KCSE 2013 Agriculture 2013 Paper 1

SECTION A (30 marks)

(1) Reasons for inter-cropping

  • Conserve soil/water (cover cropping);
  • Maximise production;
  • Maximise utilization of nutrients in the soil;
  • Control weeds;
  • Control pests/diseases;
  • Diversification’/spread risks
  • Maximise labour utilisation/save costs on labour.
  • Improve soil fertility if legumes are included.
  • Maximise utilisation of land.(2) Advantages of intensive farming 
  • Increases production per unit area;
  • Farm supervision is easy:
  • Maximises utilization of available land;
  • Ideal for densely populated areas/small land holdings;
  • Utilizes technology to increase production.(3) Reasons for early land preparation 
  • Allow time for weeds to dry and decompose;
  • Allow for proper soil aeration;
  • Allow timely planting / subsequent operations;
  • Allow time for soil clods to disintegrate/soften.(4) Reasons for deep ploughing 
  • Facilitates aeration;
  • Facilitates drainage;
  • Breaks hard pans/facilitates water infiltration;
  • Bring up previously leached nutrients;
  • Facilitate development of deep rooted crops;
  • I Expose lower soil layers to weathering;
  • I Expose soil bone pests and disease agents.
  • Remove deeply rooted weeds.(5) Conditions for purely competitive market.
  • Large number of sellers:
  • Large number of buyers;
  • Homogeneous product;
  • Same price for the product;
  • Free entry and exit from the market:
  • Buyers and sellers have perfect knowledge of market trends.(2 x 1/2= 1 mark)(6) Grading – is the sorting of the produce into different lots.
    each with the same characteristics market quality while Standardization is the establishment of uniformity in the quality and quantity of the product.

    Mark as a whole 2 marks

    (7) Benefits of agroforestry to a maize crop.


  • Leguminous trees fix nitrogen into the soil:
  • Trees act as windbreaks:
  • Trees stabilize soil against soil erosion;
  • Leaf litter decompose to form humus/recycle nutrients:
  • Trees improve and act as water catchment areas/conserve water.4 x 1/2= 2 marks(8)
  • Intensive hedgerow:- trees or shrubs are planted between rows of crops.
  • Border planting:- trees or shrubs are planted on the borders of the farm.Mark as a whole 2 marks(9) (a) Mixed cropping:- ls the growing of two or more crops on the same field but on different sections.

    (b) Mono cropping:- Is the growing of only one type of crop.

    (c) lnter cropping:- ls the growing of two or more crops in the same field at the same time.3 x 1 3 marks

    (10) Advantages of timely planting


  • Disease and pest control;
  • Benefit from nitrogen flash:
  • Weed control:
  • Maximises rainfall utilization by the crop:
  • Crop matures early when market prices are high/high demand.(4 x 1/2 =2 marks)(11) Advantages of row planting


  • Field operations can be mechanized;
  • Easy to establish plant population;
  • Low seed rate than broadcasting;
  • cultural practices/accept specific practices;
  • Ensures proper spacing
  • Ensures uniform germination of seeds.(4 x 1/2= 2 marks)(12) Importance of a nursery


  • Many seedlings can be produced in a small area;
  • Facilitates timely routine management practices:
  • best conditions for growth of seedlings:
  • Small seeds and delicate seedlings grow into healthy and vigorous seedlings to facilitate transplanting;
  • Reduced growth period in the field;
  • Excess seedlings can be sold for income:
  • Facilitate selection of healthy and vigorous/true to type seedlings for transplanting.(4 x 1/2= 2 marks)(13) (a)Monopoly:- Market dominated by only one seller:

    (b) Monopsony:- Market dominated by only one buyer. Mark as a whole 2 marks

    (14)(a) Cassava: – stem cuttings/stems

    (b) Sisal: – Bulbils

    – Suckers

    pyre thrum: – Splits

    (d) Sweet potatoes: – Vines/stem cuttings

    4 x 11- 2 marks


    (15) Characteristics of a good vegetable seedling


  • Free from disease/pest/healthy;
  • Vigorous growing:
  • Free from physical deformities;
  • High yielding:
  • Correct stage of growth/height 10 – 15 tall/4 – 6 true leaves.4 x 1/2 =2 marks(16)(a) Sprinkler/overhead irrigation. 1 x 1 =l mark


