Physical geography of India and World
Economic and Human Geography of India and World

Primary Activities

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY- the activities of human which generates income are known as economic activity these are broadly grouped in following four

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Tertiary
  • Quaternary

This chapter is totally on the primary activity and remaining both we will read in the next two chapters.


Primary Activity

The activities which are totally dependent on the environment.

That is utilisation of earth resources such as land , water, vegetation, building material and minerals.

  • Hunting and gathering
  • Pastoralism
  • Fishing
  • Forestry
  • Agriculture
  • Mining
  • Quarrying

Hunting and Gathering

The earliest human depended on their immediate environment for their sustenance.

They subsisted on :

  1. Animal which they hunted
  2. The edible plant which they gathered from forest in the vacinity.

People located cold and extremely hot climate survived on hunting.

The early hunters used primitive tools made of stones or arrows so the number of animal killed was limited.

Gathering is practised in

  1. High lattitude zone: northern canada, northern Eurasia , southern chile.
  2. Low lattitude zone: amazon basin, tropical africa, northern fringe of australia and the interior part of south asia


After a long time People realise that hunting is an unsustainable activity, human being might have thought of an domestication of animal.

Depending on geographical factors and animal rearing today practised either at the subsistence or commercial level.

Nomadic Herding

It is activity in which the herders rely on animals for food , clothing, shelter , tools transport. They move for one place to another.

A wide variety of animals is kept in different regions .

In tropical africa , cattle are the most important livestock ,

In sahara and asiatic deserts sheep goat camel are reared.

In the mountain areas of Tibet and Andes, Yak and llamas.

Arctic and sub Arctic areas reindeer are the most important animals.



The use of minerals in ancient times was largely confined to the making of tools, utensils and weapons.

The actual development of mining bagan with the industrial revolution and its importance is continuously increasing.

Factors affecting the mining activity

The profitability of mining operations thus depends on two main factors:

(i) physical factors include the size , grade and the mode of occurrence of the deposits.

(ii) economic factors such as the demand for the mineral , technology available and used , capital to develop infrastructure and the labour and the transport costs.

Method of mining

depending on mode of occurrence and the nature of the ore , mining are of two types

  • Surface mining
  • Underground mining

Surface mining

Surface mining is the cheapest way of mining minerals occurs to the closed to the surface.

Overhead cost such as safety precautions and equipment are relatively low in this method

The output both large and rapid.

Underground mining

When the ore lies deep below the surface this method has to be used. Vertical shafts have to be sunk from where underground galleries radiate to reach minerals.

This method requires specially designed lift drills, haulage, vechiles, ventilation system for safe and efficient movement of people and mineral.

This method is risky.

Poisoning gases, fires, floods caving to lead in fatal accidents.

Several countries of Africa and a few of South America and Asia have over 50% of the earning from mineral alone.