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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 4

(a)Define soil erosion. [2 marks]

(b) List four factors that influence nutrient availability in the soil.            [4 marks]

(c) Explain two roles of each of the following factors in soil formation:   [6 marks]

(i) climate;

(ii) Living organisms;

(iii) Topography.                    

(d) State four problems associated with overhead irrigation.                   [4 marks]


Few candidates attempted this question. In 4(a) and (b), most of the candidates could define soil erosion and list the factors that influence nutrient availability in the soil.


Also, in 4(c) (i&ii), majority of the candidates were able to explain the roles of factors such as climate; living organisms and topography in soil formation.


However in 4(d), majority of the candidates could not state the problems associated with overhead irrigation.

The expected answers include

  • Wind distorts sprinkler patterns and causes uneven distribution of water
  • The spray force can damage ripening soft fruits
  • A stable water supply is required for economic use of the equipment
  • The water must be clean and free of sand, debris and large amounts of dissolved salts
  • The initial investment is usually high
  • Power requirements for pumping water is high
  • Requires technical know-how
  • Can spread diseases
  • Lateral pipes hinder movement of farm machines
  • High cost of maintenance/repairs/spare parts not readily available
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