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Introduction to Agriculture

This is the introduction to secondary school agriculture - This Agriculture notes has been compiled with a view to accomplishing two fundamental objectives

1.The learners should develop basic principles of agricultural production relevant to Kenya in general, and specifically to their own environments.

2. Learners should be involved in practical which aim at assisting them to acquire useful agricultural skills.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that learners be involved in practical work for actual agricultural production.

Affective domain objectives in agriculture are as important as those in cognitive and psychomotor domains. However, they must not be seen as achievable at the end of each single topic.

They are long term objectives and are set out in the general rather than specific objectives. The teacher must not forget them in teaching and in assessment.

Welcome to form one Agriculture

This is the introduction to secondary school agriculture

 

 

Agriculture CD has been compiled with a view to accomplishing two fundamental objectives,

1.The learners should develop basic principles of agricultural production relevant to Kenya in general, and specifically to their own environments.

2. Learners should be involved in practicals which aim at assisting them to acquire useful agricultural skills. 

Therefore, it is highly recommended that learners be involved in practical work for actual agricultural production.

Affective domain objectives in agriculture are as important as those in cognitive and psychomotor domains. However, they must not be seen as achievable at the end of each single topic.

They are long term objectives and are set out in the general rather than specific objectives. The teacher must not forget them in teaching and in assessment.

The CD covers:

  • Introduction to agriculture,
  • Factors influencing agriculture,
  • Farm tools and equipment,
  • Crop production (land preparation)
  • Water supply, irrigation and drainage,
  • Soil fertility (organic manures)
  • Livestock production (common breeds)
  • Agricultural economics (basic concepts and farm records).

These topics are distributed throughout the form one course.

 

Introduction to Agriculture
 

The illustration below helps you to explain the importance of agriculture in Kenya.

Why should you study agriculture?

Find out the opportunities that are available in agricultural sector.

In the video see some of the activities carried out in the agricultural industry.


In 2006 almost 75 percent of working Kenyans made their living on the land, compared with 80 percent in 1980. About one-half of total agricultural output is non-marketed subsistence production. Agriculture is also the largest contributor to Kenyas gross domestic product (GDP). In 2005 agriculture, including forestry and fishing, accounted for about 24 percent of GDP, as well as for 18 percent of wage employment and 50 percent of revenue from exports.

Agriculture is largest source of foreign exchange revenue.

Branches of agriculture

This lesson activities will help you know more about branches of agriculture

Glossary

Agricultural engineering: Application of scientific principles to design, construction and maintenance of agricultural tools and equipment.

Apiculture: Breeding and rearing of bees

Entomology: braches of science concerned with the study of insects.

Ecology:      Is the study of the relationship between living organism and their environment.

Genetics:      Is the study of Inheritance

Pathology:    Is a branch of medicine concerned with the cause, origin, transmission,    symptoms and control of disease.

Pedology:    Is the study of soils

Introduction to Agriculture

Branches of agriculture

Lesson objectives

By the end of the lesson you should be able to:

  • state the four main branches of agriculture
  • describe the four branches of agriculture
  • demonstrate an appreciation for the wide and varied opportunities in agriculture

Introduction to Agriculture

What is agriculture?

The term agriculture is derived from two latin words ager= Field and cultura= Cultivation

which simply means "field cultivation" for the purpose of producing farm produce.

Farm produce include both crops and livestock produce.

Agriculture being a dynamic industry it continues widening the scope and meaning of agriculture

Today agriculture can be defined as the art and science of crop and livestock production .

How is agriculture an art and a science?
Agriculture as an art entails:

Land tilling

This Involves preparation of land for planting

Measuring land size

An art of measuring land size in planning its utilisation

Construction of farm structures

An art of making good farm structures as a good practice in livestock rearing

Machine operations

An art in maintaining farm machinery as a good practice in production technology improvement

Harvesting of crops

An art of improving production technology in harvesting of crops

Livestock feeding

An art of handling livestock when feeding them

Packaging agricultural produce

An art of handling agricultural produce during marketing

Branches of Agriculture Classification

There are four main branches of agriculture namely:

  • Crop production,
  • Livestock production,
  • Agricultural economics ,
  • Agricultural engineering.

Crop production is a branch of agriculture that deals with growing of crops

Livestock production

Livestock production is a branch of agriculture that deals with rearing of animals

Farm tools and machinery

Agriculture engineering is a branch of agriculture that deals with use and maintenance of farm tools, machinery and structures.

Marketing agricultural produce

Agricultural economics is a branch of agriculture which deals with the utilization of scarce resources. It aims at maximizing output while minimizing costs

Crop production

What is crop production?

Crop production (Arable farming) is the growing/production of crops on cultivated land.

classification of crops

Field crops

a) Annual crops are like cereals and pulses e.g garden peas.

Field of growing garden peas

b) Perennial crops are like Coffee, Sugarcane and Tea

Field of mature Tea

Field crops

Growing of sugarcane and tea among other field crops

Horticultural crops

(i) Pomology. (ii) Olericulture. (ii) Floriculture.

Pomology

Pomology is the growing of fruits

Olericulture

Olericulture is the growing of vegetables such as French beans, Cabbages and Tomatoes.

