Objectives: Students should be able to: 1. Explain the meaning of mechanisation. 2. Enumerate the advantages and disadvantages of mechanisation. 3. Outline and describe the various sources of farm power. 4. Identify different types of farm machinery. 5. Outline the uses of the different types of farm machines.
3.1 Meaning of Mechanisation
Mechanisation is concerned with the use of machines in farm work. In Nigeria, farm work is carried out using simple farm implements. For example, clearing of land is done with the cutlass, digging of the land with hoe and, planting with cutlass and trowel. The introduction of machines into farming has enabled, for instance, land clearing to. be carried out more easily with the bulldozer. Digging of the land before seeds are planted can now be done with either the disc or mouldboard plough. Different machines called planters are now available to plant different crops. In addition, different crop harvesters are now in existence for the harvesting of mature crops.
Advantages of farm mechanisation
(a) It removes the difficulty in farming. Farm work is considered by people to be very hard. The use of machines therefore makes farming enjoyable. (b) Large areas of farm Ind can be prepared within very short time. This means that mechanisation saves time. (c) It allows the farmer to perform some difficult jobs easily; for example, the felling of trees is easily done with the motor-saw instead of the axe and cutlass. (d) Mechanisation saves labour. Very few labourers are required when machines are employed on the farm. (e) It increases farm productivity because of large cope operation. Increased productivity leads to higher farm nucome and standard of living. (f) The cost of using machines on the farm is cheaper in the long run compared with the cost of farm-labour that is always rising
(g) It prevents bad agricultural practices such as complete burning all vegetation on new farmland. In addition, large are of farm land can still be cultivated by the farmer during one cropping season (h) It enables the farmers to use surplus farm products profitably, For example, the crop dryer allows quick and easy drying of crop product such as rice, maize, sorghum and wheat. Crop product can be processed into different products, more acceptable to consumers. In addition, surplus perishable products such as tomatoes, vegetables, milk and meat can be stored for a long time using the refrigerator arrd cold storage. (i) The use of machines in farming may attract young and educated persons to take up farming as- an- occupation. (j) The mechanisation of farming may release some workers formerly engaged in farming to take up jobs in Agro-allied industries in urban centres. Disadvantages of mechanisation (a) Many of the farm- workers will be jobless. With the use of cs in fanping, the work that can be done by many workers be carried out by very few. farm hands. The others need to be retained before they can fit into new jobs. (b) The use of heavy machine. such as the bulldozers and- tractors islmvs ihc.soii structure. This ma'y result in soil erosion caused by water. (c) The environment is polluted becairse of the use of machines. The exhaust from motor-vehicles and scraps from machines and Blirinenls result in environmental pollution. (d) The use of heavy machines leads to soil compaction.
The continuos use of tillage implements results in the development of hard soil layer below the soil surface. This reduces water inhlliation in the soil as well as crops roots penetration. (e) Mechanization has directed production to those crops that are mechanized such as rice, maize, and few others. The production of crops such as cocoyam and yam that are not easils produced with the aid of machines is therefore declining yearly. (f) Machinery requires large capital investment.
Only farmers that have enough money will be able to acquire machines. (g) The use of machines in farming requires adequate and continuos supply of energy from fuel and electricity. Problems will arise if the supply is not enough, or is lacking. Problems of farm mechanization in Nigeria (a) Farm holdings are very small: farm mechanization is only suitable with large farm holdings. (b) Most of the farmers poor. Tractors and other farm machines are costly and many farmers cannot buy them. (c) Nigerian soils contain large tree stumps, roots and stones. These breakdown farm machines and render them useless. Also the presence of small hills, pits and moats makes the land rugged and unsuitable for machines. (d) There is lack of adequate facilities for the maintenance of farm machines. The result is that machines can be rendered useless because of minor faults. (e) The people that have skills to operate the tractor and other farm machines. Many farmers do not have the money to employ those that are trained in the use of farm machines. (f) There are no good access roads in farming communities. Tractors and other machines spend long hours on the road between farm sites and sheds. They sometimes get stuck in the mud. 3.2 Sources of farm power Farm power can be described as any source of energy or force that can be used in doing farm work. The common sources of farm power are human, animal, mechanical, solar, wind, electrical, water and fuel. 1. Human power This is where energy for doing farm work is supplied by man. Almost all types of farm work require human effort. Land clearing, digging, planting of crops, weeding and harvesting are some of the uses of human power. 2. Animal power In some places, animals provide the energy for doing farm work. Animals cabn be used to pull tillage implements such as the ploughs and harrows. They are also used to transport farm produce by the farmer. The use of animals in doing farm work is common in Northern parts of Nigeria where tse-tse fly infestation is low and people are use to the handling of animals.
