Agriculture Paper 1 Questions and Answers - MECS Cluster Joint Pre Mock Exams 2021/2022

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Answer all questions (30marks)

  1. Define organic farming (1mk)
  2. State Four reasons why agriculture is regarded as a science. (2mks)
  3. Give four effects of HIV/Aids on agricultural production and development. (2mks)
    1. State two farming practices that help in reducing the effects of water shortage in crop production (2mks)
    2. Give four advantages of rotational grazing in cattle farming. (2mks)
  5. State two disadvantages of small scale farming. (1mk)
  6. State four ways of treating water for use in the farm. (2mks)
  7. State four benefits of using organic materials for mulching. (2mks)
  8. State four disadvantages of non-capped multiple stem pruning in coffee. (2mks)
  9. State four factors considered in selecting the site for making compost manure. (2mks)
  10. Give two reasons for flooding in the growing of paddy rice. (1mk)
  11. Give two appropriate situations under which foliar spraying is most suitable. (1mk)
  12. State four factors contributing to the competitive ability of weeds (2mks)
  13. Give four conditions of land which may make it necessary to carry out reclamation practices (2mks)
  14. Name two physical weathering agents in the soil formation process (1mk)
  15. State two Mechanical methods of separating soil particles according to size during soil analysis (1mk)
  16. State four functions of Boron in crop development (2mks)
  17. State four factors that should be considered when classifying crop pests (2 mks)

Answer all questions in this section

  1. The diagram below shows a weed study it carefully.
    1. Identify the weed. (1mk)
    2. State two economic importance of the weed. (2mks)
    3. Why is it difficult to control the weed? (1mk)
  2. The diagrams below labeled A and B illustrate field pests. Study the diagrams carefully and answer the questions that follow.
    1. Identify the field pests illustrated in the diagrams A and B. (2mks)
    2. Classify the pests A and B (2mks)
    3. State ONE control measure of pest B (1mk)
  3. Below is a diagram of a nursery for raising the seedlings.
    1. State two advantages of having the part labeled J (2mks)
    2. State any three management practices that should be carried out on the nursery from the time seedlings emerge to the stage of transplanting (3mks)
  4. .The diagram F, below illustrates a method of training in crops.
    1. Identify the method shown in F above. (1mk)
    2. Name two other methods used in training in crop production. (2mks)
    3. State two advantages of training in crop production. (2mks)
    4. List two crops that require training. (1mk)

Answer any two question

      1. Define the term land tenure (2mks
      2. Give three benefits of a Title deed to a farmer. (3mks)
      3. State five effects of land fragmentation in crop farming. (5mks)
    2. Describe the production of onions under the following sub-headings:
      1. Seedbed preparation. (3mks)
      2. Field management practices. (5mks)
      3. Harvesting. (2mks)
    1. Describe seven harmful effects of crop pests. (7mks)
    2. Describe eight safety measures a farmer should observe when using herbicides to control weeds. (8mks)
    3. Describe the harvesting of cotton. (5mks)
    1. Describe the importance of vegetable crop. (6mks)
    2. Explain the cultural methods of pest control. (7mks)
    3. Discuss the management practices in the production of maize grains from planting to harvesting. (7mks)


  1. Define organic farming
    • It is a method of farming in which crop growing and livestock rearing is done without using agricultural chemicals. 1mk

  2. Agriculture as science
    • Scientific study of crop diseases (pathology)
    • Scientific study of insects and their control
    • Agricultural engineering (soil water conservation and machines)
    • Scientific study of soils
    • Genetics of plant and animal breeding 2mks

  3. Effect of HIV/AIDS on agriculture
    • The infected die hence shortage of farm labour
    • Cost of living is raised-A lot of money spent on drugs at the expense of farm inputs
    • Loss of hope, lack of motivation leads to low agricultural developments
    • The infected lack strength to work adequately on the farm
    • A lot of time is spent caring for the sick at the expense of farm work
    • A lot of funds are directed to seminise/ control the pandemic by the government instead of using the resources in agricultural department 2mks

