Small scale mixed farming in rural Zimbabwe. Image credit MediaWiki

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes:Agriculture:Farming types in Africa: Mixed Farming

  • This type of farming is undertaken on a small piece of land with the aim of producing crops both for home consumption and sale.
  • It is an intensive type of farming.
  • It is mixed in the sense that farmers grow crops and rear livestock at the same time but all done on a small scale.
  • This type of farming embraces both traditional and modern farming methods though the latter are not widespread due to social, political and economic restrictions.

Area of occurrence

  • Small scale mixed farming is the most common type of farming in Africa including the communal lands of Zimbabwe.
  • Traditionally, it was subsistence type of farming but witnessed changes over time, acquiring commercial characteristics with the introduction of cash and currently is more commercial than subsistence.
  • Except where there are ranches, irrigation schemes, plantations and state lands in the form of forests, game reserves and national parks, small scale mixed farming will be found in rural Africa south of Sahara.
  • It is also practiced in the terraced slopes of Rwanda and Burundi, through the small holder coffee, tea, pyrentrum and sisal plots in Kenya and Tanzania.
  • In Zimbabwe ground nuts maize and cotton are grown.

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