ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes:Agriculture:Farming types in Africa: Commercial Crop Farming
- Commercial farming involves the growing of crops and the rearing of animals on a large scale for sale of products.
- Commercial farming is agribusiness with the farmer aiming to have the highest returns from the farm.
- To achieve this, the far,er must have adequate land, capital fro inputs, water for crops or animals and the necessary expertise or skills.
- Climatic conditions must also be favorable to the type of farming chosen by the farmer.
- Labour must be available and cheap.
- Markets, transport and machinery are all crucial for commercial crop farming.
Areas where its practiced
|Zimbabwe||Rest of Africa|
|Tobacco||Tobacco-Malawi, South Africa, Nigeria|
|Maize||Groundnuts-Nigeria, Gambia, Senegal|
|Wheat, barley||Cotton-Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria|
|Cotton, paprika||Tea-Malawi, Kenya, Ethiopia|
|Tea, deciduous fruit||Coffee/Cocoa-Ghana, Nigeria,DRC, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivore|
|Sugar cane||Rubber-Liberia, Nigeria, DRC, Cameroon|
|Coffee, groundnuts||Palm oil-Nigeria, Cameroon, DRC|
|Soya beans||Maize-South Africa, Zambia|
|Citurs, vines||Sugar cane-South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania|
|Land-500 to 100 000 ha||land preparation-tree felling using bulldozers, caterpillars and ripper saws, ploughing by tractors, basal dressing of fertilisers||Food crops-maize, millet, groundnuts, rice,sorghum and wheat, potatoes, beans, apples, vegetables.|
|Rainfall-water for irrigation from rivers, dams, lakes or acquifers||Planting-using seed drills or by hand tobacco||Industrial crops-tobacco, cotton, oil seeds, sunflower, soya beans, sugar|
|Capital-from banks or other farmers.||Weeding-by hand of hired labour.||Beverages- Tea, coffee, vines|
|Labour-from the farmer himself, skilled and semi-skilled workers from the population.||spraying-using back packs or by air crafts, hired labour.||Meat-fresh, frozen, dried and salted.
|Machinery-tractors, disc harrows, ploughs, seed drills, cultivators, lorries, spray aircraft, combine harvesters, graders.||Harvesting-combine harvesters for cereals or cultivators for potatoes.||Milk-fresh, pasteurized, powdered, cheese, yoghurt|
|Agro-chemicals-insecticides, herbicides, vaccines, fertilisers||Transporting-by tractors or lorries or rail or air for flowers.||Skins and hides-for leather industries e.g making belts and shoes|
|Hybrid seeds-from research stations and production farms.||Storage-use of barns.||Bone, horns and hooves-for glue, buttons, enamel, pet foods|
|Breeding stock-from other farmers or imported||Processing, grading and packing- for tea, coffee, tobacco and cotton.|
Marketing-local and abroad.
|Manure- for feeding crops.
Capital-for re-investment, for labour.
Advantages of commercial crop farming
- Self sufficient in food supply.
- Improving the diet of people resulting in a well-nourished nation.
- Foreign currency earnings through exports to other countries.
- Employment creation in various stages of commercial farming, raising of living standards.
- Development of industries either to support agriculture or to use agricultural raw materials.
- Development of infrastructure fro example roads, rails, airstrips, education, health.
- diffusion of farming skills to local small-scale farmers.
Disadvantages of commercial crop farming
- Takes up much land when other farmers have none.
- Monopoly of products leads to little control of prices on the market.
- Much land lies idle as not all land on commercial farms is utilised.
- Suppresses growth of the small scale sector due to large economies of scale.
- Under-paying of unskilled labour.
- Poor housing and sanitation on the farms.
- Use of child labour during crucial periods of planting and harvesting, bordering on child abuse.
To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page