Subject :




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Reference Materials

  • Scheme of Work
  • Online Information
  • Textbooks
  • Workbooks
  • 9 Year Basic Education Curriculum

Previous Knowledge :

The pupils have previous knowledge of Agriculture in their previous lesson



Behavioural Objectives :  At the end of the lesson, the pupils should be able to

  • define subsistence farming
  • mention characteristics of subsistence farming
  • define commercial agriculture
  • mention characteristics of commercial agriculture







  1. Pastoral Farming
  2. Arable Farming
  3. Mixed Farming
  4. Taungya Farming
  5. Fish Farming
  6. Livestock Farming
  7. Shifting Cultivation
  8. Land Rotation/Bush Fallowing
  9. Crop Rotation


1. Pastoral Farming

This system involves the rearing of animals that feed/graze on forage crops (grasses and legumes), such as goats, sheep and cattle. Pastoral farming could take any of these three forms:

  • Ranching
  • Nomadic herding
  • Ley farming


In this system, large numbers of animals are kept o a large expanse of enclosed land which may be under natural vegetation or planted pasture. The animals are allowed to move freely and graze within the confinement (Ranch). It is possible to adopt rotational grazing especially where the ranch is divided into sections/paddocks. An example of ranch in Nigeria is Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River state.

Advantages of Ranching

  1. Pasture and water are available all through the year.
  2. The animals are better managed and more protected from pests, diseases and death.
  3. Good quality animals are produced due to proper breeding programme.

Disadvantages of Ranching

  1. It is expensive to manage a ranch.
  2. It will be difficult to give individual attention to each animal kept in the ranch.
  3. Outbreak of disease may wipe out the entire stock.

Nomadic Herding

In this system, the pastoralist/herdsman moves or roam from one place to another with his animals especially cattle in search of green pasture and water supply. This is mostly practiced by the Fulani of Northern Nigeria. They move their animals southward during the dry season when food and water are very scarce.

Advantages of Nomadic Herding

  1. Animals are able to exercise their bodies as they move about.
  2. The animals dropping improve the fertility of the soil.
  3. It requires no sophisticated building and equipment.

Disadvantages Nomadic Herding

  1. Irregular supply of food and water to the animals.
  2. Mating is not controlled, which leads to production poor quality animals.
  3. There is high incidence of pests and diseases.
  4. Migrating animals may destroy crops which have often led to clashes between herdsmen and crops farmers.

Ley Farming

This is a system of farming which involves the planting of forage crops and food crops in alternation. The forage crops may include grasses, legumes and other plants acceptable to farm animals while the food crops may be maize, rice, cowpea etc. The pasture is grown for about 2-4 years and then the land is tilled and used to cultivate other crops. It is also known as rotational pasture.

Advantages of Ley Farming

  1. Food crops serves as food for the farmers and pasture grasses and legumes are used to feed animals.
  2. Animal droppings serve as manure for the arable crops.
  3. There is efficient use of land.

Disadvantages of Ley Farming

  1. High cost of fencing.
  2. Overgrazing can lead to trampling and destruction of soil structure, thereby leading to erosion.
  3. It requires a lot of skills and techniques to succeed.

2. Arable Farming (food crop farming)

This involves cultivation of land for crops whose various parts are eaten as food either raw, cooked or processed such as maize, yam, soya-beans, potato, carrot, oil palm etc. Arable crops are usually annuals- they need to be planted each year.

3. Mixed Farming

This is the combination of crop production with animal on the same farmland. This is mainly practiced on commercial farms poultry, pigs etc are kept alongside the cultivation of crops like maize, rice and vegetables. It has the advantage of using crop residues in feeding the animals while manure from the animals is used to enriched the soil.

4. Taungya Farming

This is the system whereby food crops are grown alongside forest trees. Only annual and biennial crops are cultivated in taungya farming.

5. Fish Farming

This is the rearing of fishes in ponds or other bodies of water. Fishery is that branch of agriculture which deals with the production of fishes and other aquatic animals. Other aquatic food organisms are crabs, prawns, oysters, periwinkles, crayfish etc.

Fishes swim with the aid of their fins and breathe with the aid of their gills at the head region. It is the main source of protein.

