Saturday, July 20, 2024
General Agriculture

Factors Determining Farming System

Farming as it were is affected by different factors. These factors vary from one farm to another and according to the farming enterprises combined in the farm.

The determining factors are grouped into natural factors which are further divided into physical and biological factors and socio-economic factors.

Factors Determining Farming System

The factors determining the farming system a farmer chooses to adopt are of different folds. Adebowale (2017) identified two major factors. The author also stated that these factors have their various divisions. However, the factors can be grouped as follows;

  • The natural factors.
  • The socio-economic factors.

1. Natural Factors

Amongst the natural factors we have it further broken down into;

  • Physical Factors, and
  • Biological factors.

A. Physical Factors: The physical factors are comprised of all external conditions and influences that are likely to affect the life and development of the farm (plants grown and animals that are reared)

Again, the physical factors are further sub-divided into;

  • Climatic factors
  • Soil factors

The Climatic Factors

Factors Determining Farming System

The climatic factors are those factors that are often determined by the average weather condition of an area. They include;

  • Solar radiation
  • Rainfall
  • Temperature
  • Wind, and
  • Relative humidity

Solar Radiation: This has to do with solar energy radiated from the sun. The intensity of the sun of an area would determine the type of farming to practice by the farmer.

Areas with much sunlight can seldomly practice growing of crops without irrigation because of the drying effects posed by the sunlight. So, irrigation helps to supply the water needed to cushion the drying effects of the sun.

Some areas can also seldomly practice fish farming due to the same drying effect of the sun that can result to excess evaporation of water from the ponds. On the other hand, areas where average sunlight is experienced can grow crops and practice fish farming.

Rainfall: Rainfall is another major factor that determines farming system practiced by a farmer.

Rainfall keeps soil moist and provides the needed water for crop growth, it as well helps to cool the temperature and so helps to guide against excess transpiration that would have resulted to flaccidity (drying) of the plant.

The quantity of rainfall of an area goes a far way in determining the type of farming system being practiced by him.

Temperature: Temperature is the coolness or hotness of an area at a particular time.

Excess heat leads to excess transpiration and subsequently drying of the plant and so makes it impossible to do well or meet with its potentials. On the other hand, cool or low temperature renders the plant and animals inactive.

While we acknowledge that an average temperature is ideal, it is also necessary for us to know that different plants and animals require different temperature range for optimum performance and production. So the farmer would have no choice but to be influenced to grow the type of crops and rear the type of animals to the environment.

Wind: Wind is another serious climatic factor that affects the production level of our agricultural production and so determines the type of farming system practiced by the farmer.

The wind is either dry or wet. A dry wind exacts a drying effect on the plants and animals. While a cool wind exacts exact a cooling effect on the organism.

Relative Humidity: Relative humidity is the water in the form of water vapour in the atmosphere. Humidity of an area is either high or low, and this determines the type of farming system practiced in an area.

Areas with high humidity grow crops and rear animals that are different from those respectively grown and reared by farmers in other areas.

Soil Factors

Factors Determining Farming System

The soil factors include:

  • Soil structure
  • Soil texture
  • Soil fertility
  • Availability of mineral nutrients

Soil Structure: Soil structure is the vertical arrangement of the different types of soil in a given profile or area. An area with a good soil profile for crop production is an area that has good humus soil in the soil surface.

The farm in such an area would be encouraged or influenced to grow crops. While the area with poor soil structure would be encouraged to rear animals in his farm land.

Soil Texture: The texture of the soil is the average proportion of the different types of soil in a given area.

A good soil texture has a good proportion of sand and loam properties. Such a soil encourages the growing of crops in an area. On the contrary, poorly textured soil will be used to rear animals.

Soil Fertility: Soil fertility that contains all the necessary nutrients that are required for proper growth of our plants. An area with soils that contains the ideal nutrients for growing of crops will be encouraged to grow crops.

Availability of Mineral Nutrients: The availability of nutrients would help determine the farming system to be practiced.

Where there is a good quantity of nutrients available in the soil, the farmer would have no choice but to grow crops. Contrarily, an area that has low mineral nutrients would be influenced to be used for animal production.

Biological Factors

Factors Determining Farming System

The biological factors are those factors that have life in them. The factors thus include;

  • Crops
  • Livestock
  • Weed
  • Pests
  • Diseases

Crops: An area that is good for crop production would have the farmer being influenced to go into crop production. Such an area would also have the particular type of crop that will produce well in it, and that should be the farmers focus or interest.

Livestock: Livestock has to do with the rearing of farm animals in a particular area. The area whose climatic conditions favour animal rearing would have the farmers of the area being influenced into animal production.

Weeds: Agriculturally, weed is defined as an unwanted plant growing in an area where it is not wanted. The type of weed growing in an area also determine the type of agricultural activity that can be carried out in the area.

An area with too much weed would not encourage the growing of crops (due to the fact that it will tremendously add to labour cost) but the rearing of animals. This is because; the weeds can sometimes be used to feed the animals (herbivorous animals).

Pests and Diseases: Pests are insects that cause some nuisance level to plants and animals, while diseases are some kind of physiological deformation of plants and or animals.

An area that is known to have good quantity of pests and diseases would disrupt or discourage the growing of crops and rearing of animals.

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This is because, the prevalence of pest and or diseases will lead to the pathogens leveraging on the plants and animals being reared, thereby reducing the plants and or animals potentials or even killing them.   In a nutshell, such an area will not encourage any type of farming to take place.

2. Socio-Economic Factors

Factors Determining Farming System

The socio-economic factors of the farmers are those factors that are bound on the farmers. The Report of Farm Characteristics – STARS Project stated that on a general note, the factors have been broadly grouped into;

  • Endogenous factors
  • Exogenous factors

The Endogenous Factors: The endogenous factors are those factors that are found within the farm family and they are most likely under the farmers‟ control.

These factors either influence the farmers positively or negatively on what type of farming system to he/she hopes to operate.

The endogenous factors include; family composition, health and nutrition, educational level, food preference, risk aversion, attitude or goals and gender relations.

The exogenous Factors: These are factors that as well influence the farmers on the type of farming system to adopt. The exogenous factors are not within the control of farmer.

So where they stand to favour the farmer, he will practice the farming, but where they don’t stand to favour the farmer, he would have no choice but to abandon the farming because the factors are not within his control.

The factors include; population, tenure system, social infrastructure, credit, markets, prices, technology, input supply, extension, savings opportunities.

In summary, the study found that there are several factors that determine farming systems. These factors were majorly grouped into natural factors and socio-economic factors.

The natural factors were further subdivided into physical factors which are made up of climatic factors, soil factors and biological factors.

The climatic factors include solar radiation, rainfall, temperature, wind and relative humidity. Going further, the soil factors include soil texture, soil structure, soil fertility and the availability of soil nutrients. While the biological factors comprised of crops, livestock, weed, pests and diseases.

The socio-economic factors are made up of endogenous and exogenous factors which are respectively within and out of the farmers control.

This study unit investigated the factors determining farming systems. They were broadly known to include natural factors and socio-economic factors. The natural factors comprised of climatic, soil and biological factors.

Read Also : Feed and Nutrition Management for Cattle


Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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