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  • The practice of cultivating crops and rearing of animals

Factors Influencing Agriculture

1. Physical Factors

a) Climate

i) Temperature

  • Some domestic animals do well in hot and warm areas e.g. goats and camels while others do well in cool areas e.g. exotic breeds of cattle such as Guernsey.
  • Some crops do well in cool areas e.g. tea and wheat while some others do well in warm areas e.g. sisal and cotton.
  • High temperatures increase the rate of evaporation of moisture which causes crops to wither and eventually die.
  • Night frosts damage tender leaves of some crops e.g. tea and bananas.

ii) Sunshine

  • Needed for photosynthesis process in which plants manufacture food for growth and formation of fruits and seeds.
  • Sufficient sunshine is required during ripening of crops to ensure that they have high sugar content.
  • Sunshine is required during harvesting to prevent crop from rotting and also for drying harvested crops.

iii) Winds

  • Winds accelerate evaporation and transpiration which may cause crops to wither and eventually die.
  • Hot and dry winds damage crops such as cocoa by causing them to ripen prematurely.
  • Wind is important for pollination necessary for fruit and seed formation.
  • Violent wind may cause falling of tall varieties of crops like maize and bananas.

iv) Moisture

  • Inadequate moisture causes failed germination and retarded growth of crops.
  • Too much water causes root and fruit rot.
  • Livestock rearing is realised in areas which receive moderate to abundant rainfall
  • Insufficient rainfall leads to shortage of pasture for animals causing poor quality and low production

b) Soil

  • Deep soils favour growth of deep rooted crops while shallow soils favour growth of shallow rooted crops.
  • There is retarded growth of crops in infertile soils.
  • Clay soils are suitable for growing of rice because they retain water for a long time.
  • Volcanic soil favour growth of crops requiring acidic soils e.g. coffee and tea.
  • Soil water is required for germination and facilitating uptake of minerals in solution.

c) Topography/relief

i) Altitude

  • Influences temperature determining type of crops and animals to be reared.

ii) Terrain

  • Most crops do well on sloping land as it is well drained e.g. coffee and tea.
  • Rolling plateaus and plains are suitable for large scale mechanized farming and irrigation.
  • Gentle terrain eases cultivation and favours animals as they can graze with ease.

iii) Aspect

  • Slopes facing the sun can support crop growing and livestock rearing because they are warmer while those facing away tend to be cooler and are dominated by forests and grasslands.
  • Windward slopes are wetter than leeward slopes and more suitable for growing crops and rearing animals while leeward slopes are dominated by grasslands and more suitable for beef livestock rearing.

2. Biotic factors

a) Weeds
  • Compete with plants for moisture, nutrients and sunlight leading to low and poor quality yields.
  • Can choke pastures on which animals feed.
  • Can increase the cost of agriculture as a lot of money is spent on hiring labour to weed the farms and buying chemical herbicides.

b) Insects

  • Locusts and army warms eat green leaves and stems on their way destroying everything.
  • Tsetse flies and ticks transmit livestock diseases i.e. trypanosomiasis and East Coast Fever.
  • Some insects such as bees and butterflies are useful to crop farming because they aid in pollination.
  • Bees give us honey.
  • Controlling pests increases cost of agriculture.

c) Small Animals

  • Squirrels eat newly planted maize.
  • Rats and mice destroy harvested grains.
  • Quelea birds feed on rice while on the farm reducing its yield.

d) Diseases

  • Diseases weaken and eventually kill plants and animals.
  • Diseases also weaken and kill humans which cause labour shortage increasing labour costs.
  • Controlling diseases also increases cost of agriculture.

3. Human/ Social factors

a) Traditions

i) Gender

  • In some communities, food production is a sole responsibility of women and children so the produce and land under cultivation will depend on women and children labour input e.g. W. Africa.
  • Traditional foods
  • Types of crops grown in most parts are traditional/staple foods of those communities.
  • Prestige
  • Maasai value cattle and whoever has the most cattle is regarded in high esteem.

b) Land Tenure System

  • Cash crops such as coffee can’t be grown on leased land.
  • Large scale farming can’t be practiced on excessively fragmented land.
  • Nomadic pastoralism and shifting cultivation can be practiced in communally owned land.

c) Religious Beliefs

  • Hindus don’t practise commercial cattle rearing because they treat cow as a sacred animal.
  • Pig rearing isn’t practiced in regions with large presence of Muslims such as Arabic countries because Koran terms pig as unclean.

4. Economic Factors

a) Operating Costs

  • If capital isn’t available he will farm on a smaller piece of land and vice versa.
  • A farmer may decide not to grow a type of crop such as those easily perishable to avoid incurring cost in transporting and storing of produce to maintain their freshness. b) Price Fluctuations

    Price fall discourage some farmers causing some to neglect or uproot their crops and venture in other areas such as horticulture and dairy farming.

    • When prices are favourable farmers may expand acreage under production.

    c) Govt Policy/Political Factors

    • Govt may encourage productivity by subsidies and guaranteeing prices.
    • May tackle overproduction by withdrawing the same.
    • May affecting acreage under particular types of crops e.g. by encouraging growing of cash crops or food crops.

    Trade Restrictions

    • Quota system ensures production doesn’t greatly exceed demand since a country won’t be able to export more quantity than it has been allocated.

    Types of Agriculture

    1. Arable Farming

    • Cultivation and management of crops.


    a) Subsistence Arable farming

    • Growing crops to provide for the farmer and his family.


    i) Shifting Cultivation/Simple Subsistence Farming

    • Farming in which a plot in a virgin forest is cultivated for 3-5 years after which its left fallow to regain fertility and a new section of forest is cultivated.
    • Areas where it’s practiced – D.R.C, Zambia and Malaysia.

    Method of Cultivation

    • A plot is sited in a virgin forest on well drained hill slopes.
    • Land is slashed and vegetation put on fire for ashes provide potash which improves fertility.
    • The land is dug using simple tools such as hoes or digging stick.
    • Staggered planting is done throughout the year to have a continuous supply of food.
    • The plot is cultivated for a period of 3-5yrs after which it’s abandoned and a new section of forest is cleared.


  1. There is migration from one plot to another when the former plot loses fertility.
  2. Cultivated areas are usually small (1-3 acres).
  3. Very little attention is given to land and crops.
  4. Short periods of crop occupancy alternate with long periods of fallowing.
  5. Mainly uses manual labour provided by the immediate family.
  6. Use of simple tools.
  7. Crops are mainly starchy foods e.g. cassava, yams, millet, etc.
  8. Land is cultivated by slash and burning.


  1. Exposes land to soil erosion on the plots which have been left fallow.
  2. Doesn’t guarantee sufficient food production.
  3. Extensive destruction of vegetation when fires get out of control.
  4. Wasteful because sections of land stay fallow for a very long time.
  5. Only practicable in areas with sparse population and plenty of land.
  6. There are hardly any monetary gains because the produce is only enough for home consumption.

ii) Sedentary Subsistence Agriculture

  • Farming in which the community permanently stays in one place.
  • Areas where it’s practiced –tropical lowlands, C. America and S.E Asia.


