Land and its Uses: Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Uses


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In today’s class, we will be talking about land and its uses: agricultural and non-agricultural uses. Enjoy the class!

Land and its Uses: Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Uses

Land and its Uses


  • Definition of Land
  • General Characteristics of Land
  • Agricultural Use of Land
  • Non-Agricultural Use of Land
  • Factors Affecting Availability of Land for Agricultural Purposes


Land is man’s natural endowment (the gift of nature). It is the solid part of the earth’s surface (the soil and its mineral resources) where production like farming and livestock management takes place.

General characteristics of land
  1. It is fixed in supply and its value rise steadily in response to increasing demand for it.
  2. The supply of land is limited and cannot be easily increased.
  3. Land is mobile i.e. cannot be moved from a place of plenty to a place of scarcity.
Uses of land

Land use is sub-divided into agricultural and non-agricultural uses.

Agricultural uses of land
  1. Crop Production: Land is used for the production of food crops such as yam cassava rice etc. and cash crops such as cocoa, kola nut, coffee etc.
  2. Grazing: Large areas of land set aside where there are abundant grasses for grazing by livestock is called a pasture land.
  3. Fishery: It involves the area of land set aside for the production of fish through fish farming. It involves the establishment of fishponds where fishes are reared artificially to provide the necessary source of protein and income for the people.
  4. Forestry: This involves the management of forests land and their resources to produce food and services that are valuable to man. It is established in areas where there is no great pressure for cultivation or where the land is too poor and not suitable for crop production. Economic trees are cultivated on forest land to provide raw materials for wood and paper industries. Medicinal herbs, ropes, fibres, resins etc. are also obtained from the forest.

  5. Wildlife Conservation: Wildlife refers to animals and birds found in the bush. Wildlife is conserved in game reserves.  The forest provides cover and food for a large number of wildlife. These animals and birds provide good recreation facilities and good centres of tourist attraction. Land not suitable for farming may be used for game reserves. They generate revenue to the government. Examples of game reserves and where they are located in Nigeria are
    • Kanji national park in Niger state
    • Borgu game reserve in Kwara state
    • Zurguma game reserve in Niger state
    • Yankari game reserve in Bauchi state.


  1. Outline four agricultural uses of land
  2. Mention five game reserves and their locations in Nigeria.
Non-agricultural uses of land
  1. Housing: This involves the use of land for the construction of residential houses and buildings
  2. Industrial building: For the building of industrial, individual estates.
  3. Transport: Land is used for the construction of many forms of roads,  railway line, bridges airports etc.
  4. Socialeconomic activities: Stadia, amusement parks, markets, hospitals cemeteries etc. that are used for various socio-economic activities are constructed on land centres
  5. Religious centres: Construction of churches, mosques and shrines
  6. Mining: Land where minerals like petroleum, tin, coal, gold etc. are found are used for mining purposes.
Factors affecting land availability for agricultural production
  1. Population pressure: Increase in population lowers the area of available land. Social life and demand for life increases with population growth.
  2. Land tenure system: Leads to land fragmentation which rarely gives enough land for an effective agricultural venture. Communal land tenure system leads to land deterioration.
  3. Topography: Land in mountainous and hilly areas with rocks are not suitable for agriculture. The steepness of the slope of the hill or mountain encourages rapid runoff and erosion. The depressing part of the land is easily waterlogged.
  4. Soil type: A land with predominantly sandy soil is not suitable for agriculture. A land that is mainly clay is difficult to till and heavy to work on.
  5. Government laws: Government laws on land use of decree 1978 prevent individuals from owning land.
  6. Environmental pollution and oil spillage: This renders a land unsuitable for agriculture or cultivation.
  7. Climatic factors: Restricts the use of land for agricultural purposes. Rainfall is the major determinant in crops and animals distribution. Areas with heavy rainfall favour tree crops while areas with moderate rainfall favour food crops.
  8. Cultural practices: Cultural practices like bush burning, shifting cultivation, deforestation etc. make land unsuitable for agriculture.
  9. Socioeconomic factors: Use of land for residential buildings, markets, schools, roads etc. does make land available for agricultural use.


  1. Outline five non-agricultural uses of land
  2. State five factors that can affect the availability of land for agricultural purposes.
General evaluation
  1. What is land?
  2. List three general characteristics of land.
  3. Outline four uses of land for agricultural purposes.
  4. State five game reserves in Nigeria.
  5. Outline five non-agricultural uses of land.
  6. List five socio-economic factors affecting land use.

Reading assignment 

Essential Agricultural Science: Chapter 6, pages 105 – 108.

Fundamental Agricultural science: Chapter 2, pages 4 – 12.


  1. State three major uses of land for agricultural purposes
  2. Outline five factors affecting land availability for agricultural purposes.


In our next class, we will be talking about Agricultural Laws and Reforms. We hope you enjoyed the class.

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