Land utilization type
This is a kind of land use that is well-defined in a degree of detail greater than of a major kind of land use. In quantitative land evaluation studies, the kind of land use considered will usually consists of land utilization types and are described with as much detail and precision as the purpose requires. Thus, land utilization types are not a categorial level in the classification of land use but refer to any use below the level of the major kind of land use.
In a given physical, economic and social setting, a land utilization type consists of a set of technical specification and this may be the current environment or a future.
Attributes of land utilization types Data or Assumptions;
a. Produce including goods e.g. (crops, livestock, timber), cervices (e.g. recreational facilities) or other benefits (e.g. wildlife conservation).
b. Market orientation, including whether towards subsistence or commercial production
c. Capital intensity
d. Labor intensity
e. Power sources for example man’s labor, draught animals. machinery and fuels
f. Technical knowledges and attitudes of land users
g. Technology used for example implements and machinery, fertilizers, livestock breeds, farm transport, methods of timber felling.
h. Infrastructure requirements e.g. sawmills, tat factories, agricultural advisory services
i. Size and configuration of land holdings, including whether consolidated or fragmented.
j. Land tenure, the legal customary manner in which rights to land are held, by individuals or groups
k. Income levels, expressed per capita, per unit of production (a farm) or per unit area.
In land utilization, the management systems on different areas within one land are not necessarily the same for example a land utilization type may consist of mixed farming, with part of the land under arable use and part allocated to pastures/grazing. These differences may arise from variation in the land, from the requirements of the management system, or both.
Examples of land utilization types:
1. Rainfed annual cropping
? This is based on low cost production system for example groundnuts with subsistence maize using low capital resources, cattle drawn implements and high labour intensity on freehold farms that are 5 – 10 ha by small holders.
? Also identified as small-scale subsistence farming system
2. Communal Farming
? This is similar to (1) in reverence of production, capital, labour, power and technology but farms of 200=500ha operated on a communal basis.
? Also identified as medium-scale communal farming systems
3. Commercial Farming
? Characterized by high capital and low labour intensity with high levels of mechanization and inputs on freehold farms for example wheat production
? This is also identified as large scale commercial farming.
4. Extensive Cattle ranching
? Medium levels of capital and labor intensity
? Land is held and central services operated by a government agency for example Grassland Research Institute in Marondera, Zimbabwe.
5. Forestry
? Operated by a government department of forestry for example a softwood plantation
? High capital intensity
? Low labour intensity
? High levels of technology – advanced technology
6. Wildlife Management
? A national park for recreation and tourism for example Hwange National Park
Where it is wished to relate agricultural land utilization types to general classification, the Typology of World of Agriculture of the International Geographical Union may be considered (Kostrowicki, 1974) and the role of land utilization types in land evaluation is discussed further in Beek (1975).
Multiple and Compound Land Use
the two terms multiple and compound land utilisation types refer to the situation in which more than one kind of land use is practised within area and this is typical of a mixed farming practice.


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