what is agriculture?
agriculture means the human activity that deals with crop cultivation (also called arable farming) and animal rearing or keeping (also known as pastoral farming or livestock husbandry)
it is primary human activity that helps us to meet various needs such as food and raw materials
what is small scale agriculture?
Small-scale agriculture is the type of agriculture that is practiced on relatively small plots of land.
In small-scale agriculture, the land does not exceed four hectares. Small-scale agriculture is practiced for both subsistence and commercial purposes.
Characteristics of small-scale agriculture at subsistence level
- Most of the labour is provided by family members and is manual in nature. due to small land the family members provide adequate manpower needed to till, weed and harvest crops from the farm. there is no need to hire extra labour outside the family
- Farmers use very simple tools such as hoes and machette to cultivate, in some cases ploughs are used. many farmers who practise small scale agriculture are poor therefore they can not afford modern farm equipment this make them use locally made equipment such as hoes and pangas to cultivate
- Farmers use organic manure to improve fertility. due to poverty many farmers who practice small scale agriculture can not afford to buy fertilizers for their farms thefore they use manure from their livestock to imporve soil ferility
- The farmer often plants different types of crops on the farm, crops include grains like maize and vegetables for family food support.
- Varied methods of cultivation are used. Shift cultivation, replaced by sedentary and intensive subsistence farming.
- The harvest from the farm is mainly consumed by the farmer and his or her family
- The main crops grown in the given area are similar.
- The land available for cultivation is very small.
- The yields per unit area are also low in many cases.
- Most farmers also keep animals such as goats, cows, and poultry (chicken and ducks). These animals and poultry provide the manure used on the farm.
- Food crops such as maize, beans, millet, fruits and vegetable are main types of crops grown.