Capital and Labour are important on farms. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes:Agriculture:Farm Inputs:Farm Inputs: Labour and Capital

  • These fall under Human Inputs


  • This refers to the number of people involved in a production system, their skills or technical know-how as well as their production objectives.
  • In traditional farming systems, the labour is provided by family members and usually has little technical know-how.
  • At times the labour is shares communally (nhimbe/humwe) in order to hasten work at critical times of production for example ploughing, weeding and harvesting.
  • Under commercial farming systems, the labour is large, hired and usually skilled.


  • Capital refers to financial assets or the financial value of assets, such as cash and funds held in deposit accounts, as well as the tangible machinery and production equipment used in environments such as factories and other manufacturing facilities.
  • Inputs such as pesticides, insecticides and herbicides fall under capital.
  • A farmer with a lot of capital can hire the labour required, buy the land, the machinery, the seeds and fertlisers.
  • He can also build modern storage facilities, buy modern breeds of livestock to improve on quality and quantity unlike one who is poor.
  • Communal farmers lack this capital due to poverty and so always appeal to government to acquire things like land, tractors and other equipment.
  • Presence of capital has meant that some farmers can undertake perennial cropping even in very seasonal climates as they invest their money in irrigation schemes.

To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page