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Thursday, September 29, 2016


Production refers to all economic activities that result to production of goods and services. It is also a process of making and manufacturing goods. In order to create goods and services during production certain factors or resources must be put together. The resources are called factors of production and it includes:
          This can be defined as natural resources such as minerals, water, air space e.t.c. All farming activities are carried out on the land e.g. growing of crops, rearing of animals, fishery forestry, wildlife conservation. Mineral resources such as gold, diamond, petroleum etc can be obtained from land and land can be used as collateral security to obtain loan from the bank.
1.   It is a free gift of nature
2.   It cannot be transferred
3.   It’s supply is limited
4.   It’s value is determined by its location 
The reward of land is RENT. It can appreciate and depreciate
1.   Fallowing
2.   Addition of fertilizer or manure
3.   Weeding
4.   Irrigation
5.   Increase in population density
1.   Erosion
2.   Infestation by pests and diseases
3.   Overgrazing
4.   Continuous cultivation
5.   Dumping of Toxic materials
6.   Water logging
     This is mental and physical effort that is put into production. It could be skilled or semi-skilled and unskilled. The size and the quantity influence output (production) because it converts natural resources into usable product. It is made available to the farm in different ways, these are:
1.   Personal labour:  Carried out by owner of the farm
2.   Family labour: Carried out by the members of farmer’s family
3.   Communal labour: Carried out by the neighbors
4.   Hired labour: Carried out by people who are paid on daily, weekly basis 
The reward for labour is wages and salaries
Capital includes all man-made production asset used in production. It may also be defined as assets that are needed not for the satisfaction, they are provided directly but for the production of other goods and services. It includes farm tools e.g. cutlass hoe e.t.c Farm machinery e.g. tractor, plough, harrow, ridger  Stored produce e.g. yam, rice, maize  Buildings, e.g. farm house, production shield  Crops in the field e.g. maize, yam, okro Equipments e.g. tractors, bulldozer  Livestock e.g. cattle, sheep, goat and Cash known as liquid capital
Capital may be fixed or Variable
1.   Fixed Capital: This refers to durable goods that are replaced after a long time. In other words they are assets required for continuous use in production. They are items or materials which are not used up in production e.g. machine, buildings, equipments, tools, incubator etc 
2.   Variable/Working Capital: This capital or asset used in the day to day running of a business enterprise. They are used up during production and they include.
a.    Farm input such as fertilizer, herbicides, planting materials capital needed for repayment of workers’ wages and salaries
b.   The capital needed for the maintenance of farm buildings and structures
c.     The money needed for the purchase of livestock feeds and drugs. The reward of capital in INTEREST.
Management refers to person or group of people who coordinates, organize and control the use of other factors of production for a successful output. The management determines:
1.   What to produce?
2.   When to produce?
3.   How to produce?
4.   To recruit worker etc
The profitability of a farm is a function of the management team.
The functions of a  Farm Manager includes:
i.             Organization
ii.           Administration
iii.         Production
iv.         Marketing
v.           Evaluation.
This involves setting out target for production in an orderly manner that befits all production processes. Organization also include
a.  determination of what to produce
a.    Determine the scale of production (large or small scale)
b.   Arrangement of input
c.    Procuring capital for production
e.  Recruiting workers   

Administrative functions of farm manager include:
a.    Supervision of work on the farm
b.   Directing staff on day to day activities
c.    Payment of staff salaries
d.   Ensuring welfare of staff
e.    Rewarding or discipline of staff based on their performance
This is the actual target of any farm enterprise. The activities that are connected with production on the farm include:
a.    Purchase and use of farm inputs
b.   Ensuring proper care for crops and animals
c.    Avoidance of wastage
d.   Combining resources in adequate quantity for optimum production
     This is the disposal of finished goods; the farm manager is expected to:
a.    Determine the quantity of produce to sell at a particular time.
b.   Determine the selling price
c.    Determine the best marketing channel for maximum profit
d.   To process and store
This is the assessment of performance for future plans and improvement
a.    Appropriate records must be kept
b.   Analyse the account and books kept on all operation carried out on the farm
c.    Assessment of staff or workers performance
d.   Development of new strategies