 Floriculture  

Floriculture is the growing of flowers such as Tuberose, Roses and Carnations among other crops

Livestock production

Livestock production involves the rearing of animals like sheep, goats, pigs, cattle among other animals

Sheep

Sheep rearing for mutton and wool production
 

Goats

Goats rearing for meat, milk and mohair production

Camels

Camel rearing for transport, meat and milk production

Pigs

Pig rearing for meat (Bacon and Pork) production

Beef animals

Cattle Ranching for meat production

Apiculture (Bee Farming)

Bee Keeping for honey and wax production

Aquaculture

Fish farming for white meat production

Poultry farming

Chicken rearing for egg and meat production among other uses.

Agricultural Economics

What is agricultural Economics?

Agricultural economics deals with utilization of scarce resources in production

Agricultural Economics includes: 

Agricultural Marketing which involves packaging vegetables using market specifications.

Farm Management

Farm Management in hilly land must be justified by economics of production.

Production Economics

Farm produce of the required quality

Farmers Organizations

Assist farmers in improving their yields and marketing at reduced cost

Agricultural Engineering

Agricultural Engineering involve use and maintenance of farm tools, machinery and structures.

Farm equipment and Machinery

Farm structure.

Green house used for crop production

Workshop equipment

Tools and equipment used in repair and maintenance

Farming system

The previous lesson you covered the following branches of agriculture.

Livestock farming, Crop farming, Economics and Engineering.

This sub topic will cover the farming systems practices in Kenya. Farming system is the way a farmer organizes, plans and uses the available resources to suit all the above enterprises in relationship to each other. Resources include:- Land, Rainfall, Temperature, labour among others

The agricultural sector continues to dominate Kenyas economy, although only 15-17 percent of Kenyas total land area has sufficient fertility and rainfall to be farmed, and only 7 or 8 percent can be classified as first-class land.

Glossary

Mixed farming It entails the growing of crops and rearing of animals on the same farm

Nomadic pastoralism - Is the moving of animals from one place to another in search of fresh pasture and water.

Shifting cultivation - Farming on a piece of land continuously until it is exhausted after which the farmer moves to a more fertile land.

Organic farming - Growing of crops and rearing of animals without using agricultural chemicals.

Agroforestry - Involves growing of trees and crops and keeping of animals on the same piece of land.

Farming Systems and Methods

Lesson objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to

:

(i) define a farming system,

(ii) identify the four main farming systems in Kenya,

(iii) describe the four farming systems practiced in Kenya,

(iv) state all the advantages and disadvantages of each farming system,

(v) state five methods of farming,

(vi) define all methods of farming,

(vii) outline the advantages and disadvantages of all methods of farming.

Farming Systems and Methods Practised in Kenya

Farming systems

Farming Systems Practised in Kenya

What is farming system?

Farming system is the organisation of the farm and all the enterprises in relationship to each other. 

Types of farming systems

  • Extensive farming 
  • Intensive farming

Extensive system

Farming System which involves farming in a large piece of land using very little input to produce the desired products. 

Small scale farming

Type of farming which involves growing of crops and raising of livestock in small pieces of land for maximum yield per unit area, through the use of high levels of labour and capital by application of modern farming technologies

Intensive farming system

Farming system which involves the commercial production of large quantities of crops and livestock on large farm.

Large scale

 

Type of farming which involves growing of crops and rearing of animals on large piece of land applying modern farming technologies.

Introduction to farming system

A farming system refers to the way farm resources are organised and utilised.

The most important resources determining a farming system are:

  • Land
  • Capital
  • Labour
  • Management
  • Time

Most farmers in Kenya utilise these resources to organise their farming

systems

Types of farming systems

Extensive farming system:- Involves the commercial production of large
quantities of crops and livestock on large farms using low investment.
Common in marginal areas.

Intensive farming system:- Involves the growing of crops and raising of
livestock on small pieces of land for maximum yields and requires high
capital, high labour investment and low labour per unit area. In this
system mechanisation is practised. Common in medium to high altitude areas.

Small scale farming :- Involves growing of crops and rearing of animals
on small piece of land.

Large scale farming:- Involves the commercial production of large quantities of crops and livestock on large farm, land size usually above 20 hectares.
 

Intensive Farming System

Intensive farming:- (Deep litter Chicken rearing system).

This involves the growing of crops and raising of livestock on small pieces of land for maximum yields and requires high capital and high labour investment per unit area.

Advantages of intensive farming

  • There is maximum utilization of land
  • Can be practiced in densely populated area
  • Results in high income and high net revenue for the farmer
  • Gives high yield and high quality produce per unit area
  • Easier to supervise as it is confined in a small area

Disadvantages of intensive farming

  • High initial capital is required
  • High labour costs are incurred
  • Requires a high level of skills and management
  • Pests and disease attack can result to high losses
  • Ineffective management leads to big loses.

Small scale farming System

Livestock rearing

 Goat rearing in Small scale unit  

Advantages of small scale farming

- Low capital investment 

- Low labour requirement  

- Maximum land usage.

