What is a resource?

What is a resource?

A resource is anything in the environment that we need in the environment that we use to meet our needs. What is a resource?

Resources can be natural or man made. Examples of man made resources include Stadium / cars / industries, houses, furniture,  etc

  1. What are natural resources?

Natural resources are gifts of nature which are used by the people to satisfy their needs e.g. land for settlement, farming etc, water for transport, irrigation, etc, wild life for meat and education, etc.

Natural resources can also be referred to as God given gifts that are useful to people.

Examples of resources in East Africa

  • Land
  • Water
  • Minerals
  • People
  • Forests
  • Time
  • Animals
  • Money

NB: Resources can be either renewable or non renewable.

Renewable resources.

  1. These are resources that cannot be used up.
  2. They include: climate, wildlife, vegetation, water bodies, land etc.

NB: The above resources are used by people but cannot be used up because they can be remultiplied.

Importance of plants as a resource.

  • Source of timber/ wood
  • Source of wood fuel.
  • Influence rain formation
  • Attract tourists who bring income
  • Source of food and raw materials
  • To control soil erosion

Non renewable resources:

  1. These are resources that can be used up.
  2. When they are used up, they can’t be.
  3. They include Minerals e.g.  Coal, gas, oil, Uranium, etc.

Note: Resource utilization means putting resources to use.

Land

Importance of Land as an Economic Resource  

Land is one major resource in a country on which all economic activities are carried out.

These activities include:

  • Farming
  • Tourism
  • Mining
  • Transport
  • Fishing
  • Industrialization, etc

Farming / Agriculture

Vocabulary.

Subsistence, arable, horticulture, floriculture, dairy, pastroralism. Transumance, nomardism, viticulture, silviculture, apiary, apiculture, perennial.

  1. Farming is the growing of crops and rearing of animals.
  2. The growing of crops only is arable farming while the rearing of animals and birds is livestock farming.
  3. Farming can be practiced either for domestic use or for income generation.
  4. Subsistence farming is the growing of crops and rearing animals mainly for home consumption.  
  5. Commercial farming is the growing of crops and rearing of animals mainly for income generation.
  6. Farming can be done on a small scale on a small piece of land or on a large scale on a large piece of land.
  7. Monoculture: This is continuous growing of one type of crop on the same piece of land season after season.

Note:     This type of farming leads to soil exhaustion and also promotes the breeding of crop pests.

Farming systems in East Africa.

  1. Arable farming: The growing of crops only.
  2. Livestock farming: The keeping of domestic animals and birds.
  3. Floriculture:  The commercial growing of flowers on a large scale.
  4. Horticulture: The growing of fruits, vegetables and flowers mainly for commercial purposes.
  5. Seri culture: The breeding of silk worms.
  6. Viticulture: The growing of grapes to make wine.
  7. Apiculture: The keeping of bees to produce honey.
  8. Market gardening: The growing of fruits, vegetables and flower for the urban market.
  9. Mixed farming: The growing of crops and rearing of animals on the same piece of land at the same time.
  10.  Plantation farming: The growing of one type of perennial crop on a large scale for commercial purposes.
  11. Silviculture: The growing of tree mainly for timber production.

Note. The cutting down of mature trees mainly for timber is called lumbering

Subsistence farming:

  1. What is subsistence farming?

This is the growing of crops and the rearing of animals on a small scale mainly for home use

  • Why do most people carry out subsistence farming yet it is not profit oriented?
  • It is cheap to manage.
  • It does not require a large piece of land.
  • It does not require skilled labour.
  • Hand tools can be used and are easily accessed as compared to mechanized farming.
  • What are the disadvantages of subsistence farming.
  • It earns little or no income to the farmers.
  • The farmer gets low yields.
  • It does not promote the growth of agro based industries which depend on agriculture for their raw materials.  

Mixed farming

What is mixed farming?

This is the growing of crops and the rearing of animals on the same piece of land at the same time.

How is mixed farming an advantage to those who practice it? 

  1. A farmer gets a double income from both animals and crops.
  2. There is inter dependence- The animals provide manure to crops and the crops provide food to the animals.
  3. A farmer gets a balanced diet.
  4. A farmer gets a high yield due to inter-independence.
  • What makes mixed farming expensive.
  1. A farmer has to buy a big piece of land which is expensive.
  2.  A farmer has to hire skilled labour which is expensive.
  3. A farmer has to buy animals and crops to start the farm.