Farm structures and farm buildings are very important, in every agricultural enterprise. When adequately provided, they make farm an agricultural village. They can be used for processing and storage of farm produce, packing farm tools and equipment as well as fertilizers and agro-chemicals.
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, as well as the number of personnel involved.
These are simple constructions in the farm which are mostly temporary. They are built or designed to serve specific purposes aimed at making farm operations easier, better and faster.
They include silage pit, 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
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 and drainage structures, etc.
2. Farm Processing Structures: These structures are constructed for housing processing machines and equipment such as grinding machines, oil palm press, rice mills, milking house, 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 next season’s farming operation. They include Silos, Cribs, Rhombus, Storage Barns, Silage Pits, Compost Pits, Water Reservoirs, Fences, etc.
These are buildings in 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.
a. Farm Offices: In large farms, Farm offices serve administrative and management purposes in the farm business for some of the farm staff.
b. Residential Buildings: They provide convenient accommodation for farm staff; for enhanced and quality service delivery.
c. Security Posts: Security personnel and gadgets are housed here. This is to ensure the general security of the farm and farm personnel.
d. Green House: Here, crop plants are raised under controlled environment, especially for experimental, delicate, or out of season plants. The roof is covered with green or glass transparent materials, with regulated temperature.
e. Livestock Pens: These are buildings where farm animals are kept. For example: poultry house, hatcheries for layers, brooder houses for chicks, goat and pig pens, etc.
f. Utility Building: This building serves multi-purpose functions. These include: serving as cold store for storage of 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:
1. They offer proper and suitable environment for processing and storage of farm produce.
2. They provide storage facilities for fertilizers, agro-chemicals, farm tools and equipment.
3. Facilities are made available for housing farm animals and workers temporarily or permanently thus, giving them sense of security.
4. Farm animals and workers are protected from adverse weather conditions.
5. Provision of suitable farm structures and buildings make it convenient for farm workers to care for the farm animals.
6. 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 effective maintenance of farm structures and buildings:
i. Destroyed or Damaged fences should be mended or repaired.
ii. Metal storage structures should be coated or painted with aluminum to prevent rusting and reflect light.
iii. Leaking roof should be repaired.
iv. Cracks on walls and floors should be repaired.
v. Broken sewage, water pipes and taps should be mended.
vi. Damaged structures should promptly be replaced.
vii. Floors and walls should be swept clean and disinfected.
viii. Drainage Channels should be cleared regularly to avoid blockage.