3. Mechanical power This is power supplied by machines through the burning of fuel or electricity. The The tractors, bulldozers, harvesters and shellers are common sources of mechanical power. Mechanical power can be employed for land clearing, ploughing and 'harrowing, planting, of crops-and processing. 4. Solar energy This is where sun is the source of farm power. The energy is employed by local farmers in the drying of farm products such as cocoa, groundnut, rice, melon and beans. The ability to harness solar proper use is still lacking among the majority of Nigerian farmers. 5. Wind power The energy for doing farm work is sometimes supplied by the Wind power can be made use of by the windmills. This can employed in pumping water for domestic and irrigation purposes. Electricity can also be generated from the windmill. Wind power is greatly used in the winnowing of farm products such as melon and rice by local farmers. 6. Electrical power This is where electrical energy is used to operate farm machines. Many of the processing machines employ electrical power. The energy from electricity is equally used for the supply of light in the farm, incubation of eggs, drying of farm products such as maize and in refrigerators and cold storage. 7. Water power Water power can be employed as energy for doing farm work through the construction of hydro-electrical power station. It involves the building of dams such as the Kainji Dam built across the River Niger. The electrical energy generated can be used to operate many farm machines and supply ligh to homes and offices. Water is also employed in the transportation of farm products in riverrine areas. 8. Fuel power Energy is supplied by machines through the burning of fuel. Common fuels that supply energy include the petrol, diesel oil and kerosene. Other fuels that are used by farmers are wood and coal. The energy generated through the burning of fule is used to move the tractor and some other farm machines. Wood and cola provide heat during burning and such heat can be used for drying farm produce. 3.3 Types of farm machinery Farm machinery refers to machines collectively used in carrying out farm activities. With the introduction of machinery into farming operations formerly done with human effort are now carried out with mechanical appliances. Common types of farm machinery include the tractor, bulldozer, tillage, machines, planters, lathes, sprayers, motor-saws, harvesters and others. 1. The Tractor This is a powerful motor-vehicle. It essentially consist of petrol or diesel engine, two small front wheels and two large rear wheels. The function of the tractor is that it provides the power used for pulling and lifting agricultural implements such as the ploughs, harrows, drills, sprayers and other heavy equipment.
A tractor 2. The bulldozer
This is a powerful tractor that pushes broad rectangular blade in front. The uses of the bulldozer are: (a) Levelling of land. (b) Shifting large quantities of earth. (c) Uprooting large tree stumps, and (d) Removing obstacles such as large stonea and logs. 3. Tillage machinery Tillage reers to the working of soils or loosening of soils before seeds are planted. The purpose of soil tillage is to provide: (a) Suitable seed-bed for seed germination and emergence, (b) Easy water infiltration, (c) Better soil aeration or air movement, (d) Control of weeds, (e) Erosion control, (f) To work organic matter into the soil, and (g) Adverse environment for soil inhabiting pathogens and pests. There are two types of tillage machiiiery. These are: (a) Primary tillage machinery: This refers to the tillage implements that are first used to open or loosen the soil w preparing it to receive seeds. This initial opening of the soil is calli primary tillage. The primary tillage implement are the ploughs. (b) Ploughs: The ploughs are primary tillage implements that used initially to break and turn the soil-over in the course preparing it for planting. Ploughs break soil into large clods lumps. The ploughs are of three types. These are the mouldboai plough, chisel plough, and the disc plough. The mouldboa plough amongst other parts, has the coulter and share for cuttinj and mouldboard for inverting the soil. Most importantly, the di plough has discs or concave metal blades that cut into the and turn it over. The discs are mounted on frames called disc standards. The standards connect the discs to the beam or holl and cylindrical part of the plough. The disc plough can better and is more adapted to Nigerian soils than the mouldboi plough. The ploughs are usually attached to be pulled by the tract Work animals such as bullocks can also be used to pull plough for land cultivation. DIAGRAM Figure 3.3.3: Typical Disc Plough DIAGRAM Figure 3.3.4: Animal Driven Mouldboard Plough. (B) Secondary tillage machinery: This refers to tillage implements used to cultivate the soil after the ploughs have initially been used. The purposes of secondary tillage include: 1. To break down the large soikl clods odtained from primary tillage. 