  1. The community occupies a permanent dwelling spot.
  2. Fallowed fields are frequently reused.
  3. Crop rotation is practiced in some areas.
  4. More attention is given to the land and crops sown.
  5. More labour is used in the field.
  6. Can support a larger population compared to shifting cultivation.

iii) Intensive Subsistence Agriculture

  • Farming which involves maximum utilization of all cultivable land.
  • Carried out in areas experiencing population pressure so as to grow sufficient food to feed the population e.g. Japan, China, Srilanka, Pakistan, Kakamega, Nyeri, Kisii, etc.


  • Dominated by other types of crops
  • Dominated by wet paddy


  • Very small plots resulting from years of fragmentation.
  • Intensive use of land.
  • Most work is carried out by hand.
  • Simple implements e.g. hoes, ploughs etc.
  • Several crops are grown on the same piece of land during the course of the year.
  • Crops vary from region to region e.g. Kenya – maize, beans, potatoes, Asia – rice in some areas, others-wheat, soya beans and barley.
  • Livestock rearing is almost nonexistent because there is no land for growing pasture.
  • Use of manure and chemical fertilizers to sustain high soil fertility for maximum yields.
  • Use of Irrigation to make up inadequacy of moisture.

b) Commercial Arable Farming

i) Plantation Agriculture

  • Cultivation of cash crops on large tracts of land called estates or plantations.


  1. Large tracts of land are cultivated.
  2. Cash crops are grown e.g. coffee, tea, cocoa rubber, etc.
  3. A single crop is usually grown.
  4. Done for commercial purpose.
  5. High capital is required to start and meet recurrent expenditure.
  6. Crops take some years after planting before they start yielding.
  7. Most plantations are owned by foreign companies.
  8. Employment of scientific management to produce a lot of output.


  • Crops may be destroyed by climatic hazards reducing production.
  • High expenditure in maintaining plantations.
  • Subdivision of some plantations to provide land for the landless shareholders who bought them causing decline in output from plantations.
  • Crops may also be destroyed by insect pests and diseases which also affect labourers.
  • Rapid deterioration of soil due to monoculture, soil erosion due to complete weeding and most crops not providing sufficient soil cover.
  • Fluctuations of world prices causing the farmer to suffer great losses as they have no other crop to supplement their income.
  • Poor management whereby managers misuse funds and shareholders fight over management leaving plantations unattended.

ii) Extensive Mechanised Grain Cultivation

  • Cultivation of grains on large tracts of land.
  • Best developed in temperate grasslands of Prairies, Pampas, Veldt, and Downs which make the granary of the world.
  • In Kenya it’s carried out in Uasin Gishu plateau, Nakuru and Narok.


  • Extremely large farms in mid-latitudes.
  • Cultivation is highly mechanized due to large farm sizes and its more economical and efficient.
  • Wheat is the main crop cultivated with other crops including barley, corn, millet and sorghum in Veldt etc.
  • Yield per farmer is high due to mechanisation.
  • Grain is raised on unirrigated land since it requires as little as 325mm annual precipitation.
  • Farms are individually owned.

iii) Intensive Commercial Agriculture

  • Intensive use of land to produce maximum yield of crop per unit area for sale.
  • Areas – N.W. Europe, E. U.S.A, former U.S.S.R and slopes of Mt. Kenya and Kilimanjaro.


  • Soil is utilised intensively to ensure maximum yields per unit area.
  • Farms are generally small in size.
  • Manual labour is used to tend crops
  • Proper care is given to planted crops.
  • Mechanisation where farms are a bit larger.
  • Farmers use large amounts of fertilizers, hybrid seeds and pesticides.
  • Irrigation water is used to supplement rainfall insufficiency.
  • Farming is sometimes highly specialised with some farms growing crops or keeping animals.


c) Mediterranean Agriculture

  • Type distinct to areas experiencing Mediterranean climate.

Main areas – middle Chile, Piedmont district in N. Italy and Andalistic District of S. Spain.


  • Farming is intensive.
  • It’s highly specialised.
  • Subsistence farming is practiced alongside commercial farming.
  • Cereal crops are most widespread e.g. barley and wheat.
  • Orchard farming is carried out and it’s the leading producer of citrus fruits, olives, dates and figs.
  • A small number of sheep, goats and cows are reared due to prolonged droughts and coarse bunchy grasses unsuitable for livestock.

Crop Farming

Cash crops are grown mainly in southern part of Kenya due to the following factors:

  • Suitable climatic conditions for a variety of crops such as temperature ranging from cool to cold, rainfall ranging between 800-2000mm annually and dry sunny periods between rainy seasons.
  • Fertile volcanic soils in highlands or alluvial soils in the lake basin of Kenya suitable for crop growing.
  • Adequate labour supply due to high population.
  • Long tradition of cash crops growing emanating from cash crops introduction by European settlers.
  • Govt policy to support small scale farmers

Some of the major cash crops grown in Kenya

  • Pyrethrum – Nakuru, Kisii, Limuru, Nyandarua.
  • Sisal -Thika, Taita-Taveta, Baringo, Kilifi.
  • Wattle – Uasin Gishu, Thika, Kiambu.
  • Cashew nuts – Kilifi.
  • Cotton-Rachuonyo, Busia, Meru, Kitui, Makueni.
  • Rice – Busia, Kirinyaga.


Tea Farming In Kenya

  • Tea is a tropical plant with a botanical name Camellia Sinesis.
  • First introduced in Limuru in 1903

Tea types

  • Aswan variety common in India and Srilanka.
  • Chinese variety.
  • Kenya is the largest producer in Africa, among top 6 world producers and has the best tea in the world market.

Major Growing Areas

W. Highlands – Kericho, Nandi, Kakamega, Cherangani hills.

E. Highlands – Nyeri, Murang`a, Kiambu, Thika, etc.

Conditions Necessary for Tea Growing

Physical Requirements

  1. Warm temperature throughout the year (15◦C-30◦C).
  2. Heavy and well distributed rainfall (1000-2000mm annually).
  3. Deep and slightly acidic soils.
  4. High altitude of about 1000-3000m above sea level.
  5. The area to be free from frost.
  6. Gently sloping land which is well drained.
  7. Area to be shielded from strong sunlight and violent winds.

Human Requirements

  1. Adequate labour for cultivation and processing which are labour intensive.
  2. Good transport routes for quick transport of tea leaves to factory before they start withering.
  3. Location of tea factories near farms for quick processing of tea as soon as possible.
  4. Availability of capital to pay for the labour required in land preparation, planting, regular picking etc.

