Human Economic Activities
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Human Economic Activities
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Post Icon  Human Economic Activities

Human activities are all things that people do in their day to day life. In Geography Human activities refer to the activities human do to modify the environment as well as the exploitation of the environmental resources needed for a human to survive.
Overlong time human beings have moved from using basic tools to more improved and efficiency tools for different purposes.
Types of Human activities
There are two types of human activities
  1. Social activities: - In Geography social activities include Population and settlement of people.
  2. Economic activities: - In Geography economic activities include Agriculture, tourism, energy and power generation, trade, transport and communication and mining.
By definition, agriculture is one of the human activities which involve the practice of cultivation of crops and animal keeping. There are two types of Agriculture as explained below;
(a) Small-scale agriculture
(b) Large-scale agriculture

(a)Small-scale agriculture 
This is the type of agriculture practiced on relatively small plots of land with the use of poor and low technology. In areas practicing this type of agriculture, produced for the purpose of consuming it by their families.
Characteristics of Small-scale agriculture
  • Farmers use simple tools such as hoes and pangas
  • Labor was provided by family members
  • Farmers used organic manure to improve soil fertility
  • Farmers often plant different types of crops in the farm
  • Products produced were consumed by the family
  • Different types of crops were planted on the same farm.
Advantages of Small-scale agriculture
  • Farmers grow varieties of food crops for their families
  • Labor was costless because it involved family members to work on their farms
  • Since the land was mainly inherited individuals acquired small land without any cost.
  • Cost of running a small-scale farm is less due to the use of simple tools.
  • Small-scale farmers use less or little chemicals in their crops.
Disadvantages of Small-scale agriculture
  • Highly depended on favorable weather condition
  • It is not possible to use the machines such as tractors because of the small area.
  • It can cause soil infertile due to intensive cultivation on the particular land
  • Low products produced due to the use of small area farm.
Ways which can be used to improve Small-scale agriculture
  • To educate people on the use of modern techniques of farming.
  • Farmers should be provided with the loans.
  • Farmers should be assisted and provided education on the use of different types of seeds suitable for each area.
  • Farmers should get an education on the importance of using large farms for increasing the number of their crops.
(b) Large Scale agriculture
Large-scale agriculture is one of the types of agriculture which is carried out on large farms especially for the commercial purpose. Farmers in large-scale agriculture aim at maximizing their profit from the selling of the crops.

Characteristics of Large-scale agriculture
  • It is a monoculture, single crops are cultivated in the farms.
  • Usually, farms are owned by the government, cooperatives, large companies and wealthy individuals.
  • There is the use of scientific management of farms with the use of modern and scientific methods in the crops production.
  • Skilled and unskilled labor is used
  • There is wide use of fertilization to improve soil fertility
  • It required large capital for the initial set up
  • It carried out in very large areas.
Major crops are grown in large-scale agriculture
  1. Coffee- For the first time coffee was identified in the Southern Highlands of Ethiopia, It was introduced in Tanzania by the Missionaries who came to practice agriculture activities.
Conditions for the growth of Coffee
  • Well distributes rainfall throughout the year
  • Altitudes of between 900 to 1200m above the sea level
  • Soil that is mildly acidic with a Ph of 5.3 to 6.0
  • Moderate temperature of about 14centigrade to 26c though it can tolerate temperature up to 30c.
(b) Maize- Its botanic name is  “Zea mays”, Its origin found in the South America and it brought to the East Africa countries by the Portuguese         
Conditions for the growth of Maize
  • Temperature should range between 18c to 30c
  • Annual rainfall between 635mmm and 1145mm
  • Soil should be deep and rich in nutrition
  • For large scale mechanized farming, land should be well drained
  • It requires enough labor and enough storage facilities
  • Also, enough capital is needed.
Contribution of Cash crops farming in USA and Tanzania
  • It led to the growth of Industries
  • It is a source of income
  • Improvement of transport and other infrastructures
  • It is the source of foreign exchange.
Problem facing Large-scale Agriculture in USA and Tanzania
  • Climatic hazards
  • Existence of pests and diseases
  • Deterioration of soil fertility
  • Poor management
  • Market flooding
Ways of Improving Large Scale Agriculture in Tanzania
  • Through expanding and improve food storage.
  • Through monitoring and controlling of pests and diseases
  • Through using proper financial management.
  • Through improving soil fertility
The term livestock refers to animals and birds kept or raised on a farm. They include cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, camels, horses and birds such as chickens and ducks.
Therefore livestock refers to the rearing of animals and birds. There are three major forms (methods) of livestock;
(a) Pastoralism (Nomadism)
(b) Sedentary livestock keeping
© Commercial livestock keeping