6. Livestock Farming

This is the rearing of terrestrial animals (animals that live on land). They feed, grow and reproduce or lay eggs. Examples of livestock that are raised on the farm are cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits and poultry birds such as domestic fowl, turkey, geese, guinea fowl, duck, pigeon etc. These animals can be rear intensively in confinement, extensively by fending reasonably for themselves or semi-intensively .

Livestock farming provide man with such produce as milk, eggs, meat, organic manure, wool etc.

7. Shifting Cultivation

Shifting cultivation is one of the oldest methods of farming. In this system, a farmer cultivates a piece of land for two or more years after which he abandons it for another land with no intention of returning again to that land.

Advantages of Shifting Cultivation

  1. This system helps to check the build-up of pests and diseases.
  2. Soil fertility is restored without using fertilizers.
  3. It helps to build up organic matter.

Disadvantages of Shifting Cultivation

  1. It can only be practiced in areas with low population density.
  2. It requires a lot of land which may not be easily available.
  3. Clearing new farmland leads to wastage of money, time and energy.

7. Land Rotation/Bush Fallowing

It involves growing crops on a piece of land until it is exhausted and the land is left to fallow for some years before it is used again.

Under this system, the land is used for 3-4 years after which it is left to revert to bush. The reason for this is to allow the land to rest and regains its lost nutrients.

The time land the land is left to regain its fertility is referred to as fallow period which may be between 4-8 years depending on the history of the land, population density and land availability.

Advantages of Land Rotation

  1. It is a natural and cheap means of restoring soil fertility.
  2. There is build-up of organic matter.
  3. It helps to control crop pests and diseases since there are no natural hosts for the pests and disease pathogens, they will naturally die.

Disadvantages of Land Rotation

  1. It can only be practiced In areas with low population density.
  2. It requires a lot of land, because the farmer has to move from one land to another.
  3. There is less efficient use of land, since there will be no crop planted during fallow period.


8. Crop Rotation

This is the system of planting different types of crops on a piece of land every year following a definite or sequential order. It is a scientific alternative to land rotation/bush fallowing.

Principles of Crop Rotation

  1. Crops that require high nutrient should come first in a rotation.
  2. Deep rooted crops e.g yam should be followed by shallow rooted crops e.g maize and vice versa.
  3. Crops that can attacked by the same pests and diseases should not follow each other e.g maize and guinea corn.
  4. Crops that requires the same nutrients should not follow each other e.g maize and rice.
  5. Leguminous crops or cover crops should be included in the rotation to restore nutrients.

A 4-year Mixed Cropping Crop Rotation Plan

Plot A Plot B Plot C Plot D
Year 1 Yam icw vegetable Early maize ipw
cowpeas fb late maize
Cassava Cowpea
Year 2 Early maize ipw
cowpeas fb late maize
Cassava Cowpea Yam icw vegetable
Year 3 Cassava Cowpea Yam icw vegetable Early maize ipw
cowpeas fb late maize
Year 4 Cowpea Yam icw vegetable Early maize ipw
cowpeas fb late maize


Icw: inter-cropped with

Ipw: inter-planted with

Fb: followed by

Advantages of Crop Rotation

  1. It helps to maintain soil fertility.
  2. Pests, disease and weeds are easily controlled.
  3. Land is put into maximum use.
  4. The system can be practiced where land is scarce.
  5. It helps to check soil erosion.

Disadvantages of Crop Rotation

  1. It needs special knowledge to practice successfully.
  2. It leads to depletion of nutrients with subsequent yield reduction if not well planned.
  3. It is labour intensive
  4. It is costly to establish
  5. Farmer cannot specialize on a particular crop.







The topic is presented step by step


Step 1:

The class teacher revises the previous topics


Step 2.

He introduces the new topic


Step 3:

The class teacher allows the pupils to give their own examples and he corrects them when the needs arise




  1. Explain briefly the following types of agricultural practices:

(i) Shifting cultivation (ii) Mixed farming (iii) Fish farming

  1. Differentiate between (i) ley farming and taungya farming (ii) nomadic-herding and ranching
  2. State two advantages and disadvantages each of crop rotation



Conclusion :


The class teacher wraps up or conclude the lesson by giving out short note to summarize the topic that he or she has just taught.

The class teacher also goes round to make sure that the notes are well copied or well written by the pupils.

He or she does the necessary corrections when and where  the needs arise.