Agriculture Paper 1 Questions and Answers - KCSE 2021 Past Papers

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SECTION A (30 marks)
Answer all the questions in this section in the spaces provided.

  1. State two ways in which the foreign exchange earned from agriculture is important to Kenya. (1 mark)
  2. State four effects of excessive nitrogenous fertiliser application on tomatoes. (2 marks)
  3. State four ways in which burning during clearing of land reduces soil fertility. (2 marks)
  4. State four ways in which water pollution caused by farming activities can be controlled. (2 marks)
  5. What is meant by the term preference and choice as used in agricultural economics? (2 marks)
  6. State four disadvantages of shifting cultivation.(2 marks)
  7. Name four categories of nursery beds. (2 marks)
    1. What is meant by the term conveyance of water? (1 mark)
    2. State two ways of conveying water. (1 mark)
    1. What is meant by the term land tenure reform? (1 mark)
    2. State four advantages of land registration.(2 marks)
  10. Name four types of landslides. (2 marks)
  11. State four advantages of small scale farming in Kenya. (2 marks)
  12. State four disadvantages of stall feeding. (2 marks)
  13. Give four reasons why livestock farmers prepare silage.(2 marks)
  14. State four reasons for carrying out minimum tillage. (2 marks)
  15. Name four financial documents used in farm accounting. (2 marks)

SECTION B (20 marks)
Answer all the questions in this section in the spaces provided.

  1. The diagram below shows certain weeds
    1. Identify the weeds labelled F and G.
    2. State one way in which each of the weeds labelled E and F affects the quality of livestock products.(1 mark)
    3. State the main way in which the weed labelled G interferes with farm operations. (1 mark)
    1. An agronomist recommends application of 120kg N, 60kg P,0 and 80kg K,O after testing a soil sample. Calculate the amount of urea (46%N), single super phosphate (20%P,0) and potassium oxide (50% K,O) that should be applied on the land.(4 marks)
    2. Distinguish between fertiliser ratio and fertiliser grade. (1 mark)
  3. A farmer has a piece of land 200 m long and 36m wide. If the farmer plants beans at a spacing of 30 cm X 15 cm, calculate the plant population on the piece of land. Show your working.(5 marks)
  4. The diagram below shows a practice in agroforestry.
    1. Identify the practice. (1 mark)
    2. State the importance of the activity labelled:(1 mark)
    3. Why was the soil separated as shown in the activity labelled II? (1 mark)
    4. State the main precaution observed when covering the seedling as illustrated in III. (1 mark)

SECTION C (40 marks)
Answer any two questions from this section in the spaces provided after question 22.

    1. Describe seven ways in which a farm manager can provide incentives to increase the productivity of the farm workers. (7 marks)
    2. Describe Blossom End Rot disease in tomatoes under each of the following sub-headings:
      1. symptoms (1 mark)
      2. causes (3 marks)
      3. control measures. (3 marks)
    3. Describe how a farmer should handle a bean crop from the time it is harvested until the dry seed is ready for storage. (6 marks)
    1. Give two effects of low temperature on crop growth. (2 marks)
    2. Explain four aspects of rainfall that a farmer should consider when choosing a crop to grow. (8 marks)
    3. Describe five types of layering used by farmers to propagate crops.
    4. Give five functions of agricultural marketing boards in Kenya.
    1. Describe rice production under each of the following sub-headings:
      1. land preparation (3 marks)
      2. water control (3 marks)
      3. weed control (2 marks)
    2. Describe millet production under each of the following sub-headings:
      1. seedbed preparation (2 marks)
      2. planting (2 marks)
      3. harvesting (3 marks)
    3. Explain five factors that influence mass wasting. (5 marks)


