Agricultural Science

Agricultural Land and its uses

Olawunmi Omosanya - Thu, 02nd May, 2019 @ 09:17: AM

Agricultural Land:

Land, a free gift of nature, is included as one of the three most important parts of the earth; the others being water and air. Land can also be considered to be the lithosphere on earth. (The lithosphere is the solid part of the earth where life is found). 

With regards to agriculture, land can be defined as the solid arable part of the earth where agricultural activities can be carried out. (Agricultural activities include the growing of crops and rearing of animals).

Note: Agricultural activities can also be carried out on water.

From the above agricultural definition of land, it can be clear that land can serve two purposes:

  1. Agricultural purposes
  2. Non Agricultural purposes

According to the edaphologists (those who are concerned with how the soil affect plants), it is believed that land should be used for agriculture purposes while the pedologist on the other hand are of the opinion that land should be used for non agricultural purposes. However, it is the physical and biological characteristics of land that suggests how it may be used; for instance, land with fertile soils are very good for agricultural activities and may be likely used for agricultural purposes.

Agricultural purposes of land include the followings:

 

  • Land for the cultivation of crops 

A crop is a cultivated plant that is grown for income or subsistence. Read our article on crops HERE.

Crops can be put into 6 categories:

  1. Food Crop: Are crops grown for human consumption. Examples are yam, millet, potatoes and beans.
  2. Fibre Crop: Are grown for textile and cordage. Cotton is an example.
  3. Ornamental Crops: They are grown for gardening and beautification purposes. Examples are pampas grass and roses.
  4. Oil Crops: Are grown for their oil, for example, soyabean, coconut, cottonseed and corn. 
  5. Industrial Crops: are grown for various industrial reasons, for instance, rubber and cotton.
  6. Cash Crop: Are grown to generate income and foreign exchange. Examples are cocoa and rubber.

Note: Land for the cultivation of crop must be properly managed so that it will not end up losing all its nutrients. Agricultural practices like crop rotation, irrigation, bush fallowing, fertilizer and manure application should be encouraged in order to retain or improve soil fertility.

 

  • Land for rearing of animals

Forms of animal rearing include:

  1. Cattle, Sheep and Goat farming: The rearing of cattles sheep and goats.
  2. Snailery: The rearing of snails.
  3. Poultry Farming: The rearing of birds such as chickens, turkeys, peacocks, ducks and geese
  4. Pisticulture: The rearing of fishes.
  5. Apiculture or BeeKeeping: Ther rearing of bees.

 

  • Land for wildlife reserve

A wildlife reserve is a region where different kinds of wild animals are kept and protected in order to avoid their extinction while aiming to generate income from them. Animals reserved as wildlife include lions, elephants, crocodiles and snakes. The land required for wildlife do not necessarily need to be fertile; neither should it be occupied by numerous trees (like that of a forest).

The presence of a wildlife reserve in a nation will provide the following important benefits:

  1. Source of foreign exchange.
  2. Development of a country through tourist attraction.

Note: The indiscriminate killings of wild animals are forbidden in a wildlife reserve center.

Below are some major wildlife (game) reserves in Nigeria:

  1. Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State
  2. Gashaka Gumti National Park in Taraba State
  3. Kainji Lake National Park in Kwara State
  4. Borgu Game Reserve in Kwara State
  5. Cross River National Park, Cross River State
  6. Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, Cross River State
  7. Zugurma Game Reserve in Niger State
  8. Okomu National Park, Edo State
  9. Old Oyo National Park Old, Oyo State
  10. Kamuku National Park, Kaduna State

 

  • Land for forest

A forest is an ecosystem dominated by a variety of trees and animals. The land required for the evolution of a forest do not need to be too fertile. Also, it will do no harm if the land is prone to erosion. Allowing agricultural land to grow into forests can prove significant for the following reasons:

  1. Forest becomes the source of wood which is useful for a variety of purposes. For example, constructions, furniture, paper, buildings and so on.
  2. Forest plants are medicinal in value.
  3. It preserves different species of animals.
  4. Forest can act as windbreaks. Water erosion can also be prevented via a forest. Read our article on erosion HERE.
  5. It acts as a source of livelihood for hunters.
  6. Forest can generate foreign exchange for a country through export of its product and tourism.

Below are important forest reserves in Nigeria:

  1. Anara Forest Reserve in Kaduna State.
  2. Shasha River Forest Reserve in Ogun State.
  3. Oluwa Forest Reserve, Ondo State.
  4. Oba Hills Forest Reserve in Osun State.
  5. Sanga Forest Reserve in Plateau State.
  6. Ise Forest Reserve, Ekiti State.
  7. Sapoba Forest Reserve in Edo State.
  8. Omo Forest Reserve in Ogun State.
  9. Akure Forest Reserve, Ondo State.
  10. Edumanom Forest Reserve, Bayelsa State.
  11. Okomu Forst Reserve, Edo State.
  12. Idanre Forest Reserve, Ondo State.
  13. Okeluse Forest Reserve.

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