Distinguish between large-scale and small scale farming

Large-scale farming and small-scale farming are two distinct approaches to agricultural production that differ in various aspects.

Here are the key differences between large-scale and small-scale farming:

Land Size

Large-scale farming typically involves extensive land holdings, often spanning hundreds or thousands of hectares. In contrast, small-scale farming operates on smaller land areas, typically ranging from a few hectares to a few acres.

Distinguish between large-scale and small scale farming
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Production Output

Large-scale farming focuses on high-volume production for commercial purposes. It employs mechanization, advanced technologies, and economies of scale to maximize yields and meet market demands. Small-scale farming, on the other hand, emphasizes subsistence or local market-oriented production. The output is typically lower in volume but may involve a diverse range of crops or livestock for self-consumption or local trade.

Capital Investment

Large-scale farming requires substantial capital investment for machinery, equipment, infrastructure, and inputs like fertilizers and pesticides. It often relies on significant financial resources and access to credit. Small-scale farming generally has lower capital requirements, with farmers relying on traditional tools, manual labor, and simpler technologies. Capital investment is typically limited to basic tools and inputs.

Labor Force

Large-scale farming relies heavily on hired labor or machinery, with fewer family members directly involved in day-to-day operations. It often employs specialized workers for specific tasks. In contrast, small-scale farming is predominantly family-based, with family members participating in various agricultural activities. Labor is often multifunctional, with family members engaged in multiple farm tasks.

Market Orientation

Large-scale farming is primarily oriented towards national or international markets. It aims to achieve economies of scale and compete on a broader scale. Small-scale farming is more localized, focusing on meeting local or regional food demands. It may involve direct selling to consumers, local markets, or nearby communities.

Technology and Input Use

Large-scale farming frequently utilizes advanced agricultural technologies, such as precision farming, mechanization, and genetically modified crops. It relies on intensive use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation systems. Small-scale farming generally relies on traditional or low-input agricultural practices. Farmers often use organic or natural fertilizers, traditional crop varieties, and simple irrigation methods.

Environmental Impact

Large-scale farming, due to its intensive nature and scale, can have significant environmental impacts. It may lead to deforestation, soil erosion, water pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Small-scale farming, with its reliance on traditional methods and lower input use, generally has a lesser environmental footprint.

It is important to note that the distinction between large-scale and small-scale farming is not always clear-cut, and there are various intermediate or mixed farming systems that combine elements of both approaches. Additionally, the specific characteristics and practices of large-scale and small-scale farming can vary depending on the region, context, and agricultural sector in question.


10 Effects of rapid population growth on small scale agriculture

  • Decreased availability of arable land: As the population grows, more land is needed for housing, industry, and other infrastructure, which can lead to the conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural uses. This can lead to a decrease in the amount of land available for agriculture, particularly on a small scale.

10 Effects of rapid population growth on small scale agriculture
  • Increased competition for resources: With a growing population, there is increased competition for resources such as water, fertile soil, and other inputs needed for agriculture. This can lead to higher prices for these resources and make it more difficult for small-scale farmers to afford them.
  • Environmental degradation: Rapid population growth can lead to overuse of natural resources, such as water and fertile soil, and contribute to environmental degradation. This can make it more difficult for farmers to produce crops and livestock.
  • Decreased crop yields: When there is a lack of resources or environmental degradation, crop yields can decrease, which can make it more difficult for small-scale farmers to meet the needs of a growing population.

  • Increased food insecurity: If small-scale farmers are unable to produce enough food to meet the needs of the population, it can lead to food insecurity and malnutrition.
  • Increased poverty: If small-scale farmers are unable to compete with larger, more industrial agricultural operations, they may struggle to make a living and may be forced into poverty.
  • Decreased rural-urban migration: As population growth puts pressure on resources in rural areas, people may be more likely to migrate to urban areas in search of better opportunities. This can lead to a decline in the rural population and a corresponding decline in small-scale agriculture.
  • Increased urbanization: As more people migrate to urban areas, there may be an increase in urbanization, which can lead to a decrease in the amount of land available for agriculture.