- More organized and predictable

Disadvantages of small scale farming

- Require good planning and farm management skills.

- Marketing of produce is difficult

 - Production is usually low

Crop farming

Growing Bananas and Tea production in Small scale unit

Large Scale Farming

Tea plantation

Advantages large scale farming

  • It results in high yields
  • Economics of scale results to increased profits
  • Creates employment while mechanization is not possible.
  • Promotes foreign exchange earning for the country

Disadvantages large scale farming

  • High capital investment required
  • A lot of labour input required
  • High level management is needed for realising good profit
  • Heavy losses can result in the event of pests and diseases out breaks

Extensive farming system

Extensive farming system- Involves farming in large piece of land using very little input to produce the desired products. 

Advantage of extensive system 

  • The owner usually possess the land tittle deed which can be used to secure loans.
  •  The owner can lent part of the land to get income 
  • Very little inputs required 

Disadvantage 

  • Output per unit area is low
  • Tenants cannot plant perennial crops 
  • Sometimes land may remains iddle
  • Difficult to supervise
  • Incase of outbreak, difficult to control diseases and pests

Extensive Nomadic Pastoralism

Movement of livestock in search for pasture in a large area

Advantages of Extensive Nomadic Pastoralism

  • Require less labour input 
  • Huge capital investment
  • Does not require high level of management skills 
  • Proper use of marginal land

Disadvantages

  •  Require large area of land
  • Output per unit area is low
  • Difficult to supervise
  • Incase of outbreak, difficult to control diseases and pests.

Factors Influencing Methods of farming

Methods of farming

  • Mixed farming,
  • Shifting cultivation,
  • Organic farming,
  • Agro forestry,
  • Nomadic pastrolism.

Methods of farming are influenced by the following factors

  • Socio-cultural values of the community.
  • Farmers tastes and preferences.
  • Resources available to the farmer.
  • Education and technological development.

Socio-cultural values of the community.

Subsistence mixed farming dominates most of small scale farming

Farmers tastes and preferences.

Farmers produce (tea being graded)

 Resources available to the farmer  

Farmers must access all enterprise requirement and select the best inputs.

Map of areas where the farming methods are practiced

Note you can use the back botton to navigate in the methods practiced

Farming Methods Practised in Kenya

Some methods of farming practised in Kenya include

  • Mixed farming,
  • Nomadic pastrolism,
  • Shifting cultivation
  • Organic farming
  • Agroforestry
Mixed farming

Involves growing crops and keeping animals on same piece of land.

Nomadic pastrolism

Moving of animals from one place to another in search of fresh water and pasture

Agroforestry

Involves growing of leguminous trees and crops and keeping animals on same piece of land.

Shifting cultivation 

Involves farming on a piece of land continuously until it is exhausted after which the farmer moves to a more fertile ground.

Farming Methods

Agroforestry

Agroforestry - Involves growing of trees and crops and keeping of animals on the same piece of land at the same time.

Suitable tree species for agroforestry

  • Leucaena leucocephala 
  • Gravillea robusta
  • Calliandra catothrysus
  • Mangifera indica
  • Sesbania sesban
  • Lantana camara
  • Cajanus cajan

Advantages of Agroforestry 

  • Saves labour since some operations can be done at once for both plants and trees
  • Gives higher combined yield
  • Provide wide variety of agricultural produce
  • Reduces the risks of total failure
  • Crops benefit from nitrogen fixing trees.
  • Trees help in holding the soil firmly
  • Some trees act as livestock fodder.
  • Provides a wider variety of agricultural produce.
     

Disadvantages of Agroforestry

  •  Mechanization is difficult.
  •  Use of pesticides and fertilizer may be difficult.
  • Productivity may suffer because the skills for managing the different trees and crops may be lacking.

Crops in Agroforestry

Gravillea robusta grown together with maize crop

Livestock in Agroforestry

Livestock rearing under coconut trees

Shifting cultivation

 

Farming on a piece of land continuously until it is exhausted after which the farmer moves to a new more fertile land.

Advantages of shifting cultivation.

  • It has low capital requirement
  • There is no pests and diseases build-up
  • Soil structure is maintained
  • No land disputes as land ownership is not individualized.

Disadvantages of shifting cultivation.

  • Total yields per unit are is low
  • Farmers have no incentive to develop land and conserve water and soil
  •   A lot of time is wasted when the farmer is shifting and building structures.
  •   Not applicable in areas of high population density or where there is high population increase.

Organic Farming

Organic farming is a method in which crops are grown and animals reared
without use of artificial fertilizers or chemicals for pest control.

Management of soil in Organic farming

Advantages and disadvantages of organic farming.

Advantages

  • Makes use of locally available materials
  • Used to improve the soil structure
  • More affordable and cost effective
  • Better land sustainability for future use
  • Reduces chemical toxicity

Disadvantages

  • Labour instesive
  • Time required to reach the standards
     

 



 Introduction to

 Agriculture 

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 Introduction to

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 Introduction to  

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As a supplementary to coursework content our e-library for digitized multimedia CDs while enhance and ensure that you never missed that important concept during the normal class lessons. It is a Do it Yourself Project..

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