This is the practice of rearing pasture-dependent animals such as cattle, goat, camels, and sheep. Nomadism is the most common form of pastoralism.
Nomadism is the process in which people keep much livestock and move from one area to another in search of water and pasture for their animals.

Characteristics of Nomadism
  • It is common in areas with plentiful of land with few settlers. In Tanzania, it is mainly practiced by Masai, Kwavi, Gogo, and Kurya.
  • In most of the areas where it was practiced, rainfall was seasonal
  • Pastures and water were also seasonally available.
  • Nomadic people do not have a permanent settlement, they are always moving from one area to another in search of water and pasture.
  • Semi-nomadic groups have permanent houses, they move with their livestock to another grazing areas during the dry seasons and return to their home when pasture has grown.
This is the type of livestock keeping whereby there is no movement in search of food and water for the animals.
Characteristics of Sedentary Livestock Keeping
  • Livestock may be for meat or dairy purposes.
  • Farmers who practice this type of livestock keeping plant grass on their farms which they will feed their animals.
  • In other cases, animals are left out to graze on their own
  • Pests and diseases control is also frequently done in this type of livestock keeping.
  • Farms, where this type of livestock keeping is carried out, are normally small in size.
This is the rearing of livestock for meat, milk or wool which is then sold to earn income, animals kept for the meal include beef cattle, goats, and sheep while those kept for milk include cattle, camels, and goats. Sheep are also reared for their wool
This type of livestock keeping can be done in small scale or large scale areas. On large scale, two methods are commonly used, Ranching and dairy farming.

This is the rearing of livestock on an extensive piece of land. It is practiced mainly in the grasslands and semi-arid areas. This is because the rainfall is low and unreliable so crops farming cannot be practiced without irrigation.
The land is divided into blocks called paddocks, each paddock is fenced off and animals are grassed systematically to avoid overgrazing and deterioration of pastures.
Great care of the animals is taken through pest control and diseases prevention and treatment.

This is the rearing of livestock for their production of milk. Milk may be consumed directly or processed into other products such as butter, cheese and others unlike ranching dairy farming are highly intensive.
Benefits of Livestock farming
  • Livestock is the source of food.
  • These activities provide employment opportunities
  • It promotes trade activities.
  • It is the source of government revenue
  • Livestock keeping encourages the growth of Industries that process animals products, these promoting industrializing.
  • Farmers earn income from the sale of animal meat and other animal products.
Problems facing livestock keeping
  • Insufficient capital to buy inputs like pesticides, money for paying for animal medicines and other medical facilities.
  • Climatic changes which resulted in a drought that in turn lead to the shortage of water and pastures.
  • Little or absence of the use of technology which limits efficiency in the process of livestock keeping.
  • Attack by pests and diseases which leads to the loss of livestock.
  • Traditions and culture of many nomadic pastoralists encourage stocking of a large number of animals because they believe that it is the symbol of wealth.
Solutions to the problems facing livestock keeping
  • The government can subsidize inputs such as pesticides to make them more affordable.
  • Farmers should be encouraged to adopt modern technology.
  • Efforts should be made to eradicate diseases that affect animals.
  • Discourage the cultures that emphasize on keeping a large number of animals even on small pieces of land.
  • Various breeds suitable for the particular climatic condition should be developed.
  • Proper storage facilities should be encouraged.
  • Infrastructures should also be improved.
Economic importance of livestock keeping in Tanzania
  • It is the source of food
  • It influences the Industrial development
  • It is the source of the government revenue.
  • It influences the promotion of trade activities.



(This post was last modified: 11-15-2017, 12:19 PM by MyElimu.)
10-30-2017, 02:53 PM
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