  • Decreased biodiversity: Rapid population growth can lead to the destruction of natural habitats, which can decrease biodiversity and have negative impacts on the ecosystem.
  • Increased reliance on imported food: If small-scale agriculture is unable to meet the needs of a growing population, there may be an increased reliance on imported food, which can be more expensive and may not be as fresh or nutritious as locally grown food.



The word Ujamaa is Swahili word meaning togetherness. It a modern type of African traditional farming where everyone helps and is helped by a society where they live. It is a voluntary productive society under co-operative system based in social ownership and means of production that is labour, capital and land.

The system was started in Tanzania in 1967 by Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere who was then the president. Under this system the government attempted to change agriculture and make peasants from Ujamaa villages.

By 1975, the government had succeeded in resettling 3.5 million Tanzanians in 7500 villages. This was possible by the aid from the US of $29 million spent on rural improvement, education and literacy programmes management training and bookkeeping.

The villages were engaged in projects like afforestation and re-afforestation, road construction, preparation of new fields and many others.

Before the system was introduced, Tanzania depended on subsistence agriculture with few crops being grown and most of the establishments owned by the German and British. In 1967, Ujama system brought a change in the form of economic and social development and helped to eradicate other problems like inequalities within the local communities, ignorance and poverty as well as exploitation of man which had been encouraged by the colonialists thereby dividing the people.


To establish a self governing community/society for general development of the country.

To organize the efforts of the people more effectively. This was meant to make better use of the rural labour by bringing the scattered people under shifting cultivation together so that they could grow enough food and each crops to improve the economy of the country.

To increase agricultural production by having all means of production under the control of the peasants.

It was also aimed at changing the educational programme in the country through setting up schools and institutes where people could be introduced to the ideas of the Ujamaa system.

To eradicate the exploitation of man as was heavily practiced by the German and the British in the land. To improve on the standards of living of the people through the provision of the social infrastructures like tap water, electricity, roads, hospitals and many others.

To improve the security system of the nation especially within the local community by using villages as part of the military organization.


Trends in transport

  • Pipeline and containerization
  • Electric trains are replacing diesel engines
  • Underground tunnels for trains are being used to ease congestion on the surface
  • Dual-carriage roads are being developed in various parts to ease congestion and minimize accidents

  • Development of planes with larger carrying capacity and speed is a major feature in the transport industry
  • Use of bicycles commonly known as bodaboda are a common feature in towns, bus terminals and rural areas, supplementing other means of transport to ferry people and cargo to their destinations. The bicycles are being modified to make them more convenient. It is not unusual to find a bicycle (bodaboda) which has been fitted with facilities such as:
  • Motors to increase their speed and reduce energy applied by the cyclist.
  • Music systems to entertain passengers and More comfortable seats.

Motor cycles are also being used as bodabodas in various areas. Similarly, the three wheeled vehicles commonly known as ‘Tuk Tuk’ is a major feature in cities and most towns.

  • Private personal vehicles with less carrying capacity e.g. four-seater vehicles are being used as matatus. The vehicles are convenient to the passengers as they:
  • Fill up within a shorter time compared to larger vehicles
  • May accommodate each of the customers interests.
  • Passenger vehicles are being fitted with radios, music systems and videos to entertain customers as they travel. However, some forms of entertainment may not be conducive to all.


Factors that influence the choice of appropriate means of transport

  • Cost; The cost of transporting a good should be reasonable; except where other factors should be considered such as need for quick delivery. Otherwise should be proportional to the value of goods transported.

  • Nature of goods; The nature of goods should be considered when choosing a means of transport. For example, perishable goods require a fast means. Similarly, heavy and bulky goods require a means of transport convenient for such goods e.g. trains and ship.
  • Reliability; The means chosen should be able to deliver the goods to the required place at the right time and in the right form.
  • Urgency; For goods that are urgently required, the fastest means available should be chosen.
  • Safety and Security; The means chosen should ensure that the goods on transit are secure against loss, theft or physical damages.
  • Distance; Some means of transport are suitable for long distances while others are suitable for short distances. If goods are to be transported for long distances, air, sea or railway transport would be appropriate, otherwise roads would be suitable for short distances.