    • Used to service foreign debts
    • To finance imports e.g drugs fertilizers, machines
    • To finance government projects e.g schools, hospitals, roads etc
    • Prolonged maturity
    • Cracking of fruits before maturity
    • Blossom end rot
    • Too much negative growth
    • Leads to loss of soil moisture
    • Destroys soil organisms
    • Destroys soil organic matter
    • Exposes soil to agents of soil erosion
    • Volatilizes soil mineral compunds
    • Accumulates ash which alters soil pit and mineral availability
    • Controlling soil erosion [accept any method of controlling soil erosion]
    • Fencing water sources [avoid animals drinking directly from the water source]
    • Controlled use of agricultural chemicals /use of intergrated methods
    • Establishment of vegetation along river banks
    • Use of non-chemical methods/ organic farming
  5. Production resources are limited while production needs are many/unlimited with many competing enterprise(s) amongst many to use the limited resources (mark as a whole)
    • The total field per unit area is low
    • Alot of time and labour wasted when farmer is shifting and building road structure
    • Farmers have no incentives to develop land and conserve water and soils
    • Not applicable in areas of high population density or where there is high population increase
    • Should be practiced where land is abundant/adequate/comunially owned
    • It leads to land fragmentation
    • Sunken nursery
    • Raised nursery
    • Vegetable crop nursery
    • Tree nursery
    • Vegetative propagation nursery
    • Bare root nursery/ direct/ swaziland nursery
    • Containerized nursery
    1. The process of moving water from the point of storage or source to where it will be used or stored
      • Piping
      • Use of canals
      • Use of containers
    1. It's any organized action designed to improve land use and ownership [accept specific types of reform]
      • Can be used to secure credit facilities
      • Ensures security of tenure/ reduces land grabbing
      • Encourage investment in long-term/ permanent projects
      • Owners of land can lease/sell all or part of land 
      • Reduces land disputes
    • Slump/ slip
    • Debris slides
    • Rock fall
    • Rock slides
    • Debris fall 
    • High production, per unit acre
    • Use of improved technology
    • Diversification/ mixed farming
    • Low capital investement
    • Surplus produce can be sold for an income
    • Enhances food security of household and national level
    • High initial capital is required
    • Requires high skilled labour
    • More labour intensive
    • Diseases can easily spread
    • To distribute available forage throughout the year
    • To maximise the utilization of available land
    • To provide feed for the dry season
    • Excess forage can be sold
    • Maintains soil structure
    • Conserves soil moisture
    • Reduces land preparation costs
    • Maintains soil cover/ reduces exposure to agents of soil erosion
    • Reduce disturbance of roots
    • Reduce exposure of humus
    • Invoice
    • Receipts
    • Delivery note
    • Purchase order
    • Statement of account


    1. F - Black Jack(Bidens Pilosa)
      G - Stinnging nettle (urtica dioica)
    2. E - Poisonous to livestock
      G - Contaminants wool and fur
    3. It irritates farm workers
      1. Urea(46% N)
        120 x 100kg urea = 260.87kg
        46kg N - from 100 kg urea
        so 120kg N → 100/46 x 120
        = 260.87kg
      2. SSP(20%P2O5)
        60 x 100 kgSSQ = 300kg SSP
        20kg P2O5 from 100kg SSP
        60kg P2O→ 100/20 x 60
        = 300 kg SSP
      3. KCl (50% K2O)
        80 x 100 kg KCl = 160KCl
        50kgK2O from 100kg KCl
        so 80kg K2O → 100/50 x 80
        = 160kg KCl
        Plus/ more for proper calculation/ proper interpretation
    2. Fertilizer ratio refers to the proportion of the three primary macronutrients in a fertilizer e.g NPK(10:10:10) 
      Fertilizer grade indicates the amount of each nutrient contained in a fertilizer e.g urea (46%N)
  3. Area of land 
    = 36 x 200m 2  
     0.3n x 0.15m
    = 160,000 Plants
    1. Area of land 
      = 36 x 200m  
       30cm x 15cm
      =(36 x 200)m 2
        (0.3 x 0.15)m2 
      = 160,000 plants
    2. Area of land 
      = 36 x 200m  
       30cm x 15cm
      =(3600 x 20000)cm2 
             (30 x 15)cm
      720 000 000 
      = 160,000plants
    3. Area of land 
      Area of land
      = 200m x 36m = 7200m2 
      Spacing = 0.3 x 0.15m2
      Area occupied by one crop = (0.3 x 0.15m2)
      = 0.045m2
      Plant population =7200 
      = 160, 000plants
    4. Plant population = Area of land 
      Area of land
      = 20000 x 36000 cm
      = 720000000cm2
      spacing = 30cm x 15cm
      Area occupied by one plant = 30 x 15
      = 450cm2
      Plant poppulation =72000000 
      = 160,000 plants
    1. Tree seedling transplanting/ tree planting/ transplanting
    2.  I - To allow the growth of roots in the planted hole
      IV - To plant the seedling at the same depth it was in the sleeve
    3. To facilitate mixing of top soil with manure for filling the planted holes
      • Should allow light penetration
      • Materials/ sticks used should be strong enough
      • Should provide enough space for growth
      • Rails should not allow animal penetration