  • Cleaning after use:
  • Unblocking blocked nozzles:
  • Lubricating rotating pans;
  • Repairing/replacing broken/wom out parts;
  • Proper storage after use:
  • Oiling to prevent rusting;
  • Tighten loose nuts.2 x 1= 2 marks(c)
  • Drip irrigation does not wet the foliage hence controls fungal diseases l x l= 1 mark(17) 

(a)Health record; 1 x 1 =1 mark


  • Selection/culling;
  • Show health status:
  • Determination of treatment costs;
  • Show prevalence diseases;
  • Trace history of disease for effective treatment eg. drugs used, action taken;
  • Show schedules for routine practices e.g. vaccination. deworming, etc.. 2 x l 2 marks(18)Ledger 1 x 1 l mark19 (a)

    – Increasing returns -production function curve.

    — Constant retums production function curve.

    2 x 1= 2 marks

    (b)The Law of diminishing returns.

    If successive units of one variable input are added to fixed quantities of other inputs, a point is reached where additional (marginal/extra) product per additional unit of input declines.

    (b)(ii) Other factors influence / limit agriculture production.

    1 x 1 =1 mark



  • Calcium:
  • Nitrogen;
  • Phosphorous;
  • Carbon:
  • Sulphur;
  • Magnesium.1 mark Mark as a_ whole(b)Micro-nutrients:-


  • Copper;
  • Molybdenum;
  • Zinc;
  • Iron.( Mark as a whole 1 mark)(c)Fertilizer elements:- Nitrogen. Phosphorous & Potassium.

    Mark as a whole 1 mark

    (d)Liming elements:- Calcium; Magnesium and Sulphur.

    Mark as whole 1 mark

    SECTION C (40 marks)

    (a) Cultural soil and water conservation


  • Grass/Filter strips:- reduce speed of flowing water/filter soil;
  • Cover cropping:- prevents surface flow/reduces impact of rain drops/prevents evaporation/ volatilization;
  • Contour farming:- creates ridges of soil which hold up \vater/reduce speed of run-off;
  • Mulching:- reduces impact of rain drops/prevents evaporation/surface run-off:
  • Rotational grazing:— allows grass to recover for soil and water conservation:
  • Crop rotation:- maintain soil cover for protection against erosion/improves soil structure thus increasing infiltration:
  • Inter cropping:- provides adequate cover on the soil;
  • Strip cropping:- the different strips reduce speed of run-off/filter soil:
  • Grassed/vegetated waterways:- slow the speed of water/trap eroded soil:
  • Afforestation/Re-afforestation; Act as water catchments/stabilizes soil/canopy intercepts raindrops/wind;
  • Agroforestry – stabilises soil/canopy intercepts raindrops/act as water catchment/wind;
  • Use of manures/fertilizers; Promotes vegetative growth which covers soil against evaporation and erosion;
  • Correct spacing of crops; Ensure adequate soil cover. 8 x 8 marks(b) (i) Shortage of labour; Lack of motivation to invest in agriculture
  • Increased cost of living leading to low investment in agriculture/lack of resources for Agricultural production.;
  • Government and NGOs are spending a lot of time and resources controlling the disease instead of investment in agriculture.
  • Lack of market for agricultual produce.4 x l =4 marks(ii) Establishment of national food security policy to supply free farm input to farmers to improve production:


