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Primary and Secondary Activities of Mankind

Primary and Secondary Activities of Mankind


Economic activities of man


The activity of man by which he earns his livelihood is termed as an economic activity. Economic activities are mainly classified into five categories : primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary and quinary. Primary activities are directly dependent on environment, because it is carried out by the use of physical resources such as land, water, vegetation, building materials, minerals, etc. Hunting, food gathering, animal rearing, fishing, lumbering, agriculture, mining, etc are primary activities.

Such industries require vast markets, different kinds of raw materials, means of power, skilled labour, more capital, heavy machinery, metalled roads, railways, access to electricity, water, banking and insurance facilities, etc. Iron and steel industry, petrochemicals, automobiles, cement industry, etc. are examples of such type of industries. Here management is high value based and complex. Here more importance is given to the quality of product and specialization. In such industries, there is mass production, and the products are sent to far and wide markets for sale. Such industries have mainly developed after the Industrial Revolution. Such industries have been established in many countries of the world.

The Industrial Revolution took place in Europe in the 18th century. The revolution had its impact on agriculture, education, health, transport, communication and trade. Influence of the European people was spread across the world over. Europeans got advantage of natural resources of other continents and thus Europe became highly developed. During this period, colonial exploitation took place on Asian and African countries and they remained in underdeveloped status.

After the two world wars, due to adverse impact on environment, man began to think about his development. Shortly the information system developed. In the 1980s, knowledge gaining and sharing became an important profession in countries of western Europe. This resulted in information revolution of the 20th century. Telecommunications technology has opened doors for development of entire mankind.

  • Types of Economic Activities of Man


Economic activities of man are mainly classified into five categories :

(1) Primary activity : Hunting, forest gathering, fishing, animal rearing, mining, agriculture and related activities.
(2) Secondary activity : These activities add value to natural resources. Industry related activites are of this type. In it, man transforms raw materials into finished goods, e.g., steel from iron ore and cotton cloth from cotton.
(3) Tertiary activity : These activities include services. E.g., trade, transport, health, communication, education, entertainment and other services. Activities of electricians, technicians, shopkeepers, transporters, teachers, doctors, advocates, etc. is included in tertiary activities
(4) Quaternary activity : This includes special services offered by highly skilled persons. e.g.,industry, research and developmental services based on special knowledge, high level political and administrative services, information generation and analysis, beautician, telecommunication and other services.
(5) Quinary activity : Services of experts in specialized fields, services of administrative decision makers, advisory services by experts in various fields, services of new policy makers, etc are quinary services.

All these five types of man's activities are linked to each other and their borders also overlap. Due to all these five types of economic activities, knowledge based industries have developed, and made the world just like a small village. Residents of various continents have become interdependent. Now let us study all these five activities one by one.

  • Hunting and Gathering


In ancient times, all the people of the world subsisted as hunters and gatherers. In such economy, people led a nomadic life in search of food. They lived in small groups. They did not have own wealth. They hunted with stone tools. They wore leaves as clothes and made shelter out of local materials. People residing near coasts subsisted on fishes and other marine life. People of tropical regions did hunting and gathering of forest products. They lived in natural conditions. They led a self reliant life without making any change in environment. Presently, such people are seen in limited parts of Australia, Africa, North America and South America. Black Fellows of Australia, Pigmy and Bushman of Africa, Eskimo of Alaska, Lapps of Europe, Red Indians of America, Paliyans of south India and Semang of Malaysia are engaged in primary activities.

  • Animal rearing


Such industries require vast markets, different kinds of raw materials, means of power, skilled labour, more capital, heavy machinery, metalled roads, railways, access to electricity, water, banking and insurance facilities, etc. Iron and steel industry, petrochemicals, automobiles, cement industry, etc. are examples of such type of industries. Here management is high value based and complex. Here more importance is given to the quality of product and specialization. In such industries, there is mass production, and the products are sent to far and wide markets for sale. Such industries have mainly developed after the Industrial Revolution. Such industries have been established in many countries of the world.
Nomadic Herding

These nomadic herders, move with their cattle in specific areas. They are well aware of the seasons and weather. They have empirical knowledge of fodder and water sources. Their cattle are dependent on natural vegetation. Herders in areas of scanty rain domesticate sheep and goats. Nomadic herders domesticate sheep, cattle, camel, cow, ox, horse, mule, etc. This kind of animal rearing is done in the developing countries. These animal rearers obtain milk, meat, wool, hides and other animal products from their animals, and subsist on them. This kind of animal rearing is a typical case of ecological and cultural adjustment with the ecosystem. Here, the herders and their domesticated animals are interdependent and live as a single community.
There are seven regions of nomadic herding in the world : the Arctic region, the Eurasian Steppes region, South -West Asia, the Sahara Desert, the Arabian Desert, Savannah grasslands of Africa, Andes and highlands of Asia. The number of such herders is declining.

  • Commercial livestock rearing


Such industries require vast markets, different kinds of raw materials, means of power, skilled labour, more capital, heavy machinery, metalled roads, railways, access to electricity, water, banking and insurance facilities, etc. Iron and steel industry, petrochemicals, automobiles, cement industry, etc. are examples of such type of industries. Here management is high value based and complex. Here more importance is given to the quality of product and specialization. In such industries, there is mass production, and the products are sent to far and wide markets for sale. Such industries have mainly developed after the Industrial Revolution. Such industries have been established in many countries of the world.