Tea Cultivation

  • Tea cuttings are raised in a nursery for 6-10 months.
  • Holes are dug at intervals of 0.7-0.9 m with rows being 1.5 m apart.
  • Transplanting is done at the beginning of the rainy season.
  • Young tea plants are intercropped with other crops to prevent soil erosion and to act as mulch.
  • Pegging lateral branches to force them to grow horizontally to aid frame development.
  • Tips of shoots are periodically plucked to encourage growth of more shoots.
  • Tea is ready for harvesting when it attains 4 years.
  • The bushes are pruned to a new level after every 3 years to increase production through new vegetative growth.
  • Tipping or cutting shoots back to required height.

Harvesting Of Tea

  • Picked after 5-7 day during rainy season and 10-14 days during dry season.
    • 2 leaves and a bud are picked and thrown in a basket strapped on the back.
    • A straight stick is used to determine the height.
    • It should not be pressed to prevent premature fermentation.

      Processing Of Tea

    • At the factory the leaves are withered by blowing hot and cool air alternately.
    • Passed through a machine which crushes them into small pieces.
    • Crushed leaves are fermented for a few hours.
    • Fermented leaves are dried by blowing with a machine called drier.
    • The cooled tea is graded by passing through a strainer which sieves it.
    • The various tea grades are winnowed by blowing out unwanted fibres.
    • Tea is then packed in chests or bags to await sale or exportation.

      Problems Facing Kenyan Tea Farmers

    • Pests e.g. weevils and beetles which attack tender leaves supposed to be picked.
    • Diseases e.g. root rot which causes the bush to wither, dry and eventually die.
    • Hail stones which fall on tea bushes causing damage e.g. in Kericho and Nandi.
    • Fluctuations of world prices which causes the farmers to lose morale and neglect or uproot the crop.
    • Shortage of rainfall leading to reduction in leaf production.
    • Transport problems in some areas due to dilapidated roads which cause spoilage of harvested tea before it reaches the factory.
    • Shortage of labour in some tea growing areas where young people have migrated to towns.
    • Shortage of capital to meet production costs.

    Marketing of Tea in Kenya

    • Some tea is consumed locally and a huge amount is sold on the international market.
    • Major marketer is K.T.D.A.

    Functions of KTDA

  1. Collection of tea from buying centres.
  2. Processing of tea.
  3. Providing farmers with inputs such as fertiliser.
  4. Sensitizes farmers on high quality production of tea.
  5. Facilitates sale of tea at best possible prices.
  6. Ensures prompt collection of payment from all tea buyers.
  7. Promotion of tea with the aim of expanding market share.

Outlets through Which It Markets Tea

  • Factory door sale of tea in polythene bags to farmers accounting for 3% of sales.
  • Through Mombasa auction where its exported to other countries such as Britain, France Afghanistan. It accounts for 75% of sales.
  • Dealing directly with interested buyers which accounts for 15% of sales.
  • KETEPA is the largest tea packing company in Africa belonging to tea grower’s grades, blends and packs some of the tea then sells to local market and exports superior qualities.
  • Other companies which pack tea for local sale include Kikuyu Highland Tea Company and Unilever Kenya (Home Cup).

Significance of Tea Farming in Kenya

  • Earns foreign exchange from tea export.
  • Saves some foreign exchange that would be used to import tea.
  • Farmers earn income which raises their standard of living.
  • It creates employment such as for people working in farms and factories.
  • Has led to development of industries such as processing factories, blending and packaging industries.
  • Has led to development of infrastructure by roads being improved to ease transportation of tea to factories..

Sugar Cane Growing In Kenya

  • Sugarcane is a coarse perennial grass belonging to sacharum family.
  • It was introduced in Kenya in 1902 by an Australian farmer whereby commercial growing began in Miwani, Kibos and Ramisi.

Main Growing Areas

Nyanza: Muhoroni, Miwani, Chemilil and Awendo.

Coastal: Ramisi.

Western: Mumias, Nzoia, Kabras, Nambele.

Conditions Favouring Sugarcane growing (requirements)


  1. High temperatures(21◦c-27◦C)
  2. High and well distributed rainfall (1200-1500mm annually).
  3. Dry and sunny weather during harvesting to increase sugar accumulation in the cane.
  4. Fertile and well drained soils.
  5. Undulating land for machinery to be used and for easier transportation of cane to factories.
  6. Altitude between sea level and 1600m.

Human Requirements

  1. Abundant labour for planting, weeding, cutting and loading onto trucks.
  2. A good transport infrastructure for sugarcane to reach the factory within a week after harvesting.
  3. Location of processing factories within the growing areas for quick processing of sugarcane before losing its sugar content through drying.
  4. Availability of capital to pay workers in the field, buy farm machinery, etc.

Cultivation of Sugarcane

  • Shallow furrows are made across the field at intervals of 1.2m-1.8m apart.
  • Pieces of older sugarcane are laid horizontally in the furrows.
  • They are covered lightly with the soil which they grow a cluster of shoots called stool.
  • Nitrogenous fertilizer is applied when plants are growing at a high rate.
  • Weeding is done when the crop is fairly short.
  • After about 14 months the cane is ready for harvesting.
  • After harvesting two ratoons the stools are dug out, land tilled and new setts are planted.

Harvesting of Sugarcane

  • The cane may be set on fire to rid it of husks, trash, and harmful insects and animals.
  • it is then cut using pangas within 48 hours if burnt to avoid conversion of tea sugar.
  • The husks and the top green part are removed if it wasn’t burned.
  • The cane is then loaded onto trucks using machines called mechanical grabs.
  • Then it’s transported to the factory to be processed within 48 hours.

Processing of Sugarcane

  • At the factory the cane is put in large water tanks where it is washed.
  • It’s passed through a machine which cuts it up into short pieces.
  • The pieces are passed between rollers to crush and squeeze out the juice.
  • Fine matter in suspension and soluble non-sugars are precipitated leaving the juice.
  • The juice is boiled with lime until it turns into thick syrup.
  • The syrup is passed through crystallizers where sugar crystals grow.
  • It’s then led into centrifuges to separate crystals from molasses resulting into a raw coarse brown sugar.
  • The brown sugar is decolourised with carbon black.
  • Repeated crystallization is done to obtain various grades and sizes.
  • The sugar is then dried and screened.
  • It’s then packed in bags for storage and sale.

Uses of Sugar

  • In baking to sweeten bread, cakes, etc.
  • Sweetening foods and drinks e.g. porridge, chapati, tea, coffee, etc.
  • Making local brews e.g. Karubu, nguru, etc.
  • In soft drinks industries e.g. soda, juice, etc.
  • Making sweets and chocolates, etc.
  • Manufacture of drugs e.g. syrups and sugar coated tablets.

Uses of By-products

  • Molasses is used as a sweetener for livestock feeds.
  • It’s also used to manufacture ethanol, acetone and ethyl-acetate.
  • Bagasse or fibre left after squeezing the juice is used as fuel for boilers, for preparing pulp for making paper used for making cement and fertilizer bags and as fodder or manure.
  • Filter cake resulting from filtration process is used as manure for cane.

Marketing of Sugar

  • Consumed locally.
  • Factories sell to wholesalers and retail outlets to consumers.

