Economic Geography Grade 12 Notes pdf download for Term 3. Economic geography is the subfield of human geography which studies economic activity and factors affecting them . It can also be considered a subfield or method in economics. There are four branches of economic geography.

Structure of the Economy

There are 2 ways of measuring the importance and value of the economic sectors to the total economy of our country:

structure of the economy geography grade 12

What is the importance of contribution of agriculture to the economy of South Africa?

  • Agriculture gives jobs to more than 600 000 people;
  • Farm products provide raw materials for industry;
  • Agriculture has not maintained the relative importance it used to have. Although our agricultural exports were good, we still imported products.

Difference between small scale farming and large scale farming

Small-scale communal farming: Supply little to the market:

  • Farms are small so no surplus for sale;
  • Governments of homelands did not train people to farm;
  • Poor roads and distance to markets and ports very large;
  • Few areas have access to irrigation water;
  • Food produced is consumed by the family.

Large-scale commercial farming

These farms have for many years supplied South Africa’s demand for maize, fruit, sugar, eggs, wheat, pork, milk, and vegetables. Also most of the country’s need for beef, mutton, and chicken. Problems/Challenges of the present day:

  • Production costs increased (seeds, fertilisers, irrigation water, etc)
  • Government assistance and subsidies have been withdrawn;
  • Low value products have been cut.

Factors that favour and hinder agriculture in South Africa.

Factors favouring (promoting) agriculture in South Africa:

  • A range of climates support the production of many different agricultural products:
    • –  Warm wetter northern and eastern parts can grow tropical crops
    • –  Southwestern parts suitable for grapes, fruit and wheat.
  • Long growing season (200 frost-free days);
  • Flat land;
  • Rivers for irrigation;
  • Exotic crops have been added to indigenous crops;
  • Climate research;
  • Plant research.

Factors (problems) hindering agriculture in South Africa

  • Only 7% of land is arable;
  • Insufficient rain;
  • Unreliable rainfall;
  • Soils are poor with little humus;
  • Elimination of agricultural subsidies have forced farms to stop operating;

Bad farming practices in South Africa:

  •  Mono culture
  • Inadequate fallowing
  • Growing wrong crops
  • Overuse of fuel wood
  • Soil compaction
  • Over use of fertiliser
  • overgrazing
  • intensive tillage
  • overpopulation
  • deliberate burning
  • oil-acidification
  • Soil erosion.

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