    1. Farming practice reduce effect of water shortage
      • Mulching
      • Early planting
      • Planting early maturing crops
      • Practicing land fallowing
      • Contour cropping/ contour farming 2mks

    2. Advantages of rotational grazing
      • Maximum use of pasture
      • Excess pasture can be conserved
      • Even/Uniform distribution of animal wastes in all fields or paddocks
      • Possible to apply fertilizers to parts of pastures not in use
      • Reduces build-up of pests and diseases
      • Pasture area is given time to regrow. 2mks

  5. Disadvantages of small scale farming
    • High operational costs.
    • Provision of technical advice by extension workers is not easy because of the large number of farmers.
    • Lack of organised market for the produce (of the small quantities of the different types of produce). (1mk)

  6. Ways of treating water 2mks
    • Chemical treatment.
    • Filtration
    • Boiling
    • Aeration
    • Sedimentation
    • Storage in open tanks for 36 hours

  7. State four benefits of using organic materials for mulching. (2mks)
    • It conserves soil moisture by discouraging evaporation.
    • It suppresses/ smothers weeds.
    • It controls soil erosion.
    • Improves soil structure upon decomposition.
    • It adds nutrients to the soil on decomposition.
    • Improves water infiltration rate.
    • increases water holding capacity of the soil upon decomposition.

  8. .State four disadvantages of non-capped multiple stem pruning in coffee. (2mks)
    • There is higher rate of breaking of stems and branches.
    • There is difficulty in picking the berries from the top points.
    • The crop grows much taller hence spraying is difficult.
    • Pruned stumps tend to rot as the plant grows older

  9. State four factors considered in selecting the site for making compost manure. (2mks)
    • A well drained place to avoid water logging which leaches nutrients from the manure.
    • Direction of the prevailing wind to prevent bad odor from being blown to the homestead.
    • Size of the farm ie should be centrally placed.
    • Accessibility for easy transportation of the materials needed.

  10. Give two reasons for flooding in the growing of paddy rice. (1mk)
    • Controls weeds
    • Controls soil borne pests.
    • Provides good conditions for the growing of rice.

  11. Give two appropriate situations under which foliar spraying is most suitable. (1mk)
    • During prolonged dry season.
    • When top dressing closely spaced crops eg wheat.

  12. Factors contributing to the competitive ability of weeds
    • Ability to produce large quantities of seeds
    • Weed seeds remain viable in the soil for long
    • Easy and successful dispersal mechanism of most weed seeds
    • Ability to survive even under adverse environmental condition
    • Complete their life cycle in a short time
    • Elaborate or extensive root system (4 x ½ = 2 marks)

  13. State four conditions of land which may make it necessary to carry out reclamation
    • Swampy/water logged areas
    • Stormy grounds
    • Aridity/dryness
    • Eroded/bare land
    • Tse tse infested areas
    • Bushy land. (4 x ½ = 2 marks)

  14. Physical weathering agents
    • Wind
    • Glaciations/ moving ice
    • Temperature
    • Running water(reject water alone) 2 x½ = 1 mark

  15. Mechanical methods of separating soil particles
    • Mixing soil with water, shaking and allowing particles to settle/sedimentation
    • Use of a series of sieves with different mesh sizes/sieve method 2x ½ = 1 mark

  16. functions of boron in crop
    • Assist the development of meristematic tissues
    • Facilitates fruit setting
    • Helps in translocation of sugars. Nitrogen and phosphorus
    • Facilitate nodule formation in legume
    • Facilitate the absorption of water
    • Facilitate the formation of pollen tube. 4 x ½ = 2 marks

  17. factors to consider when classifying crop pests
    • Where pest is found/field/storage
    • Feeding habits/type of damage
    • Scientific/biological classification
    • Crop attacked
    • stage of growth of the crop attacked
    • Stage of development of the pest at which it causes damage
    • Part of the crop attacked 4 x ½ = 2 marks 
    1. indentify weed
      1. Couch grass / Digitaria scalarum 1x1 =1mk

