P515 Agriculture

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Introductory Science of Agriculture

General Botany and Plant Physiology

Review of structure and functions of meristematic and vacuolated plant cells; cell wall, cellulosic, non-cellulose materials, e.g. lignin and suberin.

Protoplasm: membranes, endoplasmic reticulum, nuclear membranes, tonoplast, mitochondria, ribosomes and cell inclusions. Nucleus: chromosomes, DNA, RNA, nucleolus.

Cell division: meiosis and mitosis.

The form, structure and functions of root, stem, leaf and flower. Pollination, fruit and seed formation; seed viability and its tests; seed dormancy and germination.

The biophysical, biochemical and physiological properties of plant life.

  • The biophysical properties:
  • colloidal properties, diffusion, osmosis, photosynthesis, transpiration, translocation of solutes, turgor, wilting, food storage in seeds and vegetative organs.
  • The biochemical properties:
  • Acids, bases and pH values: inorganic and organic compounds. The chemical nature of cytoplasm, amino acids, peptide linkage, proteins, enzymes and catalysts, carbohydrates, lipids, phosphatides, nucleo-proteins, nucleic acids, DNA, RNA.
  • Physiological Aspects:
    • Growth, development and reproduction for crop plants and factors affection them; yield of crop plants. Carbon and nitrogen cycles.

An introductory course on ecology and its relationship to land utilization. The divisions of the plant kingdom. Plant distribution; the influence of topographic, edaphic, climatic and biotic factors; dispersal of seeds and fruits; influence of man on vegetation.

Genetics and evolution of plants. The concept of the gene and the chromosome theory, mitosis and meiosis, crossing over and linkage; polyploidy and hybridization. Classification of crops and their evolution.

N.B. A basic understanding of the amino acids without detailed structural formulae and the manner in which they form protein chains is what is required.

Biology of Farm Animals

Animal cells and their division. Tissues, organs and systems. A study of the musculoskeletal system. Blood and Cardiovascular Control systems. Nervous, Endocrine, Respiratory, Reproductive, Degetstive, and Excretory systems as applied to farm animals including poultry. Classification of Farm Animals. Animals and their envirionment, i.e. simple animal ecology.

Suggested Practicals

Microscopy: proper use of the microscope; making sections and temporary mounts and simple staining techniques. Observing cell structure and stages of cell division; was of preserving animal and plant specimens for laboratory needs. Use of a hand lens must be emphasized.

Acid-base and Redox titrations, simple chromatography, identification of radicals and principles in the laboratory manufacture of artificial ferltilizers.

Investigation of diffusion, osmosis, photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration.

Chemical tests for carbohydrates, lipids and proteins; effects of temperature and pH on enzyme activity.

Ecology projects.

Identification and classification of crops and farm animals.

Dissection of a fowl, rabbit or a small ruminant with a detailed study of the digestive, respiratory, excretory, reproductive and blood systems. Nervous and muscular systems should be lightly studies.

Crop Production

The Soil

Soil formation.

Soil types and classification.

Classification of soils by physical characteristics; soil profile; soil constituents; soil textures; soil structure; properties of clay, loam and sandy soils.


Soil fertility.

Soil sampling; simple tests for water and organic matter and pH, using a commercial indicator.

Soil influence on distribution of crops.

Deficiencies for N and P and their symptoms.

Factors affecting availability of plant nutrients.

Methods of making compost and farmyard manures.

Mulches and their uses.

Soil and water conservation.

Types of soil erosion and the method of control, e.g. cut away drains, contour bunds, afforestation.

Principles of Crop Production

Cropping systems and crop distribution in East Africa.

Detailed Study of the Most Important Crops in Your Area from the Groups Listed Below in Relation to:

History and development of the crop

Botanical characteristics of the crop

Climatic and soil requirements

Timing of operations

Seedbed preparation, soil fertilization, sowing, seed-rates, planting and planting materials



Crop protection from major pests and diseases

Harvesting, storage and processing


(a) Annual Crops - maize, sorghum, millet, beans, peas, groundnuts, cabbages, carrots, tomatoes, cotton, onions, egg plant, Irish potatoes, tobacco, castor oil

(b) Biennials - Cassava and yams

(c) Perennials - Tea, coffee, sisal, sugarcane, citrus, pawpaws, pineapples, bananas, coconuts, magoes, pyrethrum, cashew nuts, cocoa, macadamia nuts.