Significance of Sugarcane growing

  1. Creation of employment e.g. in estates, factories, sugar mills.
  2. Promotes development of industries such as processing sugar cane, industrial spirit and breweries manufacturing, etc.
  3. Has led to growth of towns in growing areas e.g. Muhoroni, Awendo and Mumias.
  4. Saves some foreign exchange that would be used in sugar importation.
  5. Farmers earn income through cane sale raising their standards of living.
  6. Provision of social amenities to workers such as schools, houses and health centres to take care of workers welfare e.g. Mumias.

Problems Facing Sugarcane Farming In Kenya

  • Pests e.g. termites which attack setts lowering the farmers yield.
  • Diseases e.g. sugarcane mosaic which causes the crop to become stunted with leaves becoming yellow.
  • Mismanagement of some sugar factories resulting in their closure and subsequent loss of income and jobs.
  • Inability of some factories to cope with supply of cane from out-growers due to low production capacity and outdated technology.
  • Local sugar industry faces competition from cheap imported sugar from COMESA countries.
  • Strikes by cane farmers and transporters due to inadequate pay resulting in drop in output.
  • Frequent fires which destroy many hectares of cane annually.

Maize Farming in Kenya

  • An annual crop of the grass family with a botanical name zea may.
  • Brought by Portuguese traders to E. African coast in 18th century.
  • Single most extensively grown crop.

Main Growing Areas

  • Transnzoia, Nakuru, Bungoma and Uasin Gishu districts.

Conditions Favouring Maize Growing In Kenya

Physical Requirements

  1. Warm temperatures (above 15◦c).
  2. High annual rainfall(635-1145mm)
  3. Deep well drained fertile soil with abundant amount of nitrogen.
  4. Undulating landscape to allow use of machines.
  5. Lower altitudes of about 1800m or below sea level.

Human Requirements

  • Abundant labour for preparation of land, sowing, weeding, shelling and packing.
  • A good transport network to enable farmers to transport harvested grain to millers and buying centres.
  • A good and sufficient storage facility for the grain after it has been harvested and before it is sold.
  • Availability of capital to pay for labour, buy inputs and pay for transportation of grain to the market.

    Cultivation of Maize

  • Holes for planting seeds are dug in rows about 1m apart using hoes, pangas or tractor driven planters.
  • Fertilizer is put in holes and mixed with soil.
  • Maize is planted by hand or tractor driven planters.
  • Nitrate fertilizers top dressing is applied when plants reach knee length.
  • The maize is thinned to remove weak seedlings when it is about 15cm high and weeded.
  • Maize takes 4-12 months to mature depending on altitude and seed variety.
  • Maize is left to ripen and dry when standing on the farm.

    Harvesting of Maize

  • The cobs are picked by hand and put in sacks.
  • Maize cobs are then shelled by beating using heavy sticks or machines.
  • It’s then packed in sacks ready for sale to consumers, millers or NCPB.

Processing of Maize

  • At the mill maize is put on trays to sieve to remove undesired matter e.g. rock particles.
  • It’s then passed through the milling machine which crushes it into flour of various grades.
  • The floor is then packed in small packets and sacks according to desired weight.

Uses of Maize

  • Used as food for githeri and flour for ugali and porridge.
  • Grains are also used in the manufacture of animal feeds e.g. maize jam.
  • Tender maize plants are chopped and mixed with molasses to make silage for livestock.
  • Used to make salad oil for cooking, industrial alcohol and starch.
  • Stalks and cobs are used as organic manure and to provide domestic fuel.

Marketing of Maize

  • Mainly sold by NCPB.
  • Farmers also sell directly to consumers and millers.

Importance to Kenya’s Economy

  1. Saves foreign exchange by avoiding importing maize all the time.
  2. Promotes growth of industries where it’s used as raw material e.g. milling and corn oil industries.
  3. Has created employment e.g. for farm workers, milling workers.
  4. Provides income to farmers raising their standard of living.
  5. Government earns revenue from taxes levied on maize products such as corn oil and alcohol.

Problems Facing Maize Farmers in Kenya

  • Pests such as stalk borers which penetrate to the centre of the plant.
  • Diseases such as white leaf blight which causes oval, grey lesions on the leaves.
  • Reduction of maize prices in the local market caused by irregular importation of maize which discourages the farmers.
  • Inadequate capital on the farmer part to buy inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and insect sides.
  • Soil exhaustion due prolonged planting of maize leading to poor yields.
  • Exploitation of farmers by middle men who buy their produce at throw away prices making the farmers unable to meet production costs.

Cocoa Growing In Ghana

  • Cocoa originated from lowlands of C. America.
  • Is grown in W. African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’ivoire and Cameroon.
  • They account for nearly 3/4 of the world’s cocoa production.
  • Ghana is the second leading producer after Cote d’ivoire.

Main Growing Areas

  • Cocoa triangle formed by Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi.

Conditions Favouring Cocoa Growing in Ghana

Physical Factors

  1. High temperatures of over 26◦c throughout the year.
  2. High and well distributed rainfall (1300-1500mm annually).
  3. Low altitude areas below 700m above sea level.
  4. Slightly drier period during harvesting.
  5. High relative humidity of over 75%.
  6. Fertile well drained soils rich in iron and potassium.
  7. Protection from sunshine which causes high rate of evaporation and winds which cause pods to fall off by inter-planting with shady trees such as bananas, oil palms and kola trees.

Human Factors

  • Abundant labour for cultivation, harvesting and processing.
  • Availability of market.

Cultivation of Cocoa

  • A piece of land in the forest is cleared of all trees leaving a few to provide shade for the crop.
  • The vegetation is then cleared and set on fire for ashes to enrich the soil.
  • The seeds are planted in nurseries where there is light shade.
  • After 4-5 months the seedlings are transplanted during short rains. Cuttings can also be grown.
  • Crops such as cassava, yams and bananas are inter-planted with young plants to provide shade for the crop.
  • Manuring and weeding are done regularly while tending the crops.
  • Fruiting begins after 5 years with abundant production being reached being attained after 10 years.
  • Pruning is constantly done to rid the plant of any branches that may grow to allow good quality pods to form on the branches.

Harvesting and Processing of Cocoa

  • The ripe pods are cut off from stems and branches using a long knife.
  • The pods are split open using machete to expose the beans.
  • The beans are covered with banana leaves and allowed to ferment for 5-6 days for juicy pulp to drain away.
  • Fermented beans are washed.
  • The beans are dried until they turn brown.
  • Dry beans are put in sacks.

Marketing of Cocoa

  • Farmers take dried beans to the collecting centres.
  • Licensed agents buy the produce e.g. Ghana Co-operative Marketing Association and Cocoa Merchants Limited.
  • The beans are weighed and cash paid to farmers.
  • They are then transported to the ports of Tema and Takoradi.
  • The Cocoa Marketing Board then exports the beans to countries such as U.S.A, Germany and Britain.

Uses of Cocoa

  • Consumed as a beverage.
  • Used to make cocoa butter, chocolates and drugs.

