Meaning of mechanized agriculture
In the olden days, our people farmed with only cutlasses, sickles and hoes. They used small fishes as a bait to catch fishes in small rivers and lakes around them. The food they produced was, therefore, small and not enough to sell to other people.
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This type of farming is called subsistence farming.
Today, the government of Nigeria is interested in agriculture. Each state government has a ministry of agriculture. Some state governments have departments of fishery. In order to produce plenty of food, the government and some wealthy citizens use machines on their farms. The use of machines for farming is called mechanized farming.
On such farms, machines are used for clearing and weeding, and for planting crops and harvesting. These machines make the work of agriculture much easier and faster
Types of agricultural machines and their uses
A tractor is a multi-purpose motor vehicle with large wheels, used for lifting or pulling farm implements.
This is a machine used to separate seeds from the husk or cob.
These are machines or implements designed to make easy the process of harvesting various crops.
These are machines used for hatching fertilized eggs artificially.
These are machines designed to plant seeds of crops, such as maize, guinea corn, rice and beans. A planter places seeds in the ground in rows.
It is a machine having one or more heavy blades, and it is used to break the soil, in preparation for sowing seeds and planting.
Problems associated with mechanized farming
Mechanized farming makes farming a lot easier, and increases output, but it has so many problems which include the following:
- Unavailability to farmers
Most farmers are not so rich and, therefore, cannot afford the cost of tractors and other mechanized farm implements.
2 Inadequate spare parts
: Availability of spare parts for the machines is a major concern, as these parts are still being imported.
Many farm workers or laborers have been put out of job (lost their jobs) because machines are now doing their jobs.
- The shape of our land
Our landscape is too rough, and much of it is unconducive for farm mechanization.
Application of agricultural technology to fishing and farming
The application of agricultural technology to fishing and farming, which has made fishing and farming a lot easier and lucrative, includes the following:
1 The use of insecticide and pesticides by farmers to control insects and pests has helped to increase the quality and quantity of crops.
2 Also, the use of drugs for treating and immunizing birds and animals has also helped to improve the quality of livestock and farm animals.
3 The use of irrigation facilities, which involves the use of special pumps designed to channel water or carry water from nearby streams to the farm, has also made the cultivation of crops easier in the savannah or dry region.
4 Tractors, harvesters and sellers are machines used by farmers to aid and facilitate the process of farming. This method has led to increased output and also increased the quality of food crops produced in the farms.
5 In the area of fishing, the use of trawlers (fishing boats with nets) for harvesting large quantities of fish has made fishing business lucrative for fishermen.
6 The use of modern fish ponds in areas without rivers has helped to promote the business of breeding fish by fish farmers. Fish pond is a modern way of breeding fish in large quantities without a river or stream.
Advantages of modern agricultural technology
Agricultural technology, or mechanized agriculture, involves the application of modern technology in the production, storage and processing of farm products and livestock.
This system has a lot of advantages, which include the following:
1 It saves time:.
2 It reduces health hazards.
3 It increases production
4 It encourages large-scale farming:
5 It improves the quality of produce: Farm mechanization usually improves the quality of some farm produce, e.g. rice processing
Strategies & Activities
Step: Teacher revises the previous topic.
Step 2: Teacher introduces the new topic.
Step3: Teacher explains the new topic.
Step4: Teacher welcomes pupils questions.
Step5: Teacher evaluates the pupils
Assessment & Evaluation
1 Explain the concept of mechanized agriculture.
2 Identify some agricultural machines.
3 Explain the problems associated with mechanized agriculture.
4 Explain how modern agricultural technology can be applied to fishing and farming.
5 List three advantages and three disadvantages of modern agricultural technology
Mention four (4) tools used for farming in the olden days.
Mention six (6) modern agricultural equipment.
Write four (4) problems associated with mechanized farming.
State four (4) advantages of modern agricultural technology.
Why do most farmers still continue in subsistence agriculture in spite of the benefits of mechanized farming? State three (3) reasons.
Explain the uses of the following modern farm equipment