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Lecture 8

Geography 1400F/G Lecture 8: Lec 8 – Landscape of Primary Activities

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Western University
Geography 1400F/G
Godwin Arku

Lecture 8 – Landscape of Primary Activities: Agriculture - Under economic geography (aspect of human geography) Categories of Economic Activities 1. Primary - What are primary activities? o Economic activities that are concern directly with natural resources of any kind - Any activity that deals with natural resources - Examples include: o Agriculture o Fishing, forestry o Gathering industries o Extractive industries (e.g. oil extraction) - First stage of the production cycle - Need the raw material to manufacture it into a finish product - Every product is from a primary resource - Canada is an advanced society but primary sector is still dominant o Canadian revenue: OIL and forest industry 2. Secondary - What are secondary activities? o Economic activities that process, transform, fabricate or assemble the raw materials derived from primary activities or that reassemble, refinish or package manufactured food - TRANSFORMATION STAGE - Industrial-related activities - Examples include: o Manufacturing o Processing o Construction o Power production 3. Tertiary - What are tertiary activities? o Activities where people offer their knowledge and time to improve productivity, performance, potential and sustainability - Examples include: o Wholesaling and retailing o Financial services o Personal and professional services o Working in a restaurant - Most advanced societies: tertiary is the most dominant in term of labour productivity and contributions to GDP - Sector focuses on people and how they use their knowledge and skills to improve productivity 4. Quaternary - What are quaternary activities? o Economic activities that deal with the handling and processing of knowledge and information as well as distribution - Examples of activities include – things that require technology: o Education o Information technologies o Research o Management - Stage because of improvements in technology A model of economic transition - Economies evolve over time - Economics are divided into 4 sectors - Pre-industrial economies: agriculture was dominant sector - As economy progresses and develops, productivity in agriculture declines - As a country advances and economy improves, contribution of primary sector declines - As primary declines, secondary increases o Those in agriculture are shifted to the industry - After the peak, contribution from secondary decreases and tertiary increases - Canada and USA: level of contribution from secondary and other sectors and coming down because economies are advancing past secondary - Advanced economies are in stage 3 - Developing countries are in the early stages because agriculture is still the main source of income - Industrializing = second stage - Canada took 150 years to get where we are today o Takes a long time to progress through the 4 stages Agriculture - Definition: o The science and practice of farming, including the cultivation of the soil and the rearing of the livestock - Key fact: o The most widespread and space-consuming activity globally o WHY!? ▪ Most space consuming of all other activities ▪ EVERYONE NEEDS TO EAT! ▪ Basic necessity of life ▪ Population is growing – need to meet the demand ▪ Easy – don’t need a degree to do it ▪ Easy to enter farming as a practice ▪ Industry – technological intensive – need knowledge to set up a factor ▪ For agriculture just need the space Agriculture land - Every region in the world – has crops or livestock - Varies from environment - Harsh environments = not much going on o Cannot raise livestock - Not all crops are grown evenly Labour force in agriculture - As high as 75% - as much as of population 75% are employed in their agriculture sector o STILL IN STAGE 1 o BULK OF POPULATION IS STILL IN AGRICULTURE - Canada: only 3% in agriculture - Economic advancements depend on the level of employment in agriculture Agricultural location problem Question - Why are specific agricultural activities located where they are? - Interested in knowing why things are where they are In order to answer, consider several factors: - Physical o Plants and animals need to survive in certain environmental conditions ▪ Too much or too little can harm their growth ▪ Can modify organisms but natural environment is still important in growth of crops o Climate change (e.g. temperature, moisture etc.) ▪ Certain crops and animals are in certain locations o Soils (depth, texture acidity, nutrient composition) o Topographical relief ▪ Soil erosion, exposure to sunlight - Technology – advances in biotechnology have improved agricultural productivity o High yield in seeds o High technology in a society = high agriculture = high yielding crops - Cultural – e.g. religious beliefs, and ethnicity o Which crops get grown in what area o Some religions forbid some animals o Some religions encourage the growing of certain seeds o Ethnicity: some crops are grow in some areas and not others - Political - the state policies may influence farmer’s behavior o Encourage farmers – subsidies to grow a particular crop - Supply and demand – agricultural products are produced in response to market demand for them (but note the difference between commercial and subsistence farming) o Low demand = DON’T PRODUCE o High demand = high supply o Commercial farmers: for large corporations and commercial use o Subsistence farmers: just need the family – survival purposes - Competition for land – conventionally land is assigned to the use that generates the greatest profits. o Compete with space with industry and residential o Agriculture does not make as much profit as industrial and residential o More land is given to other sectors over agriculture GMO – an ongoing debate - Genetically modified organisms - Arguments for: o Companies and big corporations o TNCs - Arguments against: o Small scale-farmers/family farms o Consumers that do not believe in technology or modifying genes of crops GMO – key debate issues - ARGUMENTS FOR: o Feed the world ▪ Population is growing o Stronger crops = less pesticides ▪ Better resistance to diseases ▪ Pesticides are harmful to the environment = reduced pesticides needed o Tampering for taste o Enhanced health - ARGUMENTS AGAINST: o Environmental risk ▪ Seeks migrate and destroy the environment and plants in other environments o Remember when cigarettes were harmless? ▪ Enhances health but don’t know the health impacts in the future ▪ No evidence today but need to be cautious – don’t know the effect that GMOs will have in the future o Big business eats small farmers o Nothing tastes better than nature – natural is better o GMOs are dangerous to eat because of longterm implications World agriculture today: types and regions - 9 different types of agriculture divided into subsistence and commercial farming - Farming is dependent on technology topography, government, climate, etc - Subsistence farming o Farming for survival, personal uses, feeding family o Needs more skill because feeding family - Primitive subsistence agriculture or “shifting” cultivation o Area is cleared of vegetation o More of clearing the landscape is not by tractors – through burning o Burn landscape to make it clear for cultivation and crops are grown on the same land for 2-4 years then the land is abundant o Farmers move to a different land for another 2-4 years  repeat o SHIFTING – FROM ONE LOCATION TO ANOTHER o Stay for 3-4 years then nutrients are exhausted and they are gone o Nutrient will come back after 5-10 years o GOAL: NUTRIENTS TO REPLENISH OVER TIME o Common in Africa and oldest system of agriculture o Practiced in low populations and where land is abundant ▪ Need a lot of land to be able to move - Wet rice farming o East Asia where rice is major food commodity o Grown in low, flat land areas o Close to water body because rice needs a lot of water to grow o Crops are submerged under slow moving water o Labour intensive o Bulk of activity is done by humans not machines o Harvesting can be done in multiple years (plant, harvest, plant, harvest) o Common in high populations – city areas o Land can be utilized for years - Pastoral nomadism o North Asia and Mongolia and Saharan Desert o Animals: extract milk and wool o Cattle, sheep, goat, camels o Decline: harsh conditions for animals to survive and lack of productivity - Mediterranean agriculture o Mild and wet o Cold winters and dry summers o Wheat, grapes, sheep and goats - Commercial farming o Undertaken by businesses or industries o For profit purposes o Food product in markets - Mixed farming o Farming animals AND crops together o Range of crops at the same time o Not a single commodity - Dairying - milk - Plantation agriculture o Common in South America - Ranching o Cattle, sheep - Large-scale grain production o Banana, coffee, coc
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