Significance of Cocoa to Ghana’s Economy

  1. Earns Ghana a most foreign exchange (60%).
  2. The foreign exchange from cocoa is used to improve infrastructure and social amenities.
  3. A source of employment for over 20% of working population.
  4. Provides a steady income for farmers which has improves their standard of living.

Problems Facing Cocoa Farming in Ghana

  1. Pests e.g. capsid bug which sucks the pulp in pods and causes the tree to die.
  2. Diseases e.g. black pod which affects the pods.
  3. Fluctuations of cocoa prices in the world market causing the farmer and the country to receive low income.
  4. Shortage of labour during harvesting season which causes delay in harvesting and high expenses when hiring labour from neighbouring countries.

Oil Palm Farming in Nigeria

  • Oil Palm originated from W. Africa.
  • Grows in bunches with each carrying up to 1000 egg shaped fruits which weigh 50 kg.
  • Nigeria is the 2nd leading exporter of palm oil after Malaysia.

Main Growing Areas

  • Forest belt around port Harcout where it’s grown on small farms and Sapele and Calabar where it’s grown in estates.

Conditions Favouring Oil Farming in Nigeria

Physical Factors

  1. High temperatures throughout the year (over 21◦c).
  2. Heavy and well distributed rainfall throughout the year.
  3. High relative humidity.
  4. Well drained porous and fertile soils.
  5. Undulating land which is less exposed to strong winds.

Human Factors

  • Abundant labour for clearing land, tendering seedlings, regular weeding, etc.
  • Proper transport network for harvested fruits to reach the processing factories the same day so as not to change into fatty acids.
  • Location of processing factories within or near growing areas since oil palms are perishable and must be processed the same day.
  • Efficient management to ensure that the crops are inspected frequently for any disease or pest attack for spraying to be done to control their spread.
  • Capital to pay labour wages, maintain feeder roads, vehicles and factories.

Cultivation of Oil Palm

  • Oil palm seeds are planted in a nursery where they are watered and sprayed.
  • They are transplanted in the field after one year.
  • They are inter-planted with food crops to force the farmer to weed the fields regularly.
  • The plants are inspected regularly for pests and diseases and sprayed promptly.
  • The palms reach maturity after 10 years by changing their colour to deep orange or red.

Harvesting of Oil Palm

  • Harvested by cutting the base of the bunch using a curved knife tied on a long pole.
  • The fruits are immediately collected and transported to the factory in lorries.

Processing/Extraction of Oil from Oil Palm Fruit

Traditional Technique

  • Fruits are removed from the stalk and boiled in metal drums for up to 3 hours.
  • They are then put in boat like containers and pounded using pestles until pericarp becomes pulp.
  • The nut and the softened pericarp are then put in a hand press and oil squeezed out of the pulp.
  • The nuts are cracked and oil squeezed out of kernels for domestic use.

The method produces very little oil which lacks consistency in quality.

Use of Pioneer Mills

  • Bunches are put in tube-like cages with holes all around.
  • Then cooked by hot steam to ensure they don’t change into fatty acids.
  • Bunches are shaken off stocks using a machine called stripper.
  • Then cooked in digesters.
  • The pericarp is separated from the nut.
  • It’s pressed to remove the oil.
  • The oil is left to settle in tanks so that impurities settle at the bottom.
  • The nuts are cracked to remove the kernels using grinders.
  • The kernels are pressed to produce oil or may be packed whole and exported.

Uses of Palm Oil

  • Used domestically for cooking, lighting and polishing.
  • Used in the manufacture of cooking fats, soaps and candles.
  • Kernel is used to make expensive cooking oil, margarine, cosmetics and oil soaps.
  • Used as a cleaning agent in industries.

Uses of Palm Tree

  • Palm leaves are used for thatching, making mats, baskets and brooms.
  • Pericarp fibres and nut shells are used as fuel.
  • Palm trees are used as building poles.
  • The tree is tapped for its sap which is fermented to make palm wine.

Marketing of Oil Palm

  • Most of palm oil and kernels are consumed locally and less than 50% is exported.
  • Most of the kernels are exported to Britain, W. Europe and U.S.A.

Significance of Oil Palm to Nigeria‘s Economy

  1. It’s a source of foreign exchange.
  2. It saves some of foreign exchange.
  3. Provides employment to people as farm hands, processing, etc which raises their standard of living.
  4. Has led to development of infrastructure to link processing areas with processing factories.
  5. Promoted development of industries where it’s used as a raw material e.g. making cosmetics, toilet soaps etc.
  6. Farmers earn regular income which raises their standard of living.

Problems Facing Oil Palm Farming in Nigeria

  • Pests and diseases which young plants due to their vulnerability which calls for regular spraying which is expensive.
  • Inadequate capital to purchase inputs leading to low yields.
  • Transport problems in some areas due to impassable roads leading to delays in delivering fruits to processing mills leading to low quality oil.
  • Government policy to encourage food production to reduce food importation which lowers oil palm production.

Coffee Farming in Kenya and Brazil

  • Coffee tree originated from southern highlands of Ethiopia.
  • Was introduced in Kenya by St. Austin’s missionaries in Nairobi via Kibwezi, Taita and Bura.

Growing Areas

  • Central Province – Nyeri, Muranga, Kiambu, Thika, Kirinyaga.
  • E. Province – Embu, Machakos, Tharaka, Makueni and high areas of Meru.
  • Coast Province – Taita Taveta in Wundanyi area.
  • W. Province – Bungoma, Vihiga, Kakamega.
  • Nyanza Province – Kisii, Nyamira, Nyabondo, Oyugis.
  • Nairobi Province – outskirts bordering Kiambu and Thika.

Factors Favouring Coffee Growing


Physical Factors

  • High altitude (910-2100m).
  • Cool temperatures (14-26◦c).
  • High and well distributed rainfall (1000-2030mm) annually.
  • Deep and well drained acidic soils.
  • Undulating landscape to ensure good drainage and aeration.

Human Factors

  • Adequate supply of cheap labour for land preparation, planting, weeding, etc.
  • Good roads for transporting coffee to factories and to the markets.


  • She is the leading producer of coffee.

Physical Factors

  1. Cool temperatures (14◦c-26◦c).
  2. High rainfall of 1525mm.
  3. A long dry season of up to 5 months to allow ripening and harvesting.
  4. Terra Rosa soils which are deep, porous and rich in potash and humus.
  5. Undulating surface at the Brazilian plateau around Sao Paolo.

Human Factors

  1. Availability of cheap labour from tenant labourers given small plots to grow subsistence crops which makes production costs to be low.
  2. A good transport infrastructure with roads and railways linking estates to export ports and cities like Sao Paolo, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro.

Methods of Coffee Production

  • Coffee seeds are sown in a nursery for 1 year.
  • Holes are in the field and filled with manure.
  • Seedlings are planted in the holes.
  • Weeding is done regularly to reduce competition for water and nutrients.
  • Plants are pruned regularly to control cropping and facilitate picking.
  • Fertilizers are applied on older plants to maintain soil fertility.
  • Between 2 and 4 years, coffee starts to bear berries.


