Africa > Agriculture
Nature and agriculture
You cannot grow vegetables on all kinds of soil. There are 3
places where it is difficult to plant your crops. You need to pay
attention to several things: is the soil too wet, or just wet enough, is
the temperature not too high or too cold, is the soil fertile..
Without fertile places you cannot grow vegetables. Some places, like the
Rain forest, are very difficult to use. So you will not find much people
living in those areas as well.
In river deltas you
have good opportunities for agriculture. Most people plant rice in these
areas. Rice grows fast so you can make good profit out of it. Rice is
very important for people in Africa, but also in Asia.
Many people in Kenya live from their farm or work in a farm. They grow
maize, sorghum, sugar canes. We call these crops food plants. People use
it to eat it themselves. If they have more than enough, than they go to
the market and try to sell it. They can make money from selling it, and
with that money they can buy seeds for the next time.
So, in fact those farmers live from their on fields, they depend on it..
If a farmer plants coffee, tea or other crops on his field with the
purpose to sell it to a merchant, than the farmer receives money for it.
With that money he can buy his own food, school books for his children
and other things.
They buy their own food mostly on the market, because it is cheaper than
the food in shops.
Most coffee and tea will be
exported to other countries, like in Europe or USA. Each farmer tries to
sell his harvest to a merchant. The merchants know this, and they also
know that there are many farmers who try to sell their harvest, so the
merchants will try to buy it as cheap as possible. This kind of
agriculture is called commercial agriculture.
Some people grow their own food and if possible sell some of it on the
local market. Sometimes they have just enough groceries to live from,
nothing to sell. So, no selling, no income. Which means that farmers
have to go to cities to try to earn extra money. They leave their wife
and children behind and they try to send money home each month. Now and
then they go back home to see their wife and children.
The wives have to work on the fields and take care for the children and
It is pretty common than men in Africa go to other places for 6 months
or longer to work in a city or mine. Especially young men go to cities
nowadays to try to find work. Sometimes they go back to their homeland,
but most young men decide to stay and live in the cities. More and more
people move to the cities. Cities grow larger and larger. In Africa the
growth of cities is the biggest of the whole world. For newcomers in
cities it is hard to find a house. So there are cities inside cities:
the slums districts. A well known slums district is in Nairobi.
Cities change dramatically with all those new people coming to the city.