farm cultivation systems farming System Shifting Cultivation/Bush Fallowing. this are the various methods applied by an individual farmer in order to increase yield. there are different types of farming systems but in this post are are going to take look at a few of them. the following under listed are some farming systems, their advantages and disadvantages. so the first on menu is Bush Fallowing
Bush Fallowing farm cultivation system
This is the practice of farming on a piece of land for some years then abandoning it for another piece of land. bush Fallowing system of farming(read more here) is mainly done under subsistence agriculture and in areas with abundant farmland.
Under this farm practice, the farmer may not return to the same land in life. At times, however, he may return after the land has been left fallow (that is, without cultivation) for several years.
The period of no cultivation is termed fallow period, hence this system farm cultivation is also called bush fallowing. as much as this system of farm cultivation is good, there are a few problems associated with Bush fallowing system. but let us look at the advantages of it
Advantages of Bush fallowing system farm cultivation
- this system of farm cultivation helps to replenish the fertility of the soil in a natural way.
- another important aspect of of this system of farm cultivation is that it prevents the rapid spread of crop pests-and diseases around the farm .
- fallow system of farm cultivation helps to control soil erosion.
- This system reduces farmers’ cost of production in terms of erosion control practices and fertilizer usage.
Disadvantages of fallow system of farm cultivation
- A lot of time and energy is usually spent by farmers in preparing fresh land for planting.
- fallow system of farm cultivation leads to the destruction of valuable forest resources such as wildlife and timber trees.
- this system of farming helps to control soil erosion and sometimes encourages sheet erosion
- The system reduces farmers cost of production in terms of erosion control practices and fertilizer usage.
LAND ROTATION SYSTEM OF FARM CULTIVATION
This is a modified system of shifting cultivation or bush fallowing.
The system involves dividing an available farmland into portions mostly practice as land tenure system. The farmer (then) farms on one portion for some time before moving to the next portion, in a definite order. This illustrated below: Land Rotation system of farm cultivation. The system is practiced in areas where farmlands are limited and where food crops are mainly grown.
Advantages of land rotation system of farm cultivation
1 . it helps to main the fertility of the soil.
- It also helps to reduce the build-up of pests and disease organisms.
- It reduces soil erosion.
This system involves the rearing of animals that feed on forage crops (grasses and legumes), such as goats, sheep and cattle.
Pastoral farming could take any of these two forms:
RANCHING FARMING SYSTEM
This is a system of keeping animals in a fenced expanse of land containing forages (grasses and legumes) for them to feed on.
Examples are Obudu cattle ranch, in Cross River State, Igarra cattle ranch in Edo State.
(B) NOMADIC HERDING FARMING SYSTEM
This involves the movement of grazing animals from one place to another in search of fresh pasture and ‘ water. This is mainly practiced by the Fulani nomads of northern Nigeria.
This system of farming also called pastoral nomadism or pastoral farming.
i. It provides a source of animal protein.
ii. The system is not too costly because natural grasses are fed upon by the animals.
iii. Less labour is required as one man can cater for a large number of animals.
i. It is highly laborious for the herdsmen particularly the nomads.
ii. Animals can only be reared in grassland areas where they can have access to feed.
iii. The productivity of the animals is affected by availability of pasture crops. The latter is affected by seasonal changes.
MIXED FARMING SYSTEM OF FARM CULTIVATION
This is the combination of crop production with animal production on the same farmland. This is mainly practiced on commercial farms where large units of livestock such as poultry, pigs, etc. are kept along side the cultivation of crops like maize, rice, and vegetables
- It ensures steady supply of income for the farmer.
- It ensures against failure in one of the two enterprises (that is, crop production and animal production.
- The farmer will be able to replenish the soil for crop cultivation using the manure from the animals.
- The farmer can also supply feeds to the animals from the crop products.
- The farmer and his family have access to good food obtained from both his crops and animals.
- The animals may serve as source of power on the farm, e.g bullock can be used to pull ploughs or harrows.
- It requires a great deal of knowledge, skill, time and labour from the farmer.
- When animals are reared on the same land where crops grown without fence, the animals may damage the crops.
- It is expensive to operate – especially in respect of the skill personnel needed.
- LEY FARMING
This system of farming is not so common in our communities except in experimental stations.
It involves alternating arable or production with the growing of forage crops on a piece of land, instance, a farmer may use a piece of land to grow food crops about two years and then use it for growing forage crops to animals for some other years. The land is re-ploughed and planted with food crops again.
The farm land is referred to as ‘ley’ during the period it is covered with forages.
1. The pastures, especially the legume species help to replenish the soil fertility.
2. Soil erosion is controlled through the system because at no point in time is the land exposed completely for too long a time
3. It also helps to reduce the build-up of pests and disease agents on a farmland.
It is not easy to practice, hence the system is not popular in most communities. ‘flu1l forage crops usually become weeds on the farm when the farm is cropped with food crops and they are often difficult to triplicate.
- TAUNGYA FARMING
This is the system whereby food crops are grown alongside trees.
It involves clearing forest land (forest reserve). and food crops. Later, tree seedlings are planted in between crops to continue on the land after the food crops have been harvested.
The system is practiced in forest reserves in the southern part of Nigeria where the State Governments allow the use of forest reserves arable farming.
- The fertility of the soil is usually high for crops to use for maximum productivity.
- It is an economic way of replacing unwanted forest with desirable tree species.
- The land is always protected against erosion.
- The timber seedlings are protected by the food crops in their early stage of life.
- The system provides a source of income to the government.
1. It leads to destruction of natural forests which may result in the loss of many forest resources.
- At times, the needed forests may not develop because most farmers do not cater for the forest trees as they are left to die under heavy cropping with cassava or plantains.
- The system does not allow the cultivation of permanent crops such as cocoa,rubber, and oil palm.
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