    2. Economic importance
      • Greatly reduces the yield of the crop.
      • Acts as fodder for livestock.
      • Increase production costs.
      • Reduce the quality of the crop
      • 2x 1 =2mk

    3. difficult to control weed.
      • Has underground rhizomes/ stems which are difficult to control. 1x1 =1mk

      • A- Cutworm
      • B-Rat/Mouse ( 2 x 1 = 2mks)

      • A Insect with biting and chewing mouthpart
      • B Rodent ( 2 x 1 = 2mks)

      • Trapping
      • Biological -use of predators (cats)
      • Use of pesticides ( Rodenticide)
      • Destruction of crop residues ( 1 x 1 = 1mks)

    1. Advantages of having the part labeled J:
      • To reduce the amount of water loss through evapotranspiration
      • To modify the temperature
      • To reduce the impact of raindrops thereby minimize the damage of seedlings/ reduce splash
      • Retaining water 2x1=2 mks

    2. Management practices carried out on the nursery from the seeding emerge to stage of transplanting 3mks
      • Proper watering
      • Controlling weeds
      • Controlling pests and diseases
      • Hardening off
      • Pricking out 

      1. Trelishing method ( 1 mk)

        • Staking
        • Propping ( 2mk)
        • Production of clean fruits
        • Facilitates spraying and harvesting of the crops
        • Controls incidences of disease out break
        • Prevents infestation by soil – borne pests ( 2mk)

        • Passion fruits
        • Tomatoes
        • Garden peas 1mk
      1. Is the rule and conditions governing the ownership of land in specific area or method by which an individual /group of people acquire the right to use land in any place
        OR Is the possession of right to the use of land 2mk

        • Used to secure credit facilities necessary for land development
        • Any disputes are minimised because of security of tenure
        • Tenure security encourages farmers to invest in long-term and permanent projects on their land and also care for the soil.
        • enables the occupant to lease all the land or part of it and thus get extra income (3mks)

        • Time wasted while traveling from one holding to the next
        • Difficult to properly and effectively control weeds and pests
        • Difficulty in following a sound farm plan arising from the distance between fragments and the farmer’s home
        • Difficult in the supervision of scattered plots
        • Difficulty in carrying out various soil conservation measures
        • Difficulty in offering agriculture extension advice
        • poor agricultural productivity hence on standard of living (5mks)

    2. Production of onions.
      1. Seed bed preparation.
        • Land is cleared.
        • Land preparation is done early.
        • Ploughing/deep digging is done and all weeds eradicated.
        • Harrowing is done to moderate/fine /appropriate tilth. (3x1=3mks)

      2. Field management practices.
        • Thinning in directly planted crops to reduce competition.
        • Weeding should be done carefully so as not to damage shallow roots.
        • Excess soil is removed from the region around the bulb/do not compact soil around the bulb.
        • Top dressing with a NitrogenFertilizer/ CAN at the rate of 250 kg per hectare three months after planting.
        • Spraying with appropriate pesticide/chemicals to control pests.
        • Spraying with herbicides to control fungal diseases.
        • Watering during the dry spell.

      3. Harvesting.
        • Done after 4-5 months.
        • Done when leaves start drying.
        • Twist/break/bend the tops at the neck to hasten withering.
        • Bulbs are dug out/lifted.
        • Turn daily to ensure uniform drying. (2x1=2mks)

    1. Harmful effects of pests.
      • Pests such as squirrels and mice unearth and eat planted seeds resulting in low plant population.
      • Some pests such as moles,nematodes and termites damage crop roots causing wilting and death to the plants.
      • Some pests destroy leaves lowering photosynthetic area of resulting in reduced yields.
      • Sucking pests deprive the plant its food by sucking plant sap resulting in retarded growth.
      • Some pests attack fruits, berries,flowers,which lower their quality and quantity.
      • Some pests destroy the embryo of seed which lower germination potential.
      • Some pests transmit crop diseases while others open up the plant for secondary infection.
      • Some pests eat the growing points causing retarded growth e.g stalk borer.
      • Some pests lower the quality of products by damaging the parts that are useful e. g leaves in kales.
      • Reduce marketability of crop produce by lowering quality. (7x1=7mks)