  • Most of land is owned by rich land owners and a small percentage by small holders.
  • Two sets of labourers are employed and given small plots to grow subsistence crops, one to care for the crop until maturity and the other to tend crop after it begins to bear fruit.
  • Farmers mainly rely on natural fertility of the soil.
  • Relatively little care is given to soil therefore it becomes exhausted leading to soil erosion.
  • Old estates are abandoned and new estates established by clearing more land in a forest.

Coffee Harvesting

  • Berries are harvested by hand.
  • In Brazil little supervision leads to picking of unripe berries which lowers the quality of beans.


Wet Processing

  • Ripe berries are soaked in water.
  • Then fed into a machine which removes the outer skin leaving the coffee seed.
  • Seeds in water are passed over sieves to grade them according to weight and size.
  • They are fermented in a tank for 12 hours.
  • Then washed with clean water and dried to a moisture content of 10-11%.
  • The method produces coffee of high quality.

Dry Processing

  • Berries are allowed to ripen and dry on the tree.
  • They are harvested and dried further to a moisture content of 12%.
  • The coffee’s outer cover is removed by hurling leaving the seeds.
  • The seeds are put though a machine that peels off two layers of the inner husk.
  • The seeds are winnowed, graded and packed.
  • They are finally roasted to make a powder.



  • Handled by co-operatives which own factories.
  • After processing they sell coffee to KPCU.
  • KPCU then passes to Coffee Board of Kenya.
  • Owners of large plantations can directly export their coffee.
  • Exported to countries such as Britain, Germany, Finland, Norway, Japan and N. through the world market where quota is allocated each country.


  • Marketing is mainly handled by companies such as Poxupe – Santos.
  • Export sale is through the world market where she’s allocated a bigger quota because she produces more coffee.
  • She also markets its coffee via the internet website which enables her to reach a bigger market.
  • She markets her coffee to the same countries as Kenya.

The Role of Coffee in the Economies

  • It’s a source of foreign exchange used to import commodities which are not available locally and develop other sectors of the economy.
  • Saves some foreign exchange that would otherwise be used to import coffee.
  • Source of income to farmers which reduces poverty and raise their standard of living.
  • Source of employment for the workers in farms, factories, co-operatives, etc.
  • It’s a source of foreign exchange used to import unavailable commodities and develop other sectors of the economy.
  • In Brazil it has led to infrastructural development as roads have been constructed to link estates to export cities.
  • It also saves some foreign exchange that would otherwise be used to import coffee.



Problems Facing Coffee Farming


  1. Poor payment which causes farmers to neglect or uproot the crop and venture in other areas such as horticulture and dairying.
  2. Diseases e.g. C.B.D and leaf rust which reduce the coffee yields.
  3. Pests e.g. leaf miner which attacks coffee leaves causing them to fall off.
  4. Mismanagement of some co-operatives and embezzlement of funds by leaders which has caused some co-operatives to close up.
  5. Exhaustion of soil as coffee uses a lot of nutrients from the soil.
  6. Inadequate capital making the farmer unable to buy inputs such as fertilizers and chemicals leading to low production.
  7. Unreliable rainfall and drought conditions which causes young berries to ripen prematurely and fall off.
  8. Competition from other crops which have caused farmers to abandon coffee due to low prices.

How the Government Is Assisting Small Scale Farmers

  1. Carrying out research into new species of coffee and control of pests and diseases.
  2. Construction of new roads and improvement of the existing ones to enhance transportation of coffee.
  3. Providing extension workers through the ministry of agriculture to advice farmers on the best farming methods.
  4. Advancing loans to farmers through K.P.C.U. to assist them improve on their farming.
  5. It helps the farmers to market their produce through Coffee Board of Kenya.
  6. It holds courses and has set demonstration farms to update farmers on new farming methods.


The future of coffee production is unstable because coffee production has been declining due to the following reasons:

  1. Fluctuations of world prices which has forced some farmers to abandon coffee in favour of other crops.
  2. Diversification or introduction of new crops which fetch higher prices e.g. cotton, sugarcane, and maize which have lowered coffee production.
  3. Increased competition from other coffee producing countries such as Kenya, Columbia and W. Indies.
  4. Indiscriminate picking of ripe and unripe berries causing coffee quality to be among the lowest and thus fetching low prices in the international market.
  5. Climatic hazard of frost which has caused coffee to be replaced with less vulnerable crops such as sugarcane and Soya beans.
  6. Soil exhaustion as a result of exploiting the soil without renewing it which leads to low yields.
  7. Uncontrolled planting where by farmers plant more trees when there is coffee boom resulting in overproduction.

How the Government Is Responding To the Problems

  1. The government lobbies for higher quotas in the world market.
  2. Prohibiting new planting.
  3. Buying and storing surplus to artificially stabilise supply to maintain profit margins.
  4. Creation of artificial shortage of coffee in the world market by the institute for permanent defence of coffee to maintain high prices.
  5. Encouraging crop diversification and mixed farming to reduce overdependence on coffee.

Comparison between Coffee Farming in Kenya and Brazil


  • Kenya and Brazil grow similar varieties of coffee i.e. Arabica and Robusta.
  • Coffee is grown in small and large scale in both countries.
  • Coffee farming in both countries is affected by falling prices in the world market.
  • Coffee experiences stiff competition from other producing nations in both countries.
  • Coffee faces competition from other well paying crops in both countries e.g. horticultural crops in Kenya and maize and Soya in Brazil.
  • Problem of soil exhaustion is common in both countries.
  • Coffee farming is scientifically managed in both countries e.g. spraying, application of fertilizers and advanced research.
  • In both countries the governments are involved in coffee marketing.
  • Brazil exports coffee to the same countries as Kenya e.g. Britain, Germany, etc.
  • Cultivation and processing in both countries is done in much the same way.


  • In Brazil work is done by tenants while in Kenya it’s done by family members or casual labourers.
  • Brazil earns more foreign exchange from coffee than Kenya.
  • In Kenya only ripe berries are picked while in brazil ripe and unripe berries are picked due to little supervision which affects the quality of coffee.
  • In Brazil, coffee is mainly grown on plateaus while in Kenya it’s mainly grown in the highlands.
  • In Brazil farmers are faced with the climatic hazard of frost which is not experienced in Kenya.
  • Brazilian government encourages diversification while Kenyan government doesn’t.
  • Brazil’s coffee production is higher than Kenya’s so it’s allocated a bigger quota in the world market.
  • In Brazil there are two sets of labourers while in Kenya the same set of labourers do all the work.
  • In Brazil there is a good network of roads and railways connecting plantations to export ports while in Kenya transport system requires to be improved.
  • In Kenya coffee is grown in soils such as red volcanic soils while in Brazil it’s grown mainly in terrarossa soils which are quite good for coffee.
  • In Kenya most coffee is produced by small scale holders while in Brazil it’s by large holders.
  • In Brazil little attention is paid to soil fertility leading to soil exhaustion and erosion while in Kenya there is application of fertilizers and manure and control of erosion.

