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Land And It Uses In Agriculture

Discussion in 'Agriculture' started by lectportal, May 19, 2019.

  1. lectportal

    lectportal Administrator Staff Member Administrator User

    Land is man's natural endowment which includes the soil and it mineral resources, air, wild animals, grasslands and forests or it natural vegetation, water and it fishes. It is an important factor of production as all productive activities are carried out on the land. The cultivation of crops and rearing of animals are done on it; fish ponds, plantations and agro-allied industries are set up on the land. It us by it nature limited in supply and cannot be moved from one location to another.

    USES OF LAND IN AGRICULTURE
    Land may be used for the purpose of the following;
    1. Agriculture
    Land is used for agricultural purposes to meet the primary objectives of providing food and fires for the survival of man and industries.
    Therefore, productive land should always be used for agriculture. Suitable cultural practices should be used to keep the land productive. Cash and food crops, livestock, fisheries and fallow land are part and products of agricultural land.

    2. Forestry
    Land is used for the establishment of forest reserves. This is common in areas where pressure on land is not much, or areas not too suitable for agriculture. Sometimes, disputed land is used for forestry. Economic trees are cultivated on forest land to boost wood industries and paper mills. Medicinal herbs, ropes, fibers, resins, dyes, etc are also obtained from forests for domestic and industrial uses. It provides games, employment and tourist attraction. Forest prevent erosion, increase soil fertility due to leaf fall, provides wind-breaks and influence local rainfall as a result of interception of moisture Laden winds.

    3. Wildlife
    Land which is neither suitable for agriculture nor forestry is often used for the establishment of game reserves (wildlife conservation). Wildlife is conserved in game reserves to provide zoological gardens, which act as tourist centres and provide revenue for the government. It is also a source of bush meat, supplying protein to man.
    There are few examples of games reserves in Nigeria namely: Yankarri Game Reserve in Bauchi State, Borgu Game Reserve in Kwara State, Ogba Zoological Garden in Benin City, etc. Wild animals such as monkeys, baboons, leopards, lion, Tiger, reptiles, antelopes, birds, elephants, Buffalo, etc are kept under favorable conditions at correct stocking rate to avoid starvation, destruction of forests, soil erosion and loss of ideal habitats.

    4. Other Uses
    Other uses of land land are for the construction of modern cities, towns and villages, as well as buildings for industries, sport centres and markets. Also, land is used for cemeteries, Road, railway line, mining of mineral resources, parks, schools, airport and other establishments.

    Factors Militating Against Land Availability for Agriculture
    The factors affecting land availability for agricultural purposes include the following:

    a) Physical factors
    These are the features in an area which dictate the adaptation of crops and animals to such area. For instance, the nature of the land in an area in terms of it topography (slope of the land) and the soil type. The availability of land for agricultural activities depends largely on these physical features. Low land may be affected by over flooding which will require high overhead costs to drain before bringing it under cultivation. It causes poor plant growth due to inadequate air for root respiration as the area becomes waterlogged. High land area could be used for tree crops and forestry, as arable crops are not suitable due to their inability to withstand surface run offs on high areas.

    b) Social Factor
    These include alternative uses of land for purpose other than agriculture. The competition among these uses, affect a great deal, the land available for productive based agriculture. For instance, fertile lands are used for building cities and towns, recreational centres, military installations, industries and road network.
    Population pressure in our societies also affect the amount of land available to agriculture: as expansion of shelter and other social
    amenities are on the increase.

    c) Economic Factors
    Increasing industrialization and urban expansion have affected the amount of land available for agricultural purposes. Land owners are attracted by the fantastic prices offered by the industrialist in their land to make it available for purposes which are not agricultural.

    d) Land Ownership Systems
    Also, the system of land ownership and distribution affects land availability. For instance, individual ownership of land results in fragmentation of land and does not allow for a large scale investment. People may have fertile land but may not interested in using it for agriculture especially as there may be other economic ventures which may be more profitable than agriculture example establishing petrol station.

    STUDY QUESTIONS

    1. What is land?
    2. Discuss the various uses of land.
    3. State and explain the factors that may militate against land availability for agriculture in your country.
     

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