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Agricultural Science

Fruit farming

Fruit farming is defined as the type of farming in which farmers cultivate mainly fruit crops either for domestic, industrial or commercial purposes.  It is also regarded as orchad farming.

MAJOR AREAS OF FRUIT FARMING

  1. In North-West Africa: This areas include Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Morocco.
  2. In South Africa: The areas are mainly around cape town, Natal and Orange Free State.

Factors favourable to fruit farming

  1. Temperature of about 25Oc – 27OC.
  2. Winter rainfall of 25 – 75 cm for planting and growth
  • Summer sunshine for ripening and harvesting.
  1. Rich soils (volcanic in some places)
  2. Sheltered valleys for cultivation
  3. Availability of rivers for irrigation
  • Good transport network
  • High demand, internal and external introduction of refrigerated vessels
  1. Introduction of refrigerated vessels for fruits exportation
  2. Government support/encouragement in cash and kind
  3. Availability of capital
  • Availability of technical know-how
  • Use of advanced method of cultivation, e.g. terracing
  • Undulating relief with good drainage.

TYPES OF FRUIT PRODUCED

  1. In South Africa:  The popular fruits grown or produced include vine, grapes, apples, pears, oranges, pineapple, peaches and apricots.
  2. In North-West Africa: Important fruits produced include oranges, apricots, figs, grapes, olive, lemon, limes and tangerines.

Importance or contribution of fruit farming

Fruit farming is very important to both South Africa and North West African countries in the following ways:

  1. Foreign exchange earnings
  2. Employment
  • Industrial raw materials
  1. Infrastructural development
  2. Growth of towns
  3. Food for man
  1. Development of allied industries e.g. cork production
  2. Improved health through dietary enrichment, e.g. vitamins
  3. Viticulture, which is the cultivation of grape fruit, promotes specialization by some people.

PROBLEMS OF FRUIT FARMING

  1. Hilly topography limits extension of farm lands
  2. Soil erosion, particularly along steep hillsides
  • Poor soil in places
  1. Drought and sometimes frost.
  2. Inadequate storage facilities
  3. Pests
  • Diseases
  • Improper processing and storage
  1. Over-production/glut
  2. Inadequate trained personnel.

MAJOR HYDRO-ELECTRIC POWER PROJECTS IN AFRICA

MEANING OF H.E.P

Hydro-electric power (H.E.P) is the generation of electric power (electricity) from water.  This is achieved through the damming of rivers and the use of river water to turn or drive turbines, leading to the generation of electricity.

A dam is an extensive area occupied by water trapped on river course

FACTORS WHICH FAVOUR THE DEVELOPMENT OF H.E.EP PROJECTS IN AFRICA

  1. Presence of relief/waterfalls ensures the development of H.E.P
  2. Abundance of rainfall in Africa also helps to supply water to rivers regularly
  • There is also high volume of water in rivers which is necessary for H.E.P development, i.e. presence of a big river
  1. Presence of steep gradients ensures the movement of water rapidly; thereby promoting fast turning of turbines to generate electricity
  2. The nature of bedrocks provides good site for H.E.P construction and prevents easy percolation of water into the soil
  3. There is adequate high temperature against freezing of water in rivers
  • There is also high demand (large market) for H.E.P both for industrial and domestics uses.
  • Presence of adequate capital to construct an maintain the dams
  1. There is also a firm, narrow rock base for the damn site.

Effects of Climate on Dam

  1. Inadequate rainfall reduces the volume of water in the rivers or dams
  2. Excessive rainfall on the other hand leads to overflow of water from the dams
  • High intensity of rainfall leads to sedimentation of silts in dams
  1. Intensive heat also leads to high evaporation of water from dams

MAJOR HYDRO-ELECTRIC POWER PROJECTS IN AFRICA

Some of the important hydro-electric projects, the rivers, locations and their countries are as follows:

  1. Kainji Dam on River Niger in Nigeria
  2. Aswan High Dam on River Nile in Egypt
  • Akosombo Dam on River Volta in Ghana
  1. Kariba Dam on River Zambezi in Zambia.
  2. Konkoure Dam on River Konkoure in Guinea
  3. Kossou Dam on River Bandama in Cote d’Ivoire
  • Cabora Bassa Dam on Lower River Zambezi in Zambia
  • Owen Falls Dam on River Nile in Uganda
  1. Sennar Dam on River Nile in Sudan
  2. Seven Fork Dam on River Tana
  3. Inga Dam on River Congo in the Democratic Rep. of Congo
  • Vaal Dam on River Orange in South Africa

ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OR ADVANTAGES OF H.E.P (DAMS)

  1. It promotes irrigation agriculture through the water trapped in the dams, e.g. Aswan Dam
  2. It helps to generate electricity (H.E.P) for domestic and industrial uses, e.g. Kainji dam.
  • It also supplies water both for domestic and industrial uses.
  1. It provides employment for many people
  2. It provides food for man, e.g. prawns and crayfish which grow in dams, e.g. Kainji dam.
  3. H.E.P projects or dams are centres of tourist attraction and recreation
  • It generates revenue for government, e.g. the extension of electricity to neighbouring countries as a source of foreign exchange
  • It also helps to control floods
  1. It also helps to improve inland water transportation
  2. It has led to the development of new towns, e.g. New Bussa in Kwara state
  3. It provides lake and water used for fishing.

PROBLEMS OR DISADVANTAGES OF DAMS

  1. Inadequate capital to construct and maintain H.E.P
  2. Inadequate skilled manpower to manage H.E.P
  • There is low level of technology
  1. Unco-ordinated use of the rivers which may cause conflict between owner countries
  2. Seasonal fluctuation in the volume of the rivers
  3. Problems created by growth of aquatic weeds
  • Occurrence of sand spits and bars
  • Establishment of dams has led to the displacement of people, e.g. the silting of Kainji dam has resulted in the displacement of people from the old Bussa
  1. There is also the problem of silting because of the lake (dam)
  2. Flooding at times can occur especially when the dam holds more waters than ti can carry
  3. It has also led to the destruction of traditional modes of life of the people displaced
  • There may be excessive loss of water through evaporation and this can affect the dam/H.E.P
  • Large areas of cultivable and pasturable lands are often submerged.

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