Wheat Farming in Kenya and Canada


Wheat was introduced in Kenya by Lord Delamere around Nakuru.

Main Growing Areas

  1. Uasin Gishu District
  2. Nakuru
  3. Narok
  4. Laikipia
  5. Trans Nzoia
  6. Nyandarua
  7. Timau
  8. Mweiga in Nyeri

General Conditions Favouring Wheat growing

  1. Average temperatures not to exceed 20◦c or fall below 6◦c.
  2. Gently sloping landscape for proper drainage and allow use of machines.
  3. Warmth during early periods of growth and sunny dry conditions in later stages for harvesting.
  4. Rainfall of between 305-1015mm annually.
  5. Grows best on light clay soils because they are stiff and give plant firm support.

Factors Favouring Wheat Growing in Kenya

Physical Conditions

  1. Warm temperatures in growing areas of 15-20◦c at least for three months which promotes growth of wheat and protects it against frost.
  2. Moderate rainfall of 1800-1270mm which promotes growth of wheat.
  3. High altitude of growing areas of 1500-2900m which reduces incidences by high humidity.
  4. Deep fertile volcanic soils which lead to high production.
  5. Gently or fairly level land for proper drainage and to allow mechanisation.

Human Factors

  1. Adequate labour for planting, weeding, application of fertilizers etc.
  2. Availability of transport facilities such as lorries and tractors to transport grains from the fields to the store and then to buying centres.


The main growing areas are the following Prairie Provinces:

  • Alberta
  • Saskatchewan
  • British Columbia
  • Ontario
  • Manitoba

Factors Which Have Favoured Wheat Growing In Canada/Which Have Led To the Rise of Canadian Prairies to Be One of the Leading Wheat Producing Regions in the World

  • Warm summer temperatures (about 15.5◦c) which is ideal for wheat growing.
  • Low altitude lowlands which are warm and favourable to wheat growth as highlands are too cold for the crop.
  • Sufficient rainfall of 560mm per annum which supports wheat growth well.
  • Extensive uninhabited tracts of land which have enabled large scale mechanised wheat cultivation.
  • Good connection of prairie lands to domestic and international markets by railways, roads and sea ways.
  • Fertile soils of prairies on which humus has accumulated without disturbance for a long time.
  • Undulating topography of prairies which offers well drained suitable for wheat cultivation.

Cultivation (Production Methods)

  • Land is prepared by ploughing using tractor driven ploughs.
  • It’s then hallowed several times to allow weeds and stray wheat grains to be killed in the next harrowing.
  • Manure and phosphate fertilizers are applied after the last harrow before sowing.
  • Sowing is done using drills that are pulled by tractors or hands.
  • Weeding is done by spraying or pulling using hands.
  • The crop is regularly inspected for pests and diseases.


  • Wheat is grown in extensive farms.
  • All work is done by machines e.g. ploughing, harrowing, sowing, weeding, spraying and harvesting.
  • Large amounts of grains are produced on these farms.
  • The grain is mainly for export.
  • Farmers are specialised.



  • Wheat is harvested by cutting heads using sharp knifes for small scale farms or combined harvesters for large scale farms which also threshes the grain.
  • The grain is pumped into trucks or tractors which move alongside the harvesters.
  • It’s taken to farm stores where it’s passed through driers before it’s packed for sale.


  • Wheat is cleaned and soaked in water to make it easier to remove the outer layers.
  • It’s passed through breaker rolls to separate endosperm with the bran.
  • The grain undergoes a series of grinding and sifting to obtain fine flour.
  • The flour may be bleached to give it desirable white qualities.
  • It may also be enriched with vitamins and iron.

Wheat Uses

  • For bakery e.g. cakes, bread, etc.
  • Wheat products are also used to make alcohol, preparation of glue and adhesive.
  • Outer part of kernel is used to make bran for animal and poultry feeds.



  • All wheat produced is consumed locally.
  • There is no surplus for export.
  • Farmers take their produce to NCPB stores.


  • Its large urban population offers a sizeable market where it’s delivered by elaborate road and railway network.
  • The bulk is exported to countries such as Russia, Britain, China, etc. through the Saint Lawrence Sea Way.

Role of Wheat to the Economies

Kenya and Canada

  1. Has promoted development of related industries such as bakery, alcohol manufacturing, etc.
  2. It saves some foreign exchange.
  3. It creates employment in farms, processing, and other related industries.
  4. Provides income to farmers, traders which alleviates poverty and also raises the standard of living.
  5. In Canada it has led to improvement of infrastructure in growing areas to ease transportation of wheat.



  1. Farmers have inadequate capital to buy inputs which lowers the yields.
  2. Pests such as dusty brown beetle which eat stem damaging the plant.
  3. Diseases such as the fungal stem rust which attacks the stem.
  4. Price fluctuations on the domestic market especially when selling through middle men.
  5. Shortage of storage facilities because the produce is transported to straight to NCPB before it sells it.
  6. Climatic hazard such as the stormy rains which flattens the crop leading to rotting and drought which may destroy entire crop.
  7. Soil exhaustion due to monoculture.


  1. Pests and diseases leading to low yields.
  2. Soil exhaustion due to monoculture which necessitates use of fertilizers.
  3. Adverse climatic conditions such as frost, hail and drought during summer.
  4. Price fluctuations in the world market which reduces farmer’s income.
  5. Transport problem during winter when export routes are frozen causing difficulty in accessing the sole market in USA.



  • There is mechanisation in both countries.
  • There are extensive farms in both countries.
  • There is a dry sunny spell in both countries.
  • Both countries experience the problem of pests and diseases.
  • Wheat in both countries is grown in areas with gently sloping terrain.
  • Wheat growing in both countries is affected by climatic hazards.


  • In Kenya wheat is grown in highlands while in Canada it’s grown in lowlands.
  • In Kenya wheat is consumed locally while in Canada most of it is for export.
  • Kenya experiences wheat shortage while Canada experiences overproduction.
  • Canadian farmers specialise while Kenyan farmers carry out mixed farming.
  • In Canada all work is mechanised while in Kenya there is usage of human labour.
  • Kenya has no incentives such as subsidies such as in Canada.
  • In Kenya farming is all year round but Canada experiences winters.
  • In Kenya farming is carried out on plateaus while in Canada it’s on plains.
  • Canada produces more wheat grain than Kenya.
  • Kenya grows spring wheat while Canada grows both spring and winter wheat.

Horticultural Farming in Kenya and Netherlands

Horticulture is the practice of growing fruits, vegetables and flowers for sale.