(d) Pastures - kinds of pasture grasses and legumes, establishment of pastures; and the role of legumes in pastures.

An Introductory Course on Forestry

East African forest vegetation and classification; forest ecology and conservation, and principles of silviculutre. Forest products, preservation and utilization in construction, transport, furniture, paper, charcoal and firewood.

Suggested Practicals


(a) Mechanical and chemical analysis of soils.

(b) Judging different soils by vegetation, depth, appearance and feel; soil color and munsell charts for soil pH.

(c) Examining soil profiles in pits; soil sampling.

(d) Soils testing for N, P, K, Ca.

(e) Soil pH testing in the laboratory.

(f) Crop nutrient deficiency symptoms.

(g) Making farm yard and compost manures; effects of using manures.

Seeds and planting materials:

(a) Seed selection and testing.

(b) Seed dressing and storage.

Nursery Management:

(a) Kinds of nurseries and methods of raising seedlings

(b) Nursery preparation

(c) Planting in a nursery and tending

(d) Hardening of seedlings

(e) Transplanting.


(a) Identification of grass and legume species in pastures.

(b) Natural and planted stands of pasture.

(c) Planting and fertilizing pastures.


(a) Clearing land.

(b) Land reclamation skills, e.g. draining swamp, irrigation systems.

(c) Leveling land.

(d) Primary and secondary cultivation; choice and use of tools.

Crop Protection:

(a) Diseases, insects, pests and weeds.

(b) Identification and methods of control of pests and weeds.

Introductory Course on Forestry:

(a) Identification of local important trees; demonstration of the following aspects: felling trees, determination of height and age of trees.

(b) Forestry plant diseases, insects and pests.

(c) Simple seasoning and treating of wood.

Animal Production


Review of origin and use of the indigenous livestock of East Africa. Factors affecting distribution of both local and exotic breeds of livestock in East Africa. Discussions of the national livestock development plans.

Physiology of Farm Animals

Growth, development, reproduction, lactation and factors affecting them such as nutrition, management and diseases; simple discussion on gestation periods and oestrous cycles.

Animal Breeding

An introduction to animal genetics such as dominance, hybrid vigor or heterosis and types of gene action. Selection and breeding methods (mass selection, progeny testing, cross breeding, up-grading). Artificial insemination.

Principles of Animal Nutrition.

Nutrient requirements of farm animals. Types of foodstuff for livestock and their nutritive values; roughages, succulents and concentrates and their utilization by ruminants and non-ruminants. Formulation of balanced rations for various classes of livestock for maintenance, growth, reproduction and production. (Use of locally available materials to be emphasized.

An Introduction to Livestock Management

A detailed study of cattle and poultry and any one from each group of the following:

(a) sheep, goats, camels

(b) pigs, fish, bees and rabbits

Management of other farm animals is to be treated lightly.

Animal Health and Hygiene

A detailed study of at least two diseases from each of the groups listed below. The study should cover cause, transmission, signs and symptoms, effects of the disease, treatment and control.

  • Group A (Tick - borne): red water, heart water, east coast fever and anaplasmosis.
  • Group B (Protozoan): coccidiosis, trypanosomiasis
  • Group C (Bacterial): fowl typhoid, foot rot, tuberculosis, mastitis, contagious abortion, scours, blackquarter, anthrax, pneumonia.
  • Group D (Viral): rinderpest, foot and mouth disease, swine fever, Newcastle disease, fowl pox, rift valley fever.
  • Group E: Internal and external parasites such as roundworms, tapeworms, liver fluke, slug worms, ticks, mites, lice, fleas and ringworm.
  • Group F (Rickettsial disease): Contagious bovine pleuroneumonia, infections Laryingotrichactis.
  • Group G (Metabolic and Deficiency Diseases): milk fever, ketosis of ruminants, neonatal hypoglycemia, poisoning and bloat, (any pig disease). Deficiency anaemias (especially iron, copper, cobalt and pernicious anemias); hypovitaminosis related to vitamins A, D, E and K and B.

Signs of ill-health: prevention of ill-health, general hygiene, use of vaccines and sera; antibiotics, antiseptics and disinfectants; how contagious diseases are spread; notifiable disease; isolation of sick animals, quarantine; veterinary services available locally.

Animal Products

Dairy meats and other products: the production, storage and marketing of poultry products; hides, skins and wool.

