Agriculture does not exist in a vacuum but its existence is triggered by various factors which influences and determines its performance. Some factors may hinder its growth while others may accelerate its growth .Research should be well carried out before any agricultural activity is started in order to curb all negative factors and make the favorable .Just like any other business investment, agriculture can turn out to be the deadliest investment when not well packaged. Some factors include human factors, biotic factors, climatic factors and edaphic factors.
Human factors have a great impact in agriculture. This factors cuts across transport and communication sector. Imagine growing perishable good like French beans in a remote area where transport is a challenge, this will hinder transporting your produce to market especially during rainy seasons. Cultural and religious beliefs do not only affect how people behave and interact but also what farming can be carried .example among Muslims pig farming will not do well due to the systems.
Overall economy of the nation determines the purchasing power of agricultural products, a well-financed people will purchase more unlike Low income people. Farmers should carry a market research to determine purchasing power and what consumers want before planting .Government policies can make you a successful farmer or valueless farmers depending on if the policies favor you.
Biotic factors like pest’s disease, parasites and predators are the farmer’s worst enemies ever .pests can attack food in the farm while some attack food after harvesting like the weevils. Some pests spread disease to crops like the streak in maize which is spread by hoppers.parasaties attack livestock like the tsetse flies while pathogens are responsible for causing a lot of diseases in crops and they include bacteria and fungi. Despite the negative impacts by biotic factors some are useful to farmers in many ways. Some animals are used to aid in cross pollination, decomposition and nitrogen fixation.
Before farming farmers should analyze Climatic factors that range from amount, quantity and reliability of rainfall, the temperatures and wind.High temperatures increase transpiration and evaporation rate and may cause wilting. Temperatures can be cause of diseases in crops like in coffee. Windy areas should be keenly evaluated based on what type of crop is to be grown. Wind assists in pollination, seed dispersal and facilitates soil formation .It however affects negatively by spreading pests and disease, high evaporation rate which may cause wilting and distortion of perennial crops.
Type of soil is crucial, how fertile is your soil? Soil texture and soil PH affects the types of crops to be planted. Soil also determines water holding capacity and drainage .some crops require acidic soils while others do well in alkaline soils. Soil testing helps framer to know which crops to be grown because extreme PH affects growth of crops.
By: Patricia M Kombo