Main Features/Characteristics of Horticulture

  1. Farms are generally small in size.
  2. Farms are located near good transport routes due to produces perishability.
  3. Farms are located mostly near urban centres close to the markets.
  4. Land is intensely used to get maximum benefits.
  5. Advanced scientific techniques of crop production are used e.g. selected seeds, regular spraying, application of manure and fertilizers.
  6. Most of the work is done manually.
  7. The produce is market oriented (for export or local sale).
  8. It’s capital intensive because a lot of farm inputs are required.
  9. It involves quick and expensive modes of transport e.g. aeroplane because the produce is perishable, the mode is the quickest and the produce is in high demand.

Factors Favouring the Development of the Industry


  • Fertile volcanic soils which support a variety of crops.
  • Variation of climate from cool to hot with moderate to high rainfall where tropical crops such as pawpaw and pineapple are grown while in cool areas temperate crops such as plums and peers are grown.
  • High demand for products both locally and internationally (in winter when tropical vegetables, fruits and flowers are in high demand.
  • Technical and financial assistance from friendly countries.
  • Availability of capital from large and local overseas companies e.g. Del Monte, Kakuzi, etc.
  • High labour due to high population as it is labour intensive.
  • Accessibility to the market of most growing areas through roads and air transport.
  • Government’s policy of diversification of export crops with the aim of broadening export base.
  • Well organised marketing systems managed by Horticultural Co-operative Union and Horticultural Development Authority which help farmers to export their produce.


  • It is a W. European country at the mouth of R. Rhine and Meuse on N. sea.
  • It’s highly specialised in horticulture.

Conditions for Growth of the Industry

Physical Factors

  1. Well drained and quickly warmed sandy soils of the coast which are ideal for horticultural crops.
  2. Warm Gulf Stream Current which washes the coast making the area free from frost throughout the year.
  3. Accessibility to foreign markets due to central position in Europe.
  4. Shortage of land making it appropriate to establish horticultural farms.

Human Factors

  • Advanced technology such as the use of glass houses.
  • Good transport system easing movement of horticultural products throughout the country e.g. good harbours like Rotterdam, canals, navigable rivers, roads and railways.
  • Skilled labour which ensures high production and quality packaging.
  • High demand in the populous urban areas of continental Europe.
  • Availability of capital as there are highly organised co-operative societies which provide loans to farmers.


    Crops Grown and their Distribution


    cabbages, kales, carrots, tomatoes, turnips, cassava, sweet potatoes etc.

    Fruits: oranges, mangoes, lemons, apples, pears, plums, bananas, paw paws.

    Flowers: roses, orchids, gladioli, lilies, carnations etc. grown in Limuru, Naivasha, Murang’a, Kiambu, Thika, etc.


    lettuces, cucumber, peaches, leaks, asparagus, cauliflower, melons.

    apples, pears, cherries, goose berries, redcurrants, raspberries etc.

    Flowers: azalea, rhododendrons, tulips, hyacinths, roses and clematis.



    • Vegetables and fruits are grown in open fields.
    • Flowers are grown in green houses.
    • Moisture is made available to vegetables and flowers through sprinkling.

    Advantages of Green Houses

    • Plants don’t suffer effects of excessive rainfall.
    • Plants aren’t affected by drought.
    • Pest and disease spread are controlled.
    • Uniformity of climate is created for all plants.
    • Plants are protected from damaging effects of strong winds and airborne diseases.
    • Crops can be grown throughout the year.
    • It’s easier to control weeds by chemicals because the area is small.


    • Horticultural crops are grown in the open and in green houses.
    • Tree fruits are mainly grown outdoors.
    • There is the use of glasshouses (green houses made of glass).
    • They are connected to boilers and furnaces used to heat to maintain warm temperatures in winter.
    • There is use of predators to control pests e.g. flies, spider mites and lady birds to avoid degrading the environment.
    • There is specialisation with different areas growing different crops e.g.

      i) Flowers in Aalsmear near Amsterdam and Lei den in Harlem.

      • Vegetables in the triangular area formed by Hague, Rotterdam and Hook of Holland.
      • Fruits in the interior of Rotterdam in provinces of Guilderland, Limburg and Utrecht.

    Uses of Horticultural Crops

    Fruits and vegetables are used as food while flowers are for decorating houses, offices, churches, weddings and funerals.



    • Small scale farmers transport their produce to the collecting centres to buyers or middle men.
    • It’s checked and graded.
    • Then packed in packaging materials.
    • Then transported to the airports where most of it is airlifted to W. Europe where it may find its way to Japan and USA.



    • The produce is transported to go-downs of collecting agents or to the markets.
    • It’s transported via roads, railways, air or through canals and navigable rivers.
    • It’s destined for Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and Luxemburg.

    Role to the Economies

    • A source of foreign exchange.
    • Saves some foreign exchange.
    • Has led to industrial development by providing raw materials e.g. fruit canning, vegetable oil manufacturing, etc.
    • Provides employment to many due to being labour intensive.
    • It has led to development of infrastructure in the areas with large scale horticultural farms which have been served with better roads, water and electricity.
    • Earns farmers income when they sell their produce to buyers and middlemen.
    • Promotes better health and nutrition.
    • Has led to effective land use e.g. swampy areas in C. Province have been reclaimed for vegetable production.



  1. Inadequate capital in part of small scale farmers to buy inputs which lowers yield quality and quantity.
  2. Transport problem during rainy season in areas served only by seasonal roads leading to losses.
  3. Pests and diseases such as leaf blight which destroy the crops leading to losses.
  4. Lack of organised marketing system such as co-operatives causing exploitation by middlemen and inability to access credit and advisory services.
  5. High transport costs leading to sale of produce to middlemen who exploit farmers.
  6. Exploitation of workers by large horticultural companies leading to unrests e.g. working for long hours with less pay.


  1. Frost affects crops growing in the open.
  2. Inadequate capital to start new farms due to technology being very expensive.



  • Similar crops are grown e.g. fruits, flowers and vegetables.
  • Horticultural crops are grown both in open and in green houses.
  • It’s market oriented in both countries.
  • There is employment of scientific methods of farming.
  • It’s done extensively in both countries to get maximum returns.
  • Crops grown partly on reclaimed land in both countries.


  • Farmers have well organised marketing systems (co-operatives) in Netherlands than Kenya.
  • In Kenya the produce is first taken to collecting centres while in Netherlands it’s taken to the go downs of collecting agents or to the markets.
  • Kenya experiences the problem of impassable roads while Netherlands’s transport system is developed and efficient.
  • In Netherlands farming is carried out in coastal areas which are free frost while in Kenya it’s carried out in the cool and hot areas.
  • Netherlands’s soils are generally sandy while Kenya’s are volcanic.
  • There is biological control of pests in Netherlands unlike in Kenya.
  • There is a higher demand for Netherlands’s produce than Kenya’s due to a larger urban population.
  • There is use of more advanced technology in Netherlands than Kenya e.g. use of glass houses.
  • Netherlands produces more horticultural produce than Kenya.
  • There is specialisation in Netherlands with certain areas producing certain crops.
  • Netherlands farmers have more access to capital while Kenyan farmers have inadequate capital due to lack of organised marketing systems.





































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EcoleBooks | Geography Form 3 Notes : AGRICULTURE


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