A solar pump in a rural marginal area. Image credit  massmaninter.com

A solar pump in a rural marginal area. Image credit massmaninter.com

ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: Marginal areas in Zimbabwe

  • Large areas of Zimbabwe are marginal areas
  • Marginal areas are mostly located in the lowveld in western and southern Zimbabwe (Matabeleland)
  • These are regions where rainfall is low and unreliable
  • Ground cover is poor
  • This increases erosion and reduces soil fertility
  • The local conditions are usually harsh
  • Farming is risky and requires careful management if it is to succeed
  • Game ranching is prefered in this areas as it is more profitable than alternatives
  • Alternative activities include growing drought resistant crops such as millet and cattle ranching
  • These areas have a low carrying capacity
  • Carrying capacity-these are the number of animals/organisms that can live in a given area without damaging the ecosystem
  • Limiting factors- the amount of finite resources in an area which keep the carrying capacity in check
  • Culling can be used to reduce the number of animals when they exceed the carrying capacity

Problems of farming in marginal lands

  • Low soil fertility
  • Unreliable rainfall patterns
  • Low rainfall
  • Limiting factors such as space, shelter, water and food

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page.

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