SECTION C (40 marks)

      1. Medical facilities 
      2. Housing
      3. Security
      4. Rewarding good workers
      5. Better remuneration
      6. Transport provision
      7. Protective clothing/uniform
      8. Bonus
      9. Safe working environment
      10. Provide good working tools
      11. Provide social activities by schools for their children     
      1. Blossom end appears rotten, water soaked; dry
      2. Too much nitrogen in early growth stages
      3. Irregular or infrequent watering
      4. Calcium deficiency
      5. Regular watering
      6. Top dressing the crop with the right amount of nitrogen
      7. Application of calcium compound fertilizers in the soil
      1. Threshing: Removal of beans from pods by beating with sticks
      2. Drying: Beans are dried bean plants spread on whats in the sun to dry
      3. Cleaning: To remove foreign materials before storage. by winnowing
      4. Sorting bean seeds are also sorted to separate the good from the bad
      5. Dusting: Applying chemical powders on seeds to
      6. Packing - Beans are placed into containers for storage
      1. Slow growth rate of crops as the process of photosynthesis is slowed.
      2. High incidence of disease infection to crops, eg. CBD, hot and cold disease of coffee; Elgon die back/ low incident of disease
      3. Quality of crops, e.g. tea and pyrethrum is improved
      4. Covered/quality of crops is affected
      1. Rainfall reliability:/ Predictability
        This determines the time of land preparation and planting.
      2. Amount of rainfall is the quantity of rain that falls in a given area within a given year. Determines the type of crops to be grown
      3. Rainfall distribution is the humber of wet months in a year
        Influences choice of crop varieties to grow.
      4. Rainfall intensity: This is the amount of rain that falls in an area within a period of one hour. Rainfall intensity should be correct to prevent damage to crops& soil erosion
      1. Aerial layering/marcotting: Bark and cambial layer are removed from a section of the branch, moist rotting medium is heaped
        around the section and wrapped with a polythene sheet;
      2. Tip layering: Shoot with a terminal bud is bent to the ground and covered with a layer of moist soil;
      3. Trench layering: A branch is bent, laid in a trench and held in position using pegs, and covered with a layer of moist soil;
      4. Compound/serpentine layering: a branch is bent several times and held using pegs. Bent parts are covered with a layer of moist soil: 
      5. Stool and mound layering: soil is heaped around the base of the stem which gives rise to new shoots;
      1. Regulate and control of production, of specific products.
      2. Licensing production and export.
      3. Quality control.
      4. Carrying research on different aspects of the crop or livestock in question on behalf of the government.
      5. Acting as the sole agents on all matters concerning the crop or livestock.
      6. Marketing of processed products.
      7. Advising the Minister for Agriculture on the importation or exportation of the products in relation to their availability.
      8. Provide and co-ordinate different sectors of production
      9. Advising farmers on different aspects of production
      10. Provide farmers with input on land prices
        • Rice fields are levelled; bunds constructed around them for controlling water level
        • Tractor drawn rotavators are used to prepare flooded fields
        • Digging with jembe is also used to prepare before the fields are flooded
        • Flood the fields
        • Water level in the field is increased from 5cm at planting time gradually to 15cm when seedlings are fully grown./Maintain water level
        • Water is allowed to flow slowly in the fields.
        • Where flow is not possible, old water should be drained and fresh water added every 2-3 weeks.
        • Drain water completely before harvesting
        • Weeds are controlled by flooding.
        • Surviving weeds are controlled by uprooting.
        • Effective herbicides can also be used
        • Clearing of land;
        • Primary cultivation;
        • Secondary cultivation/ fine tilth
        • Prepare land early 
      2. Planting of millet
        • Early; planting by broadcasting/row planting at 30x33 cm spacing
        • Seed rate should be 3 - 5 kg
      3. Harvesting of millet
        • Individual heads are cut using knives;
        • The heads are dried.
        • The dry heads are threshed
        • Seeds are winnowed
        • When heads are dry
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