2. Kill weeds further 3. Incorporate manure or fertilizers into the soil, and 4. Produce suitable tilth or soil structure for seeds The secondary tillage machinery includes the harrows, ridgers, cultivators, rotavators and rollers. (i) Harrows: The harrows are secondary tillage implements used for breaking help to put the soil in good seed-bed condition for seed emergence. The use of harrows kills weeds not affected by the ploughs. The implement can also be used to cover seeds with soil after broadcast. The harrows consist of dics, or tines that are fitted to a shaft. All the parts rotate as one unit. The implemtn is hitched or attached to the tractor during farm operation. Different types of harrows are in existence. They include: 1. The disc harrow 2. Spike toothed harrow 3. Spring tine harrow and 4. Tandem disc harrow (ii) Kidgers: The ridger is an implement that is used to turn the soil in one direction after ploughing to form ridges. Crops such as yam, cassava and potato can be sown thereafter. There are two j types of ridges. These are the disc ridger and mouldboard ridger. The two ridgers work in the same way. However, the disc ridger 1 is better for use in Nigerian soils. This is because the soil] contains obstacles such as stumps, roots and stones. At times the! soils are sticky and disc ridger can effectively work in suchj conditions without frequent breakdown. The disc ridger consists of opposed concave discs which actually make the ridges. The discs are fitted to mental frame called standard. This is bolted to a bigger frame called beam. The ridger is attached to the tractor during field operation. The mouldboard ridger has features common to the disc ridger. It however has concave or convex blades used to turn the soil in order to form rid»es.
: Disc Ridtier.
(iii) Cultivator: The cultivator is a secondary tillage implement. It is attached to the tractor during field operation. It consists of several tines used to stir the soil and breakdown soil clods. The cultivator is also used for weed combing, and dragging out stones and tree roots from the soil. The implement can be used to weeding and incorporating fertilizers into the soil after broadcast.
(iv) Rotavator: This is also a secondary tillage implement that has set of rotating blades. It breaks up soil clods and farm thrashes are chopped up in the process for easy decompostion.
4. Other farm machinery
(a) Seed drills: These machines can be operated by tractor or by hand. They drop or plant seeds and in some cases, discharge fertilizer at the same time. Most seed drills plant crops in row. They are set up to plant seeds at appropriate rate and distance. Crops such as maize, rice, wheat, barley, rye. oat and beans can br planted using the drills. DIAGRAM Figure 3.3.6: Seed Drill (Hand Operated). (b) Planters: These are machines designed to plant seeds. Some of them are built to plant one type of seed. Others can plant more than one type of crop. This is achieved by changing the plates. The planter built to plant seeds in rows with enough distai between the stands is referred to as row planter. Some plant are able to plant seeds and distribute fertilizer at the same time The planters can be mounted on a tractor or trailed. (c) Lathes: The lathe is a machine that is used for holding and turning wood or metal into different shapes. Today, there many different lathes used for all types of shaping of mi materials. The kinds of lathes developed from the centre lathe capstan lathes, turrel lathes, cropping lathes, automatic lat|j and special purpose- lathes. In the school workshop, la operations are turning, facing, drilling, boring, parting, knurl! and sometimes screw cutting. (d) Motor-saw or powered chain-saw: This is a machine consists of a small petrol engine, steel blade and chain round the blade. The chain rotates during operation and is the cut edge of the machine. The motor-saw has two handles for ei handling and positioning during use. The machine is beconlj popular among small-scale farmers because: (i) It is used in cutting down (felling) trees during farmll preparation. (ii) It is osed in felling and cutting timber trees into logs. (iii) Also used to split logs into planks. (iv) It is used in trimming the big branches of trees. (e) Harvesters: These are