Farm structures and farm buildings are very important in every agricultural enterprise. When adequately provided, they make the farm an agricultural village. They can be used for processing and storing farm produce, packing farm tools and equipment, fertilizers, and agrochemicals.
They can also be useful in housing farm animals and farm workers and providing facilities for relaxation and farm administrative offices.
The nature of farm building and structure to be provided would depend on the type and level of agriculture practiced or engaged in and the number of personnel involved.
These are simple constructions on the farm, which are mostly temporary. They are built or designed to serve specific purposes to make farm operations easier, better and faster.
They include silage pits, storage cribs, silos & rhombus, feeding mills, storage barns, fences, irrigation, drainage structures, waste disposal, fish ponds, processing sheds, etc.
Types of Farm Structures:
Farm structures are classified into three categories namely:
- Production Structures
- Farm Processing Structures
- Storage Processing Structures
List five types of farm structure
1. Production Structures: These are used for producing animals and tending crop plants useful to man. They include nursery or potting sheds for seedlings, animal grazing paddocks, poultry battery cages, fish ponds, feed mills, animal hutches, drainage structures, etc.
2. Farm Processing Structures: These structures are constructed for housing processing machines and equipment such as grinding machines, oil palm presses, rice mills, milking houses, abattoirs, etc. Processing activities take place inside these structures.
3. Storage Structures: Agricultural produce are kept here until they are marketed, consumed, or utilized for the next season’s farming operation. They include Silos, Cribs, Rhombus, Storage Barns, Silage Pits, Compost Pits, Water Reservoirs, Fences, etc.
These are buildings on the farm constructed to carry out certain aspects of production functions in the farm business. Farm buildings are beneficial in housing farm workers and farm animals. They also serve as farm offices and stores and protect workers, livestock, equipment, and tools from harsh weather conditions.
Types of Farm Buildings:
Some are temporary or make-shift buildings with locally available and cheap materials. Others are stronger, permanent, and more costly and complicated buildings.
- Farm Offices: In large farms, Farm offices serve administrative and management purposes in the farm business for some farm staff.
- Residential Buildings: They provide convenient accommodation for farm staff; for enhanced and quality service delivery.
- Security Posts: Security personnel and gadgets are housed here. This is to ensure the general security of the farm and farm personnel.
- Green House: Here, crop plants are raised in a controlled environment, especially for experimental, delicate, or out-of-season plants. The roof is covered with green or glass transparent materials, with regulated temperature.
- Livestock Pens: These are buildings where farm animals are kept. For example, poultry houses, hatcheries for layers, brooder houses for chicks, goat and pig pens, etc.
- Utility Building: This building serves multi-purpose functions. These include: serving as a cold store for storing fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, and poultry products to be prepared for marketing or awaiting consumption. Machine and equipment spare parts, bags of livestock feeds, empty sacs, etc., are also kept there.
USES OF FARM STRUCTURES AND BUILDINGS
Farm structures and farm buildings are beneficial in the agricultural process in the following ways:
- They offer a proper and suitable environment for processing and storing farm produce.
- They provide storage facilities for fertilizers, agrochemicals, farm tools, and equipment.
- Facilities are made available temporarily or permanently housing farm animals and workers, thus giving them a sense of security.
- Farm animals and workers are protected from adverse weather conditions.
- Suitable farm structures and buildings make it convenient for farm workers to care for the animals.
- Farm tools and implements, as well as farm produce, are protected from thieves and predator organisms.
Maintenance Of Farm Structures And Buildings
The following activities are recommended for the effective maintenance of farm structures and buildings:
- Destroyed or Damaged fences should be mended or repaired.
- Metal storage structures should be coated or painted with aluminum to prevent rusting and reflect light.
- The leaking roof should be repaired.
- Cracks on walls and floors should be repaired.
- Broken sewage, water pipes, and taps should be mended.
- Damaged structures should promptly be replaced.
- Floors and walls should be swept clean and disinfected.
- Drainage Channels should be cleaned regularly to avoid blockage.