001 - Agriculture

Syllabus Point

Hot, arid areas: examine (AO3) the opportunities for agriculture in these areas, the distinction between aridity and infertility, the importance of irrigation and risk of salinisation, and the processes and factors involved in desertification.

Taken by Ellena Mart in the Draa Valley, Morocco.

Key Terminology

  • Examine
  • Aridity
  • Infertility
  • Salinisation
  • Desertification
Define the words above using the 'Command Word' posters in the classroom, your 'Geography Course Companion' by Nagle and Cooke and the useful links below.

Useful Links



Activity One - Watch

Farming the Desert


  • As you watch the youtube clip above suggest what challenges and opportunities there are for farming in the desert. Create a mind map of your thoughts. 




Activity Two - Comprehension

Taken From: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51ftUaAsweL._SX358_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Using the textbook 'Arid Environment' by Cole pages 70, 81-82, 107-114, 94 answer the following questions:
  1. What are the the challenges for farming within an arid or semi-arid region?
  2. What are the desert soils like?
  3. Why is farming difficult using these desert soils?
  4. Describe the different irrigation techniques that are used in arid regions. 
  5. What are the problems caused by traditional irrigation techniques in arid regions. Create a case study. You can use Morocco and the Draa Valley to answer this question.
  6. What are the modern methods of irrigation found in arid regions? Think Colorado River.
  7. What problems can be created by using modern methods of irrigation? Link to the Freshwater Unit.
  8. Create a detailed example of the impacts of irrigation on the Colorado River. Remember a detailed example includes a short description and at least three pieces of data.
  9. How does salinisation occur?
  10. How can salinisation be reduced?
  11. Create a detailed example for an area in the world that suffers from salinisation. 

Useful Resources


Activity Three - Desertification

  • Collect a piece of A3 paper and three different coloured pens.
  • Watch the youtube clip below and write notes on the causes, consequences and management of desertification. 
  • Use a different colour for the cause, consequence and management.

Ted Talk - How to Green the World


  • Using the textbook 'Arid Environments' by Cole pages 86-106 'flesh out' your notes from the youtube clip. The syllabus point suggests you could be asked to complete an essay on this topic so make sure you have a case study for desertification.

Useful Resource