machines designed for the harvesting of ripe and mature crops from the field. Common harvesl machines are: (i) Combine harvester, (ii) Forage harvesters. (iii) Corn pickers (iv) Balers, (v) Cotton scrippers-. and (vi) Field mowers. The combine harvester is commonly used in commercial farms for the harvesting of cereals such as rice, maize, wheat, barley As the name suggests, the combine cuts the standing crops, separates the seeds from the chaff, and collects the grains tank while tank while the crop residues are thrown Held. These activities are completed in one operation. The forage harvesters are machjnes used in cutting forage crops (grasses vand legumes) for making silage to be kept for feeding I inimals during the dry season. The field mowers (weeders) are machines used to cut grasses for hay making. They are also used for clearing farms lawns and parks. Most field mowers are designed in rows. Examples are the blade mower and the drum mower (f) Sprayer: This is a machine consisting of tank where chemical is storedm pump, spray booms and nozzles. The sprayer is used for: 1. Applying herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. 2. Watering crops 3. Applying liquid fertilizers. 4. Applying hormones to increase fruit yield or prevent dropping of fruits. There are three types of sprayer. These are: 1. The simple knapsack sprayer: This can take between nine and twenty-three litres of solution. It is usually mounted and iped to the back of the operator during field operation. 2. The tractor mounted sprayer: This is attached to the tractor during field operation. The sprayer is operated by the power take-off or P.T.O. 3. The knapsack engine operated: This type is made of plastic tank for the liquid chemical and uses petrol as Its source power. As in the simple knapsack, the operator i the spray boom to the crops or objects to be sprayed. Spraying with chemicals should not be done during bad weather. The chemicals left after spraying exercise must not be poured in places where they can contaminate vegetables, and drinking water Protective covers should be
Knapsack Sprayer. 5. Accessory Tools These are tools which are useful for the effective utilization of farm machines. They include: (a) Pliers: This tool is like a pair of scissors. It is made with two handles having plastic coverings. The pliers holding things such as wires during electrical (b) Screw drivers: These are made ot round rods which are beaten flat at the tips. The handles are either made of wooden I materials. The screw driver is used for tightening and retightening of screws, it is also used for loosening screw. There is also the star-screw driver with multiple or star-like grooves. (c) Nuts and bolts: Nuts are small pieces of metal num screwed onto the end of a bolt. On the other hand, bolts are metal pins with heads. Nuts and bolts are together used for holding parts of machines together or in place. (d) Spanners: The spanners are made of metal. Some have the two ends split into two teeth for holding nuts and bolts. I he '.pnitnsr is essentially used for: ( i) tightening and retightening of nuts and holts: and (ii) loosening nuts and bolts. (e) Hammers: The hammer consists of a thick small metal head and a wooden or metal handle. It is used for knocking in naihi and also to beat metals into flat shapes. (f) Alien key: This is a tool that is used in tightening, retighlemng and loosening deep seated nuts or nuts that cannot be reached with the ordinary spanner or screw driver. (g) Oil applicator or can: This contains oil which is applied to engine parts with the help of its pointed tip. (h) Grease gun: This instrument is used to apply grease into engine parts. It consists of the tank and a long pipe with which the "tease is pumped into inner parts of engines. STUDY QUESTIONS 1. (a) Brifely explain the meaning of farm mechanization (b) Mention five advantages and disadvantages of farm mechanization in Ngiera. 2. Disciss five probems that may hinder farm mechanization in Nigeria. 3. (a) List the sources of farm power (b) Mention one use for each of the farm power listed. 4. Mention the uses of the following farm machines: (a) Tractor (d) Cultivator (b) Bulldozer (e) Lathes (c) Ridger (f) Motor-saw 5. (a) Explain the term tillage machinery (b) List two primary and two secondary tillage machinery. 6. (a) Give reasons why secondary tillage is necessary. (b) Briefly explain the importance of the
plough inform operation 7. Write short notes on the following: (i) Sprayers (v) Spanners (iii) Seed drills (vi) Alien key (Hi) Harvesters (vii) Pliers (iv) Screw drivers (viii) Nuts and bolts
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