Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Farm Design - Is it REALLY necessary to have Roads Design?

In our Agriculture for Everybody blog series, we will see why Roads Design is necessary and what are the reasons for having the Roads and also how to go about planning the Roads.

If we do not plan Roads in the initial stage and if we grow plants all across the farm in a haphazard manner, we may end up cutting the plants at a later stage and end up losing monetarily and hence it is necessary to have roads planned ahead of the planting of the trees.

Why Roads are necessary?

Some of the reasons for having Roads are given below.  These are just a few reasons and there may be many more reasons depending on the situation of the farm.
  • Roads are necessary for transporting the goods from the farm
  • Roads are necessary for monitoring the entire farm using a vehicle
  • Roads are necessary for immediately attending to the injured persons and also for immediately rushing them to the hospital, if necessary

We will re-visit the Farm example that has been used in Crops Design just to establish the reason for Roads Design. Just to re-cap, the example is given below for easy reference.

Lets take a Farm (hypothetical example) having 10 acres and the crops grown are Teak, Mango, Coconut & Vegetables.  The farm has 2.5 acres allocated to the individual crops.

The Farm has the following design and the crops placement in it are given below.

Please note that the author does not recommend monoculture design and has taken the example for the sake of simplicity.

First 2.5 Acres - Vegetables (followed by)
Next 2.5 Acres - Coconut (followed by)
Next 2.5 Acres - Mango (followed by)
Next 2.5 Acres - Teak

  • In the above example, it is easy to carry the Vegetables using some bullock cart or even by a tricycle multiple times.
  • Carrying the Coconut is somewhat difficult as the load is heavy and the distance is more and hence we may go for a Tractor based vehicle.
  • We may go for Tractor based Vehicle or even Lorries to carry the Mangoes.
  • For carrying the Teak after harvest, we cannot use Bullock Cart or Tricycle or Tractor Vehicle.  It may be possible to use Lorries or even better using Truck Trailers is a good option.
  • As we can see, there may be different reasons for using different vehicles.  Hence, if we do not have proper roads, it is impossible to carry the goods from the farm to the outside world without much difficulty.

How many Roads are necessary?
  • Generally, it is advisable to have 2-3 kinds of roads in your farm.
  • The first one is similar to the National Highways which has wider roads and covers only the important routes.
  • The second one is similar to the State Highways which has roads big enough but less than the width of the National Highway.
  • The third one is similar to the roads we use often in our towns and cities and which is very small.
  • The National Highways road can be kept only for the roads from the entrance of the farm to the other end of the farm.
  • The State Highways can be used used to cover the boundaries as well as the left and right side of the four parts roads.
  • The City Roads can be created in the interior of the Farms by sub-dividing each part of the farm.

How much spacing needs to be provided for Roads?

  • Have a good understanding of the goods that needs to be transported.
  • Have a good understanding of the biggest vehicles in terms of length and width that needs to do transportation.
  • Are you okay to transport the goods multiple times using a smaller vehicle and if this is the case, we can compromise on the vehicle as well as the road size and also on the number of roads.