1.   Inadequate information
2.   Inadequate farm input
3.   Shortage of fund/funding problem
4.   Inadequate personnel
5.   Bad/unstable government policy


Agricultural mechanization is the application of engineering principles and technology to agricultural production, storage and processing of plants and animal products on the farm. The intention of agricultural mechanization is to increase food production and to meet the need of increasing population and industrial request for raw materials.  
1.   It reduces or eliminates drudgery
2.   It enhances increase in food production
3.   It improves the standard of living of the farmer
4.   Farm labour output per man is increased
5.   Re-claimation of waste land is possible through water drainage on water-logged area.
6.   It ensures more efficient artificial application of water to the farm land (irrigation)
1.   It is very costly to purchase agricultural machinery because it requires a lot of money
2.   It damages crops if care is not taken 
3.   It aids the spread of diseases and pests through contaminated machinery
4.   It leads to unemployment
5.   It results into environmental pollution
6.   High cost of maintenance
7.   Scarcity of spare parts
8.   It causes soil compartment and destruction of soil structure
1.   Land Tenure System: The type of land tenure especially communal land tenure system does not allow for large farm holding suitable for mechanization.
2.   Scattered Land Holding: Scattered farm holding or farms not located in the same place is not conducive or economical for mechanization especially in West Africa.
3.   Poverty: Most o the farmers especially in West Africa are very poor and cannot afford the cost of tractor and farm implements.
4.   Inadequate Machinery/Facilities: The facilities or machinery to fabricate and repair farm implements are grossly inadequate
5.   Topography: Topography of most West Africa countries is bad and  not conducive for farm mechanization.
6.   Varied Soil Types: Soil types vary and the machines used on a type of soil may not be fit for another. For instance, Nigeria depends on imported machinery most of which are not suitable to cultivate our land
7.   Inadequate Spare Parts: Spare parts of these machines are still being imported therefore they are not readily available
8.   Inadequate Technical Manpower: Available technical manpower to operate or service is not adequate
9.   Problem of stumps and logs: During clearing, heavy stumps and logs are usually left behind and they constitute additional problem in mechanization.
1.   Farmers should be educated about the importance of modern system of farming especially in the area of mechanization.
2.   Government should provide loan to enable the farmer to purchase farm machineries
3.   The land tenure system should be reviewed to enable farmers acquire large hectares of land
4.   Simple and less expensive machines should be developed
5.   Farmer should form co-operative societies to enable them pull their resources together to buy farm machineries
6.   Government should establish agricultural engineering schools or institutions to train personal and fabricate simple machines.
7.   Non-governmental organization should come to the aid of farmers by providing assistance to them in form of loan or by giving them farm machineries freely.
1.   Lack of Capital: Agricultural mechanization needs huge amount of money to purchase agricultural machines and equipments. Since majority of the farmers in West Africa are poor they cannot afford these huge amount of many hence, agricultural mechanization is still at developmental stage.
2.   Climate/Climatic Problem: Generally, most of the machines are designed and constructed mainly for temperate region hence, they easily get spoilt and breakdown in Nigeria  
3.   Land Tenure System Problem: The system of land ownership brings about land fragmentation and division of land into smaller units which affect commercial agriculture and agricultural mechanization.
4.   Lack of Spare Parts: For machines to last longer, it has to be regularly and properly maintained. Spare parts imported and thereby not readily available.
5.   Unavailability of Agricultural Experts: Experts such as agricultural engineer, extension agents e.t.c These people are needed for maintenance  of farm machines and farmer’s education but unfortunately not many of them are in the service of government.
6.   Small Scale Market: Since agricultural mechanization leads to increase in agricultural products, if it not complement with large market the farmer may not be able to dispose their produce which will bring about loss on the part of the farmer.
7.   Seasonality of Agricultural Product: Agricultural production in most of West Africa countries are seasonal i.e. it occurs during the rainy season as a result of which machines lie fallow (un-used) for a long period of time.
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