Chapter 5. Primary Activities

Overview
• Human activities that generate income are called economic activities. Economic activities are broadly grouped into primary, secondary, tertiary & quaternary activities. Primary activities are directly dependent on environment as these refer to utilisation of earth’s resources such as land, water, vegetation, building materials and minerals.
• It, thus includes, hunting & gathering, pastoral activities, fishing, forestry, agriculture, and mining and quarrying.

Hunting and Gathering
• Hunting and gathering are two of man’s earliest primitive activities. Early humans lived in woodlands and hunted animals to survive. In beginning, human gathered numerous goods from trees to meet their needs. earliest human beings used to depend on their immediate environment for their sustenance. They include [a] animals which they hunted and [b] plants that they gathered from forests in vicinity.
• Because early humans used crude instruments like stones, twigs, & arrows to carry out these tasks, number of animals slaughtered was restricted. However, modern technology has resulted in widespread animal poaching, making hunting unlawful.
• gathering happens in places with high latitudes like North Canada, Northern Eurasia, and Southern Chile. It also happens in places with low latitudes like Amazon Basin, tropical Africa, and interiors of South-East Asia. This activity requires only a low level of technology and a small amount of money. Plants, leaves, bark, and other things of value are gathered and then sold in local markets with little processing. These products can’t compete on global market because synthetic products are better and less expensive.

Nomadic Herding
• Pastoral nomadism, called pastoral grazing, is a primitive activity in which herders move their animals from one location to another in search of food and water. herders rely on animals for Food, clothes, housing, tools, & transport.
• Cattle are raised in tropical Africa; sheep, goats, & camels in Sahara, Asiatic deserts; Yak, llamas in Tibet and Andes, and reindeer in Arctic and Sub-Arctic areas, depending on geographical circumstances. Mongolia, Central China, Eurasia, South-West Africa, and Madagascar are among other regions.

Pastoralism
• This includes animal domestication and pasture rearing. This can be done on a subsistence level [nomadic herding] or on a business one [commercial livestock rearing].

Commercial Livestock Rearing
• This practise is highly organised and capital intensive, and it is associated with western civilization. This activity takes place on large, permanent ranches.
• Breeding, genetic enhancement, disease prevention, and health care are all done using modern scientific technologies. Meat, wool, & hides are produced and exported to various international markets.
• ranches raise sheep, cattle, goats, & horses. Commercial livestock husbandry is concentrated in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay, SouthWest Africa, Western United States, and Central Asia.

Agriculture
• Agriculture is practised under multiple combinations of physical and socio-economic conditions, which gives rise to different types of agriculture systems.
• Based on methods of farming, different types of crops are grown and livestock is raised. following are main agricultural systems.

Primitive Subsistence Agriculture
• It is common in tropical areas of Africa and Middle East, Central America, and Southeast Asia. Milpa, Jhuming, & Ladang are some of names given to it in different regions.
• Slash and burn agriculture, or shifting agriculture, is another name for it. Cultivation is accomplished by clearing a plot of land with basic equipment. When soil loses its fertility after 3 to 5 years, fresh ground is cleared for cultivation.

Subsistence Agriculture
• Because farm is small, farmers consume all or virtually all of produce in this style of agriculture. Primitive subsistence agriculture and intense subsistence agriculture are two types of subsistence agriculture.

Intensive Subsistence Agriculture
• This sort of agriculture is common in monsoon Asia’s densely inhabited areas. Wet paddy cultivation and crops other than paddy are dominant in this form of farming.
• productivity per unit area is great, but land holdings are limited due to high population density, reduced use of machines, family labour, and usage of farm yard manures. Wheat, soybean, barley, & sorghum are some of other crops grown in Northern China, Manchuria, North Korea, and Southern India.

