Factors To Consider In Siting School Farm


School Farm

School farm is a farm set up by a school for the purpose of practical teaching and learning of Agricultural Science and its related subjects/ courses. It can also be established for skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development, or as a business run by the school. 

It’s very important for every school that offers Agricultural Science and its related subjects/ courses to establish school farm where the teachers can do on the farm demonstrations of what they teach the pupils/ students in classrooms. This will enable the pupils to garner practical knowledge in Agricultural Science. Without practical, agriculture is incomplete. 

Site selection for school farm is as important as the aim of establishing it. Success of every farm is largely dependent of the site 

Factors to Consider 

1. Distance from main school buildings

School farm should not be too close to the main school buildings (classrooms, hostels and offices). This is to avert inconveniences to students, staff and visitors such as noise, strong offensive odors and rodents coming out from the farm. However, proximity to the school is also important. The school farm shouldn’t be too far from the school main buildings for easy accessibility by students and removal of farm produce. 

2. Land size

Size of the farm land is very important. It will determine the kind of farm integration to apply. Farm generally requires vast land, so you need a location with expanse of land but when the land is not large enough, the truth is that there can’t be enough land especially if the school is  privately owned, you need to make the best of the available land. In a school farm, there should be different sections for crops and animal farms. To maximize the available land, you can have crops and animals in a space of land. Example: 

a. Growing rice in fish pond

b. Poultry pen on top of fish pond

c. Using crop field as grazing field for livestock during fallow period. 

3. Topography

Another important factor to consider is the topography of the area. A well level sand-loamy soil is most preferred. Water logged or very shallow area should be avoided. Very sloppy or flood prone area should be avoided to avoid the farm land been washed by rain water or immersed by flood water. 

Read also: Factors to Consider for Proper Farms Buildings and Structures

4. Wind and sunshine directions 

The wind location should be considered in sitting school farm. To avoid offensive odors from the farm to inconvenience people in the main school buildings, the school farm should be sited towards the sound because the wind blows from north towards south. And if there will be open sided, single slop roof structure in the farm, open structure should face the south for winter and block prevailing winds that come from north. Long axis of gable roof farm house should be located towards east-west direction in the farm. This minimizes the amount of direct sunlight entry through the sidewalls of the farm houses. 

Read: Problems of Beef and Dairy Production in Nigeria

How to locate east, west, north, south directions

Use any of the following two methods to locate the sides on the earth surface:

  • The sun rises from the east and sets in the west. So when you face the sun in  the morning, your front is east, your back is west, while your right hand side is south and your left hand side is north.
  • Take a magnet that its polar axis is labeled north and south. Dangle it and allow it to rest. The north and south poles will face north and south respectively.

5. Waste Management

A lot of waste is generated in the farm. These wastes are hazardous especially the animal wastes. How to manage these wastes must be put in to consideration in sitting school farm. The wastes from crops can be used as feed for livestock. They can also be burned but the carbon dioxide emissions from the smoke can harm people in the main school premises. The wastes from chicken and livestock can be used as manure or be used to generate biogas but you will need enough space to collect and process it, and provision for processing into manure or biogas should be made before sitting the school farm. 

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