  • Agriculture


Agriculture is supposed to have begun some 12000 years ago in the world. In the beginning, man hunted animals to obtain food, then he shifted to animal rearing by having closeness with animals. Animals were used as beast of burden, then with their help in farm activities, agriculture also began. Due to agriculture, man must have begun a sedentary life. Initially he chopped off trees to have open land for cultivation and began farming. AfterSuch industries require vast markets, different kinds of raw materials, means of power, skilled labour, more capital, heavy machinery, metalled roads, railways, access to electricity, water, banking and insurance facilities, etc. Iron and steel industry, petrochemicals, automobiles, cement industry, etc. are examples of such type of industries. Here management is high value based and complex. Here more importance is given to the quality of product and specialization. In such industries, there is mass production, and the products are sent to far and wide markets for sale. Such industries have mainly developed after the Industrial Revolution. Such industries have been established in many countries of the world.

Allied activities dependent on Agriculture


  • Obtaining milk and milk products from animal rearing
  • Obtaining wool, leather and meat from animals
  • Obtaining eggs and meat from poultry
  • Making pickles, murabba and juice, etc. through food processing industries dependent on various plantation crops.
  • Making perfumes and different medicines from flower cultivation.
  • Obtaining honey from apiculture


Mining


Such industries require vast markets, different kinds of raw materials, means of power, skilled labour, more capital, heavy machinery, metalled roads, railways, access to electricity, water, banking and insurance facilities, etc. Iron and steel industry, petrochemicals, automobiles, cement industry, etc. are examples of such type of industries. Here management is high value based and complex. Here more importance is given to the quality of product and specialization. In such industries, there is mass production, and the products are sent to far and wide markets for sale. Such industries have mainly developed after the Industrial Revolution. Such industries have been established in many countries of the world.
A mineral is a matter with a definite molecular structure, chemical composition and uniform characteristics, commonly occurring in solid but exceptionally in liquid or gaseous state. Minerals are mainly put under two main categories : 
(1) metallic minerals 
(2) non-metallic minerals. 

Iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, etc. are included in metallic minerals. Sulphur, mica, fluorspar, limestone, etc. are non-metallic minerals. Coal, mineral oil, natural gas, etc. are minerals used as power resources.
Cultivating mulberry trees for sericulture Pisciculture in farm ponds prepared in lower parts of fields or in rice fields
Planting medicinal plants in field shades or in open space 
Making edible oil by crushing oilseeds

Mining is of two types : 
(1) surface mining 
(2) underground mining. 

Surface mining is also known as open pit mining. Surface mining is easier, safe and less expensive. Minerals can be mined in huge quantities and quickly.
Such industries require vast markets, different kinds of raw materials, means of power, skilled labour, more capital, heavy machinery, metalled roads, railways, access to electricity, water, banking and insurance facilities, etc. Iron and steel industry, petrochemicals, automobiles, cement industry, etc. are examples of such type of industries. Here management is high value based and complex. Here more importance is given to the quality of product and specialization. In such industries, there is mass production, and the products are sent to far and wide markets for sale. Such industries have mainly developed after the Industrial Revolution. Such industries have been established in many countries of the world.

  • Secondary activities of man


All economic activities are related to procurement and use of resources. All types of resources are very useful to mankind. Due to secondary activities, value of natural resources is greatly enhanced. As raw material gets transformed into finished good it becomes valuable. Value of thread is more than cotton from which it is made. Threads are used for making cloth. In brief, a production activity that transforms raw material into more valuable products is called 'manufacturing activity'. Activity in which products of primary sector are used is called secondary activity. Geographers use the word 'industry' to describe that activity which is related to primary products obtained from agriculture, forest, fishing and mining. To distinguish from primary activity, industry is classed as secondary activity.

Such industries require vast markets, different kinds of raw materials, means of power, skilled labour, more capital, heavy machinery, metalled roads, railways, access to electricity, water, banking and insurance facilities, etc. Iron and steel industry, petrochemicals, automobiles, cement industry, etc. are examples of such type of industries. Here management is high value based and complex. Here more importance is given to the quality of product and specialization. In such industries, there is mass production, and the products are sent to far and wide markets for sale. Such industries have mainly developed after the Industrial Revolution. Such industries have been established in many countries of the world.

  • Household Industry (Cottage Industry)


Cottage industry is the smallest form of manufacturing. A craftsman or a sculptor with the help of his family members and simple tools, makes certain things using locally available material. Here, the production cost is very low. The products are sold in the local market. Potter, blacksmith, cobbler, etc. produce items as per their traditional household industry. In countries of Asia and Africa, even today goods are produced by household industries. Some of these goods have more demand in the developed countries. Capital and transport do not have any significant influence on such industries. Clothes, carpets, utensils, furniture, small idols, items of stone and clay utensils, leather products, footwear, gold or copper ornaments, items of bamboo are prepared by household industries.

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1 Response to "Primary and Secondary Activities of Mankind"

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