  • Facilitate soil conservation;
  • Imposes laws to regulate quality of agriculture products;
  • lmposes laws to regulate production and sale of agricultural produce to ensure sustainability:
  • Imposes high taxes on imported agricultural products;
  • Providing subsidies on agricultural inputs, e.g. fertilizers;
  • Establishment of govemment agencies to supply inputs and market agricultural products;
  • Construction of bulky handling and storage facilities for agricultural products;
  • Funding research into new and improved agricultural production technologies:
  • Ensures control of parasites/diseases/weeds is done effectively:
  • Provision of extension services/education.4 x l= 4 marks(iii)Improper timing of routine practices;
  • Lack of agricultural skills
  • Low production of low quality I
  • Inappropriate decision – making e.g. disease observation and control:
  • Delayed adoption of new and improved production technologies.
  • Lack of knowledge to apply / types and / of inputs;
  • Inability to collect market information.4 x l= 4 marks(22)(a)Physical Pest Control


  • Use of lethal temperature to kill the pests;
  • Proper drying of produce to make it hard for pest to penetrate;
  • Flooding drowns and kills pests;
  • Suffocation to kill the pests in air tight containers;
  • Physical killing ofthe pests /trapping and killing;
  • Use of scarecrows /scaring away the pests:
  • Use of physical barriers to prevent infestation by the pests;
  • Use of electromagnetic radiation to kill the pests.7 x 1 7 marks(b) Factors for competitive ability of weeds


  • Some produce large seed quantities to enhance survival chances;
  • Some remain viable in the soil for a long time to await favourable conditions to germinate
  • Some are easily and successfully dispersed to enhance chances of survival;
  • Some have ability to propagate vegetatively into new plants:
  • Some have extensive root system to enhance survival in drought conditions:
  • Some have adaptations to survive where \vater/nutrients are limited through water and food storage modifications
  • Some have a short life cyle which is completed early before adverse climatic conditions set in:
  • Some initate animals as a protective measure against grazing, trampling/some are tolerant to pests and diseases.
  • Some are heavy feeders they make food faster than crop establishes.
  • Some weeds have allelopathic effects which suppresses growth of other plants enhancing their survival.8 x 1 8 marks(b) Harvesting of Coffee


  • Pick red ripe ben’ies/cherries;
  • Spread the berries on sisal mats and sort them out into Grades l. 2 and 3 (Mbuni)
  • Deliver grades l and 2 to the factory for pulping same day;
  • Dry grade 3;
  • Deliver grade 3 to factory at the end of harvesting season:
  • Picking interval of 7 – I4 days.5 x 1 5 marks(23)

(a) Stem cuttings for Napier grass

  • Select cuttings from a desirable variety:
  • Select cuttings from healthy and high yielding mother plants;
  • Make cuttings with 2 – 3 nodes:
  • Place cuttings in planting holes in a slanting manner:
  • Cover two nodes underground and one node above the ground.5 x l 5 marks(b) Production of onions

    (i) Clear the land;

  • Prepare the land early:
  • Plough/dig deeply and eradicate all weeds:
  • Harrow to a moderate tilth/tine tilth/appropriate tilth. 3 x 1 3 marks (ii)
  • Thinning in directly planted crops to reduce competition;
  • Weeding should be done carefully so not to damage shallow roots.
  • Remove excess soil from root region.
  • Do not compact the soil around the bulb:
  • Top dress with nitrogenous fertilizer/CAN at a rate of 250 Kg per ha three months after planting:
  • Spray with appropriate pesticide/chemical to control pests especially thrips;
  • Spray with fungicides or practice crop rotation to control fungal diseases;
  • Watering during dry spell/season.4 x 1 4 marks(iii) Harvest after 5 months;


  • Harvest when leaves start drying;
  • Break or bend the tops at the neck to hasten withering;
  • Dig up the bulb and leave them to dry under shade;
  • Tum daily to ensure uniform drying;
  • Store in slatted boxes;
  • Leave bulb to dry under shade.

(c) Reasons for land Consolidation

  • Proper supervision
  • Saves time and travel costs between plots;
  • Easy to offer extension services on the actual and on-spot inspection of land;
  • Encourages sound farm planning and adoption of crop rotation programmes;
  • Encourages soil conservation and land improvement;
  • Encourages mechanization due to enlarged holdings;
  • Encourages construction of permanent structures/undertake long term project investments;
  • Enhances weed, pest and disease control.5 x 1 = 5 marks
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