Meaning of Mechanization
Mechanization is concerned with the use of machines in farm work. In Nigeria, farm work is carried out using simple farm implements.
For example, clearing of land is done with the cutlass, digging of the land with hoe and, planting with cutlass and trowel.
The introduction of machines into farming has enabled, for instance, land clearing to be carried out more easily with the bulldozer. Digging of the land before seeds are planted can now be done with either the disc or mouldboard plough. Different machines called planters are now available to plant different crops.
In addition, different crop harvesters are now in existence for the harvesting of mature crops. Advantages of farm mechanisation (a) It removes the difficulty in farming. Farm work is considered by people to be very hard. The use of machines therefore makes farming enjoyable. (b) Large areas of farm Ind can be prepared within very short time. This means that mechanisation saves time. (c) It allows the farmer to perform some difficult jobs easily; for example, the felling of trees is easily done with the motor-saw instead of the axe and cutlass. (d) Mechanisation saves labour.
Very few labourers are required when machines are employed on the farm. (e) It increases farm productivity because of large cope operation. Increased productivity leads to higher farm income and standard of living. (f) The cost of using machines on the farm is cheaper in the long run compared with the cost of farm-labour that is always rising. (g) It prevents bad agricultural practices such as complete burning all vegetation on new farmland. In addition, large are of farm land can still be cultivated by the farmer during one cropping season (h) It enables the farmers to use surplus farm products profitably, For example, the crop dryer allows quick and easy drying of crop product such as rice, maize, sorghum and wheat. Crop product can be processed into different products, more acceptable to consumers.
In addition, surplus perishable products such as tomatoes, vegetables, milk and meat can be stored for a long time using the refrigerator are cold storage. (i) The use of machines in farming may attract young and educated persons to take up farming as- an- occupation. (j) The mechanisation of farming may release some workers formerly engaged in farming to take up jobs in Agro-allied industries in urban centres. Disadvantages of mechanisation (a) Many of the farm- workers will be jobless.
With the use of machine in farming, the work that can be done by many workers be carried out by very few. farm hands. The others need to be retained before they can fit into new jobs. (b) The use of heavy machine. such as the bulldozers and- tractors . soil structure. This ma’y result in soil erosion caused by water. (c) The environment is polluted because of the use of machines. The exhaust from motor-vehicles and scraps from machines and burning result in environmental pollution.
(d) The use of heavy machines leads to soil compaction. The continuous use of tillage implements results in the development of hard soil layer below the soil surface. This reduces water inhlliation in the soil as well as crops roots penetration. (e) Mechanization has directed production to those crops that are mechanized such as rice, maize, and few others. The production of crops such as cocoyam and yam that are not easils produced with the aid of machines is therefore declining yearly. (f) Machinery requires large capital investment. Only farmers that have enough money will be able to acquire machines.
(g) The use of machines in farming requires adequate and continuous supply of energy from fuel and electricity. Problems will arise if the supply is not enough, or is lacking. Problems of farm mechanization in Nigeria (a) Farm holdings are very small: farm mechanization is only suitable with large farm holdings. (b) Most of the farmers poor. Tractors and other farm machines are costly and many farmers cannot buy them.
(c) Nigerian soils contain large tree stumps, roots and stones(pre-planting operation). These breakdown farm machines and render them useless. Also the presence of small hills, pits and moats makes the land rugged and unsuitable for machines. (d) There is lack of adequate facilities for the maintenance of farm machines. The result is that machines can be rendered useless because of minor faults. (e) The people that have skills to operate the tractor and other farm machines. Many farmers do not have the money to employ those that are trained in the use of farm machines. (f) There are no good access roads in farming communities. Tractors and other
machines spend long hours on the road between farm sites and sheds. They sometimes get stuck in the mud.
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HERE YOU WILL FIND EVERY AVAILABLE TOPICS ABOUT AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE AND BIOLOGY. AND THE LINKS TO THEIR VARIOUS SOURCES.
1. DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE
2. IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE
3. SUBSISTENCE AGRICULTURE
4. COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE
5. PROBLEM OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
6. SOLUTIONS TO POOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
7. AGRICULTURAL LAWS AND REFORMS
8. ROLES OF GOVERNMENT IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
9. AGRICULTURAL POLICIES
10. PROGRAM PLANNING IN AGRICULTURE
35. WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
36. FACTORS AFFECTING LAND AVAILABILITY
39. BIOLOGICAL FACTORS
40. SOCIAL-ECONOMIC FACTORS
41. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AFFECTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
42. CLIMATIC FACTORS AFFECTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
47. SOLAR RADIATION
48. BIOTIC FACTOR AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
52. SOIL MICRO-ORGANISMS
53. SOIL PH
54. ROCK FORMATION
55. IGNEOUS ROCK
56. SEDIMENTARY ROCKS
58. SOIL AND ITS FORMATION
59. FACTORS OF SOIL FORMATION
60. LIVING ORGANISM
61. PARENT MATERIALS
62. SOIL FORMATION TOPOGRAPHY
63. PROCESS OF SOIL FORMATION
65. PHYSICAL WEATHERING
66. CHEMICAL WEATHERING
73. BIOLOGICAL WEATHERING
74. CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL COMPOSITION OF THE SOIL
75. SOIL WATER