O Level Notes : Geography - Agriculture And Land Reform - Agri-Business

Agribusiness refers to agricultural activities conducted strictly on commercial principles. It includes all industries dealing with agricultural produce and services utilized in farming system.

The term agribusiness was coined by Goldberg and Davis (1951), it involves production of farm machinery, agro chemicals, crop production, breeding, distribution of farm produce and marketing of agricultural related products

Types of agribusiness in Zimbabwe 

Zimbabwe's economy is agro based since almost 80% of its population survives on agriculture related activities. Such a set up creates a fertile ground for the conception of several agribusinesses. 

The following agribusiness are common in Zimbabwe: 

Herb growing

Of late there has been a shift by people from current medicines prescribed by health practioners in clinics and hospitals to the use of herbs since they are believed to be effective in the treatment of different ailments and have less side effects. Such a drastic shift has made herb growing a lucrative agribusiness. Herbs like aloevera, mint and moringa can be grown at home or farm and generate income when they are sold. 

Vegetable farming

A variety of vegetables can be grown, harvested and sold to generate money for self-sustainance. Some of the vegetables which can be grown are cabbages, carrots, beans, spinach and peas. 

Fruit growing

Education offered on good health tips have opened a vast market for fruits. In Zimbabwe fruits such as apples, pine apples, bananas, oranges, plums and peaches can be grown for sell. In addition these fruits can be processed further to produce fruit based products like drinks, jam and fruit juice. 

Fish farming

Fish farming is also one of the fast growing agribusiness in Zimbabwe. In most cases, fish farming is practised in large tanks or enclosures in which fish is raised. Some schools in Mutare district have embarked on aquaculture as an income generating project and as a means of inculcating entrepreneur skills in learners, for example, Karirwi Primary School.

Mushroom farming

In Zimbabwe, another brisk agribusiness is mushroom farming. Different types of mushroom are grown for sale. 

Bee keeping

Bee keeping has of late been considered as one of the most viable agribusiness since it leads to honey production. The honey obtained can be sold to consumers or to processors. Moreover, bee wax collected can be sold to processing companies or individuals who further process it to make final products like candles. 

Hatchery business

In Zimbabwe, many people are now into hatchery projects, for example, communal farmers. In Zimunya area, they have their hatchery equipment situated at Dzobo Primary School. They procure eggs from the local people and hatch chicks for sell and they also assist locals to hatch the eggs for a fee. 

Sources of funding for small scale agribusiness

There is a multi-billion financial gap worldwide due to a continued expansion of markets for food items mainly caused by growth in both income and population increase. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, it is estimated that about $11 billion is needed annually to finance agribusiness. Although there are limited sources of funding for small scale agribusiness, there are some available in Zimbabwe which are: 

Local banks, for example, Agribank offers loans to finance agribusiness.

In Zimbabwe, Development Finance Institutions also avails loans for small scale agribusiness. Some of these finance institutions are Microplan Finance and Get bucks. 

Informal credit facilitates are also a source of funds for agribusiness and locally its called "mikando". 

Agribusinesses can also be financed through corporative efforts, where people with little venture capital pull together their monetary resources to finance their agribusiness.

Agribusiness  is  also  financed  by  non-governmental  organisations  such  as SustainableAgricultural Trust (SAT) and Youth Dialogue Zimbabwe.

In Zimbabwe farmers can also obtain financial assistance through the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Cooperation (SEDCO).


The significance of agribusiness to the individuals and the economy

Agribusiness creates several benefits to both the individual and the economies of countries in which they are practiced. 


Advantages of agribusiness on the individuals

  • To many families and individuals, agribusiness is a source of livelihood.
  • Families earn a living through selling of agricultural products and other agricultural related products.
  • There is general improvement in the people's standards of living as people can now afford a better diet.
  • Ensures a health life through increased access to a balanced diet.
  • Agribusiness farms offer hands on training to farm workers which can be utilized to search for employment in the future.



Advantages of agribusiness to the economy

Agribusiness ensure food security hence it aids the country's economy since there will be no need for the government to incur cost in purchasing food items to feed its populace. Agribusiness also creates numerous employment opportunities which help in reducing unemployment rates by absorbing school leavers.



Where agribusiness is done efficiently, it increases the gross domestic product of a country. At times agriusiness products are exported to other countries thereby generating the much needed foreign currency to the host economy. Agribusiness operations require the use of machinery and agro chemicals. The presence of such demand aids to the country's economy since it avails a ready market for its agro



Agribusiness also plays a crucial role in the economy of a country because it supplies agro industries with raw materials, for example, a bee keeping agri business operating formerly is taxed. However, it should be noted that over 50% of players  in  agribusiness  are  operating  informally.  Their  businesses  are  not registered so the government is losing a lot of money from such activities. 

Here is what we have discussed in this topic

  • Climate change affects agriculture
  • Climate change is caused by human and physical factors
  • There are several ways to mitigate against the effects of climate change
  • Pests and  diseases  can  be  controlled  using  biological  and  chemical methods
  • Urban agriculture is practiced on intensive basis, making maximum use of open spaces in towns and cities
  • Urban agriculture leads to severe environmental problems though it contributes positively socially and economically
  • Agri-business has  become  a  lucrative  form  of  agriculture  in  most countries

Definition of terms used in this topic 


Agribusiness: it refers to the management of a farm as a business. It involves production, processing and marketing.

Capital: any form of money used to start a business or human capital.

Climate  change:  it  is  a  shift  in  the  average  weather  or  climatic  patterns experienced by given areas

Eutrophication:    it is a process through which excess inorganic fertilisers are deposited into water bodies thereby causing water pollution.

Pest: is any animal or organism detrimental to plant and animal health.