Extensive Commercial Grain Cultivation
• It is done in interiors of semi-arid mid-latitude regions such as Eurasian steppes, Canadian & American Prairies, Argentina’s Pampas, South Africa’s velds, Australia’s Downs, and New Zealand’s Canterbury plains.
• Wheat, corn, barley, oats, & rye are among crops cultivated. Because farms are so huge, agriculture is heavily mechanised. There is a low yield per acre but a high yield per person.

Plantation Agriculture
• Europeans introduced crops such as cocoa and coffee to West Africa, tea to India and Sri Lanka, rubber to Malaysia, sugarcane & banana to West Indies coconut and sugarcane to Philippines by Spanish, and so on.
• Agriculture is practised on large estates or plantations, requiring significant capital investment and scientific farming methods.

Mixed Farming
• North-Western Europe, Eastern-North America, sections of Eurasia, and temperate latitudes of Southern continents all practise this. Crop agriculture and animal husbandry are practised here.
• Wheat, barley, oats, rye, maize, fodder & root crops, as well as production of farm animals such as cattle, sheep, pigs, & chickens, are all used to supplement income.
• Crop rotation and intercropping methods are used, as well as a large capital investment is done in agricultural supplies.

Dairy Farming
• This is practised in North-Western Europe, Canada, South-Eastern Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania near urban and industrial centres. Feeding, milching equipment, animal buildings, storage facilities, veterinary services, and other costs add up quickly. This is time consuming because to necessity for meticulous animal care. Unlike crop farming, there is no off season during year.

Market Gardening and Horticulture
• This is practised in North-West Europe’s highly developed and industrialised regions, as well as North-East United States and Mediterranean. growing of Tulip flowers is a specialty of Netherlands.
• This style of farming focuses on high-value products such as vegetables, fruits, & flowers that are grown specifically for urban markets. Small, mechanised farms are norm. It necessitates both capital and labour.

Mediterranean Agriculture
• This is practised in Europe on both sides of Mediterranean, in North Africa from Tunisia to Atlantic coast, in Southern-California, some areas of Chile, in South-Western South Africa, and in SouthWestern Australia. This is a highly specialised commercial agriculture and a major citrus fruit provider.

Viticulture
• This refers to cultivation of grapes in Mediterranean regions. Inferior grapes are made into raisins and currants while superior grapes are processed into wines. Figs and olives are cultivated.

Truck Farming
• This refers to specialisation in cultivation of vegetables only. distance between farms and urban markets can be covered through trucks overnight, hence its name is called ‘truck farming.’

Factory Farming
• This refers to raising of livestock, primarily chickens and cattle. It is a capital-intensive process that necessitates ongoing maintenance, supervision, and scientific breeding. This is used in Europe and North America’s industrial zones.

Co-operative Farming
• Farmers form a co-operative organisation under this agricultural system by combining their resources willingly for more efficient and lucrative farming. Farm products are bought and sold with assistance of these co-operative societies. Individual farms are unaffected.
• Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, & Italy are among countries that practise it.

Collected Farming
• This is based on group labour and social ownership of means of production. Farmers pool their resources here, with exception of a small portion that they are allowed to keep for themselves.
• Produce is sold to government at predetermined prices. Members are compensated based on type of work they perform. It was first practised in Kolkhoz, in former Soviet Union.

Mining
• It refers to extraction of mineral resources from Earth. Its development began with industrial revolution.

Factors affecting Mining Activity
• mining industry is influenced by two variables. These are following:
(1) Physical variables relating to deposit size, grade, & mode of occurrence.
(2) Economic considerations such as mineral demand, technology, infrastructure development capital, labour, & transportation costs.

Methods of Mining
• There are two types of mining: surface mining and underground mining. Open cast mining is easiest and least expensive method because it is close to surface. Underground mining, which uses vertical shafts to get minerals from very deep mines, is other method. It needs to be done with lifts, drills, and other high-tech tools.
• Rich economies are getting out of mining because cost of labour is too high, but developing economies are becoming major exporters of minerals because they have a large labour force and want a better standard of living.

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