Table Of Contents
- Roles Of Government In Agricultural Production
- Environmental Factors Required For Food Production
- Ways Of Improving Crop Production
- Causes Of Food Wastage
- Methods Of Preserving And Storing Food
Food Production And Storage
Food production can be discussed in three major ways. These include:
1. Role of government in agricultural production.
2. Environmental factors required for food production.
3. Ways of improving crop production.
Roles Of Government In Agricultural Production
Government plays important role in the development of agriculture. This has helped to solve the numerous problems which resulted in the poor development of agriculture. The roles of government in agricultural production or ways by which government may increase food production include:
1. Provision of Financial Assistance: The government through its various agencies have helped in the provision of financial assistance.
2. Provision of High Quality Planting Materials: Planting materials like seeds and other planting stock which are of high quality with high yielding, disease, pest or drought assistance should be provided and distributed to farmers.
3. Provision Of Agro-Chemicals: Agro-chemicals like fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, vaccines and drugs should be provided and distributed at subsidised rates to increase crop and animal yield.
4. Provision Of Extension Services: Government should provide extension services to local farmers to intimate them with modern farming practices or techniques.
5. Provision Of Effective Transportation Network: Government should construct roads to ease the transportation of produce from the farm or rural areas to urban centres. Without good roads and good vehicles, most of the produce will be wasted and this could discourage the farmers.
Environmental Factors Required For Food Production
Environmental factors affecting food production are grouped into: climatic factors, biotic factors and edaphic factors.
Climatic Factors Affecting Agricultural Production
1. Rainfall: Rainfall is defined as the release of excess condensed water vapour in the atmosphere into the earth.
2. Temperature: This is defined as a measure of the heat energy which a body contains or the degree of hotness and coldness of a place at a point in time.
3. Wind: Wind is simply defined as air in motion. It also affect agricultural production.
4. Sunlight/Sunshine: Sunlight or sunshine is the amount of heat and the period the sun rays are received at a place. Sunshine is necessary for photosynthesis.
5. Relative Humidity: This refers to the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. Relative humidity is essential in agricultural production.
6. Solar Radiation: This is the amount of heat or sun rays radiated to the atmosphere.
Biotic Factors Affecting Agricultural Production
1. Soil Organisms: These include bacteria, fungi, earthworm, rodent, termite etc.
2. Pests: Pests include insects, rodents, birds and some mammals.
3. Parasites: Parasites include ticks, liverflukes, tapeworm, dodder, mistletoe, lice etc.
4. Diseases: Diseases may be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa etc.
5. Weeds: Weeds compete with crops for space, water, nutrients and sunlight. They reduce the yield of crops.
6. Predators: Predators are birds, rodents, praying mantis etc. Some predators feed on farm animals. E.g. Hawks feed on chicks.
Edaphic Factors Affecting Agricultural Production
1. Soil pH: Soil pH affects the growth of plants. It also causes toxicity to plants and animals.
2. Soil Texture: The soil texture determines the type of soil in an area.
3. Soil Structure: The soil structure determines the fertility of the soil.
Ways Of Improving Food Production
Food production can be improved in a number of ways. These are:
1. Crop improvement methods.
2. Proper time of planting.
3. Adoption of better cultivation methods.
4. Use of manures and fertilizers.
5. Control of pests of crops.
6. Control of diseases of crops.
7. Use of resistant varieties.
8. Use of good crop varieties.
9. Control of weeds.
Causes of Food Wastage
Most food produced by farmers are at times wasted and this eventually leads to food shortage. The causes of food wastage include:
1. Poor Storage Facilities: Most food produced are wasted as a result of lack of storage facilities to store them.
2. Damages caused by pests.
3. Damages caused by diseases.
4. Inadequate transport facilities.
5. Late harvesting: Most food are wasted when they are not harvested at the right time.
6. Inadequate processing facilities.
7. Bush burning.
8. Natural Disasters: Natural disasters like flood and drought may cause food wastage as their effects normally reduce availability of food.
Methods Of Preserving And Storing Food
Food can be preserved or stored using any of the following methods:
1. Salting: This is the dusting of farm products with table salt. Farm products which can be stored or preserved by salting include meat, fish etc.
2. Freezing/Refrigeration: This involves the use of cold storage facilities like refrigerators and deep freezers to store or preserve certain food such as meat, fish, vegetable, fruits etc.
3. Drying/Sun-drying: This involves the drying of some crops or products using the heat from the sun. Products that can be dried by sun include fish, meat, yam chips etc.
4. Smoking: Smoking is the drying of some farm products over the smoke of a naked fire. Food preserved by smoking includes meat, fish, groundnut, tobacco, maize, okra etc.
5. Chemicals: This method of food preservation involves the use or addition of harmless chemicals to some food. Examples of food which can be preserved by adding chemicals include cakes, soft drinks, vegetables etc.
6. Heating/boiling/frying: This method involves the direct heating, boiling, frying or roasting of some farm products in order to store or preserve them. Examples of food products that can be preserved by this method include meat, fish, soup, yam, plantain, vegetables etc.
7. Irradiation: This involves the subjection of some food to high energy radiation such as ultraviolet rays. Such irradiation generally prevents the spoilage organisms from entering into the food. Examples of food preserved by irradiation are meat, canned food, seeds, tubers, fruit juice etc.
8. Canning/bottling: Canning involves the storage of processed and consumable food in cans or bottles under special conditions for future consumption. Examples of food items preserved by this method are fruits, meat, fish, beans etc.
9. Pasteurisation: Pasteurisation involves the heating of some food products to about 72oC for about 15 minutes and its immediate cooling for the purpose of storage. Examples of food products which can be stored by pasteurisation include milk, cheese, beer etc.