Suggested Practicals

Mammalian farm animals.

Bucket-feeding of young farm animals.

Weaning of young farm animals.

Demonstrating castration using Burdizzo, Elastrator and knife methods.

Spraying or dipping against ticks.

Taking blood slides.

Drenching farm animals.

Identification of crops used for animal feeds and formulation of rations for different classes of livestock.

Demonstration by an expert of dehorning, delivering young animals, giving simple treatment and possibly injections and vaccines.

Cleaning of animal shelters and applying disinfectants.

Care of sick animals.

Identification of breeds; livestock judging; animal handling, restraining and management of various species.

Use of halter, tethering, leading animals, washing of animals, grooming and shearing, bedding animals, mucking, fencing and demonstration of various ways of pasture utilization.

Demonstration of butchering farm animals, skinning and drying of hides

Identification of animal products, keeping cattle records.

Oestrus detection.

Demonstration of artificial insemination.


Demonstration of various systems of poultry management.

Poultry systems.

Feeding and watering of poultry.

Proper ways of handling poultry and settling eggs under a broody hen.

Settling of eggs in an incubator.

Grading and candling eggs.

Calculating and mixing rations.

Assessing laying condition and methods of culling.

Taking a blood slide.

Killing, plucking, feathering and debeaking.

Dressing poultry for table.

Identification of sick birds.

Identification of breeds for poultry.

Culling poultry

Sexing poultry

Keeping records.

Agricultural Engineering

Surveying Equipment:

Chains, tapes, leveling rods, dumpy levels, pins, linear, area and angle measurements, chain and compass survey; contour far layout; elementary scale maps.

(A) Basic Principles of Machines: Discussion of forces, types of forces, work energy of transformation and transfer; power and power use in agriculture and horse power.

(B) Simple Machines: Levers, screws, pulleys, wheel and axle, inclined plane and the wedge.

Materials Used to Construct Farm Machinery

(a) Ferrous metals; cast iron, wrought iron, steel, alloy steels, heat treated metals and forgings.

(b) Non-ferrous metals: copper, tin, zinc, lead, etc.

(c) Other materials: wood, plastics, rubber, paints and varnishes as well as glass.

Farm Engines:

Review of how petrol and diesel engines operate; study the difference between two-stroke and four-stroke engines, the diesel and petrol engines; daily maintenance practices for a farm tractor, use of small and large tractors on the farm.

Tractor and Ox-Equipment:

Review of basic tillage machinery - disc plough, mouldboard plough and rotovator. Secondary tillage equipment, disc harrows, planters, sprayers, dusters and harvesters and other applicators.

Farm Structures:

Building materials: cement, stones, wood, mud etc. Principles of making good concrete. The construction of simple crop stores (cribs, seed bins, granaries), pigsty and poultry houses.

Soil and Water Conservation:

Process of erosion and methods of prevention, methods of conserving water, and irrigation.

Agricultural Economics

The World Food Problems in Relation to Population:

(1) Under-population in developing nations in relation to factors of production and food distribution.

(2) Over-production in developed and developing nations as affected by various levels of distribution. Land use. Supplies of productive resources. Economic rent from land use.

(3) Factors causing population explosion. Population growth rates. Undernourishment for rapidly increasing population.

(4) Measures to reach equilibrium in food supplies. Population growth. Change in traditional farming and attitudes to accept new ideas of farming. Finance and investment for alternative to supply food for man. Distribution of income. Control of birth rates. Malthusian doctrine on population. Education for advancement of rural societies.

Production Economics:

Economic principles involved in the utilization of natural resources for productive purposes; time, risks and uncertainties in agricultural production.

Principles of Farm Management:

(1) Product relationships, i.e. joint products, competitive products, supplementary products. Choosing optimum production combination.

(2) Farm budgeting enterprise budgeting. Break-even budgeting. Gross margin analysis. Fixed costs. Variable costs and their uses and implications.

(3) Farm records, data and accounts. Records as management tools. Collection and recording. Types of data and possible sources.

Introduction to Marketing of Agricultural Products:

Marketing organization for agricultural products in East Africa. Statutory boards. Cooperatives. Price fluctuations and stabilization price differentials for time, quality and place.

Agricultural Production Schemes:

Land settlement schemes, out-growers, estates farming, co-operative farming; cultivation by animal-drawn implements, tractor hire service, agricultural credit and subsidy scheme.