    2. Safety precautions when using herbicides.
      • One should wear protective clothing such as masks, gloves, overalls and boots.
      • Avoid inhaling herbicides by not smoking while spraying .Spray along the wind direction.
      • Follow manufacturer’s instructions strictly.
      • Avoid sucking or blowing blocked nozzles.
      • User must wash thoroughly to remove chemical traces immediately after handling chemicals.
      • Herbicides should be store in a safe place away from food and out of reach of children.
      • Equipment used in herbicide application should not be washed in water sources used by human beings animals/prevent pollution.
      • Empty containers and left-overs should be properly disposed of in such away that they will not pose danger to people, animals or the environment.
      • Chemical spillage in places that are unintended should be avoided/where it may cause danger to human beings and animals.
      • Equipment used should should be used thoroughly to avoid damage to crops/animals in subsequent operations
      • User should avoid eating or handling food before washing. (8x1=8mks).

    3. Harvesting of cotton
      • Start harvesting 4-5 months after planting/when first bolls open
      • Pick the lint
      • Harvest during the dry period
      • Harvest on weekly basis and continue for 8 weeks
      • Put the picked lint into clean and well aerated baskets
      • Sort out the lint into grade I, AR (Safi) and grade II,BR (fifi)
      • Put the two grades into separate bags
      • Alternatively, carry the two containers for the different grades
        5 x 1= 5mks

    1. Describe importance of vegetable crop
      • They provide the body with vitamins
      • They have pleasant colours and smell which make food appetizing
      • They provide the body with minerals
      • Are good complements of staple foods
      • Source of raw materials to industries
      • They can be sold to generate income
      • Horticulture earns a country foreign exchange when exported. Any 6 x 1 = 6mks

    2. Cultural method of pest controll
      • Timely planting – early planted crops may escape pest infestation
      • Timely harvesting – crop may escape attack of pests like grain weevil
      • Close season – a period during which a susceptible crop must not be grown to ensure destruction of pest.
      • Trap crop-a crop planted to attract pest away from the main crop
      • Crop rotation – starves pests associated with particular crop to death
      • Plant persistent varieties- resist pest
      • Field hygiene – minimize spread of pest e.g rouging
      • Alteration of environmental condition crent micro-climate not conducive to form pests e.g pruning, mulching etc
      • Destruction of alternate host – help reduce pest infestation e.g weed control
      • Crop nutrition – crop grows faster and stronger to escape and resist pests.
        NB ½ mk for each method and ½ for explanation. 14 x ½ = 7mks

    3. management practice in production of maize grain from planting to harvesting
      • Clear the land.
      • Prepare land during dry season.
      • Thoroughly control perennial weeds
      • Carry out primary land preparation
      • Carry out secondary cultivation /harrow the land.
      • Obtain a medium tilth.
      • Select seeds that are suitable for the ecological zone.
      • Long term hybrid varieties / high altitude / 611, 614, 626, 627 are medium term hybrids/medium altitude /511, 512, 513, 514, 515, 516, composite: Katumani hybrid, Makueni hybrid , Pwani hybrid - low rainfall area
      • Plant at the onset of rainfall of rains /just before the rains start.
      • Dig holes
      • Depth of holes 8 – 10cm deep.
      • Spacing 90cm x 30cm. (2 seed per hole)
      • 75cm x 25 cm (1 seed per hole)
      • apply a handful of farm yard manure per hole
      • apply 10gm of DSI per hole
      • Mix fertilizer and manure with the soil.
      • Apply an appropriate pesticide during planting.
      • Gap immediately after germination
      • Control weeds through cultivation mulching or by use of appropriate herbicide.
      • Top dress using nitrogenous first at knee high 145cm height.
      • Control pest by applying correct patricide.
      • Harvest when dry
      • Cut stacks and stool
      • Dehusk and thresh.
      • Dry to 12% moisture content and store. Mark any seven correct point 7x1= 7mks 

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