husbandry. Also, sometimes the temperature area very high the condition which is not ideal for exotic breeds.
  6. Cattle rusting are another problem .This involves raiding of cattle and sometimes killing of people .This also discourages livestock farming.
  7. The marketing system in East Africa unlike in Denmark and Netherlands is very poor due to poor condition. Also the local market is poor because of low purchasing among the poor people in the rural areas.
  8. The breeds are of poor quality and improved breeds are very few and the local farmers are reluctant to keep them since they are used to traditional breeds, which are cheap to keep because of being more resistant to disease.
  9. Little government concern is another hindering factor in the development of livestock husbandry in East Africa.
  10. There is poor coordination in many places such that the livestock farming is not well organized.
  11. The pasture in East Africa is poor and unpalatable to animals. The grass in this region is very coarse or rough hence not preferred by animals.
  12. Poor education among the farmers make farmer adamant to accept some new changes in the livestock farming activity.
  13. Socio cultural factors: In some societies people keep so many animals for prestige. Religious background tends to restrict keeping of some animals. For example, among Muslims it is prohibited to eat pigs since they are regarded as unclean.
  14. Expensive medical services are another problem. The farmers are poor and hence they cannot afford the services.

What should be done?

  1. There should be introduction of new breeds, which are of high Yield and quality
  2. Farmers should be given comprehensive education so that they can accept good changes in the methods of keeping animals.
  3. The government should be highly involved in livestock farming. I should be so instrumental in the formulation of good and practicable policies focusing on the promotion of livestock husbandry. It should finance some farmers and bringing to halt the problem of rustling.
  4. There is a great need for the farmers to organize themselves and settle rather than keep on shifting from place to place and waste time.
  5. The marketing system should be improved by setting good prices for the products.
  6. Destocking should also be encouraged so that the number of animals can correspond   to the carrying capacity of the land and its pasture.
  7. The transport and communication system should be improved to facilitate the distribution of animals and animal products to the market areas.
  8. Irrigation system should be developed to ensure constant supply of Good pasture, which is tender and palatable. Nutritious grass should be planted so as to promote production.
  9. There should be high disease control like combating the spread of Nagana, which is caused by tsetse flies. This can be done through Large-scale fumigation of the pastureland with chemicals. Also Animals should be dipped and inoculated frequently.

10.Water supply can be improved through the construction of boreholes and water reservoirs. Rivers should be dammed to impound large amount of water.

In point form, enumerate the factors that limit the development of ranches in East Africa.

  1. Water storage due to frequent drought that hit the region
  2. Remoteness of some place due to poor transport and Communication system.
  3. Pests and disease, which attack both animals and people, discourage this activity.
  4. There is a great problem of lack of capital among small farmers.
  5. Climate vagaries leading to seasonality in the supply of pasture.
  6. People’s ignorance and lack of attention to livestock lead to poor development in livestock farming.

7.Ranches are expensive to run since they need big initial capital and the local peasants can’t afford.

  1. Poor marketing system is another hindering factor.

9.The processing and preservation systems are also poor hence they discourage the livestock farming.

  1. Social-cultural factors.

Problems Caused by agriculture

  1. Deforestation that lead to desertification because of cutting trees a result of poor methods of cultivation and livestock farming.
  2. Soil or land degradation as a result of the exposure of land after Cutting trees by farmers.
  3. Environmental, pollution like air pollution by methane gas from the farms, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide due to the burning of the bushes and grass. Also it has led to the   pollution of soil and water because of the use of chemicals.
  4. Depletion of soil fertility as a result of monoculture activities especially where there are plantation crops grown.
  5. Agriculture has also caused conflicts between pastoralists like the Kilosa case in 1999/2000 in Morogoro.
  6. The decline in agricultural, production because of problems like drought, disease and decline in fertility can cause food shortage .This is due to the fact that agriculture tends to be susceptible to these problems when there is no high care.
  7. Agricultural success in certain place can attract high population leading to pressure for land.
  8. Large scale agriculture leads to the decline of other economic sectors because of involving a lot of capital.

Leave a comment