Agricultural activities are greatly influence by many factors which either facilitate or check the performance of this sector. For example, nature of soil, availability of water, rainfall, flood, drought, wind, salinity, water logging, and pest attack are major constraints on agriculture. These constraints influence the farmers in selection of the soil, drops, fertilizers and machinery for cultivation, harvesting and transportation. Major physical constraints on agriculture are listed below:
- Nature of Soil
- Climatic Conditions
- Prices of Crops
- Pest Attacks
- Storage and Marketing
Nature of Soil:
Farmers select fertile soils for the cultivation of wheat, cotton, rice, maize, sugarcane, tobacco and vegetables, etc. Barren lands, saline lands, or waterlogged soils are unsuitable for cultivatoin. Similarly, a large amount of fertilizer is also needed for the enrichment of soil. Erosion of soil is also a major problem in certain areas because it acts as a great agent for destruction of land. According to Lord Boyd Orr, “It takes natural form 300 to 1000 years to build up one inch-layer of fertile soil. Man by his wanton misuse can destroy eight inches in one or two, generations”. Desertification and deforestation threatens desert peripheries from USA to Asia, Africa and Australia.
Climatic conditions of a region influence the selection of crops by the farmer. All the crops require different amounts of water, temperature and fertilizers. For example, rice needs plenty of stagnant water but wheat requires temperate hot condition with periodic watering at different stages. Similarly, the amount of rainfall has also a great bearing on the crops. Thus, a farmer selects crops keeping in view the climatic conditions of that region.
Prices of Crops:
Prices of crops also play a key role in their selection because the farmer prefers those crops which have more yield and fetch more price. Thus, wheat, rice, sugarcane, tea, maize, cereals and vegetable get priority according to their market prices.
Many kinds of pests greatly damage the crops at large scale. farmers have to use proper insecticides to protect their crops from these pests. Pests are also a great constraint on agriculture.
Storage and Marketing:
Farmers prefer commodities which can be stored and marketed easily. Presently, modern warehouses can store large amounts of wheat, rice, cotton and other commodities before their marketing.