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Agricultural Science Paper 2, May/June 2008  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Main
General Comments

Question 3

(a)Define the term soil. [2 marks]

(b) (i) List the four components of soil. [2 marks]

(ii) State the percentage of each component by volume.

(c)Describe the process involved in making compost using the pit method under the following headings:

(I) materials; [2 marks]

(ii) preparation; [6 marks]

(iii) storage. [2 marks]


This question was fairly attempted by the candidates. In 3(a), many candidates could define soil. Also, in 3(b) (i&ii), majority of the candidates could list the components of soil and state the percentage of each component by volume.

However, in 3(c), majority of the candidates were unable to describe the process involved in making compost using the pit method.

The expected answers include:

  • (I) Materials
    • Straw/grass/weeds/saw dust/lawn clippings Bamboo/sticks/straws
    • Ash
    • Biodegradable household refuse/crop residues Human waste/Animals dung/Farm wastes Water
    • Urine
    • Old compost
    • Lime/Phosphorus fertilizer/Sulphate of Ammonia Tester/dip stick
  • (ii) Preparation
    • Dig pit to a convenient size
    • Put big pebbles or stones or short poles/elephant grass at the bottom of the pit
    •  Fill the pit with  clippings, leaves, weeds and other vegetable matter, most of which must be chopped up and mixed properly
    • Spread evenly on top urine, wood ash and animal dung, then sprinkle water Repeat the process until the level of the top ofthe pit is reached
    • After one layer has been laid, sprinkle it lightly with lime and add handfuls of soil
    • Repeat the sequence again and again to a convenient height Insert the tester to test for decomposition
  • (iii) Storage
  • Protect from rainfall to prevent loss of nutrients/store under shed
  • Protect from direct ray of sun which may destroy the microbes and bake the material
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