  • Availability of means; The means of transport to be selected should be based on its availability. For example, where there is only one means of transport, it would be the only one to be chosen.
  • Flexibility; This is the ability of means of transport to be manipulated to suit the convenience of the transporter. Where flexibility is required, then the means that would provide such should be chosen. For example a matatu is usually more flexible than an aeroplane.
  • Terminals; Some means of transport may have their terminals near the transporter than others. In this case, the transporter should choose the means whose terminals are conveniently accessible to facilitate loading and offloading of goods.
  • Value of goods to be transported- goods of high value require special handling and high security during transportation.



  • The British used the local chiefs in the counties, sub-counties, parishes, sub parishes and villages.

  • The British divided their colony into provinces, districts, counties and many smaller units.
  • Many societies signed treaties that made it acceptable for them to be under the British rule.
  • It was also applied by using collaborators who were mainly Baganda like Semei Kakungulu, who spread the system to other areas.
  • The chiefs who assisted the British were given programs like supervising road construction, collecting taxes and so on.
  • In areas where people resisted like Bunyoro, Karamoja, Northern Uganda and the Nandi land, force was used.
  • Communication lines were constructed to reach rebellious areas.

  • The Chartered companies were also used.
  • In Kenya most white settlers were used to administer on behalf of the British.
  • The missionaries too, were used to implement indirect rule.
  • The colonial army and police were recruited from among the Africans to handle rebellious communities.
  • The local councils were put in place in other areas and the Buganda system of rule was introduced to ease leadership.
  • Uncooperative chiefs like Rwot Awich of Payiira in Acholi land, was removed from power.
  • Administrative headquarters were also established to handle administration, for example Mombasa, Nairobi and Entebbe.

  • Chiefs were paid salaries in order to motivate them to work.
  • Law courts were also introduced to handle local justice.



  • It was cheaper economically. The whites if used intensively, would required a lot of money yet the Africans would be given little money and even accept gifts.

  • The British had few personnel in East Africa. The Chiefs were abundant in and they were ready to work for the British.
  • The British first used it in their outside colonies of India, Nigeria and Ghana and it was successful.
  • It had worked well in Buganda; hence the British felt the need to use it throughout.
  • It was to act as a form of “reward” to the communities that had co-operated, for example Buganda.
  • The British believed that traditional leaders would secure obedience and respect much more easily from the subjects.

  • Britain never wanted to make colonialism too obvious hence it was “Sugar coated” through indirect rule
  • It was part and parcel of the divide and rule policy, where the British used people like the Baganda, to governed on their behalf. They were hated throughout their countries.
  • It could easily solve communication problems as Africans knew the languages of fellow Africans.
  • Presence of good local administration in certain parts of East Africa.
  • It was intended to make the British look more unique in their administration, that is to say, not to use a method similar to what their rivals; the Germans had used.
  • Local rulers understood their local people better in terms of administrative tactics.
  • The Africans would not rebel because they would be seeing their people working.

  • It was intended to make the Africans act as “Shock absorbers” in case of any problem in administration. The British leaders would appear as if they were not part of African suffering under colonial rule.
  • There was lack of good transport net work and means of transport for the Whites to use to move around in villages. The Africans were then left in their leadership position.
  • The problem of tropical diseases like small pox and malaria posed a big threat to the White personnel.
  • The British had only the time to exploit the African resources. They never had time to handle African politics.
  • They also wanted the Africans to master leadership qualities, hence need to involve them.
  • The Africans were willing to work for the whites, for example, people like Semei Kakungulu, Apollo Kaggwa, and Nabongo Mumia among others.

  • They discovered that the Africans could work well in lower positions, not higher positions where other white scramblers would overpower them.


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