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NCERT 12 Human geography Chap 5: Primary Activities part I

  1. Human activities which generate income are known as economic activities.
  2. Economic activities are broadly grouped into primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary activities.
  3. Primary activities are directly dependent on environment.
  4. Dependent on environment refers to utilization of Earth resources such as land, water, building materials, minerals.
  5. It includes hunting and gathering, pastoral activities, fishing, forestry, agriculture and mining and quarrying.
  6. People engaged in primary activities are called red-collar workers due to the outside nature of the work.
    hunting and gathering
  7. The earliest human depended on their immediate environment for their sustenance.
  8. They subsisted on :
        a. animals which they hunted
                b. the edible plants ;gathered from near forest
  9. Primitive society depended on wild animals.
  10. Survive on hunting
  11. Gathering and hunting are the oldest economic activity known.
  12. Gathering is practiced in regions with harsh climatic conditions.
  13. Gathering is practiced in :
  • High altitude region which include northern Canada, northern Eurasia and southern chili
  • Low altitude zone like Amazon basin ,tropical Africa, northern fringe of Africa
  • In modern time, gathering is market-oriented and commercial.
  • Gatherers collect valuable plants like leaves, barks of trees, medicinal plants
  • Gathered objects go to be processed and sold-out

  • Some known gathered products are quinine, tannin extract ,corks,rubber,gum,resins ,balata

  1. Pastoralism : domestication of animals
  2. Nomadic Herding: it is also called pastoral nomadism is a primitive subsistence activity.
  3. In it herders rely on animal for food, clothing, shelter, tools and transport. Their move from place to place with all livestock .
  4. Each nomadic community occupies a well-defined territory as matter of tradition.
  5. In tropical Africa, cattle are the most important livestock
  6. In Sahara and Arabic desert, sheep, goat and camels are important.
  7. In mountainous areas of Tibet and Andes ,Yak and llamas are livestock
  8. Sub arctic area, reindeers are important animals.
  9. Pastoral nomadism is associated with 3 important regions.
  • The core region extends from Atlantic shores of North Africa eastward across Arabian Peninsula into Mongolia and Central China.
  • The second region extends over the tundra region of Eurasia.
  1. The process of migration from plain area to pastures on mountain during summers and again from mountains to plain area during winter is known as transhumance
  2. The number of pastoral nomads has been decreasing and area is shrinking due to some reasons
  • Imposition of political boundary
  • New settlement plans by different countries

  1. Associative Commercial livestock rearing : unlike nomadic herding , more organized and capital intensive ed with western cultures and practiced on permanent ranches.
  2. Ranches covered in large areas and divided into a number of parcels which are fenced to regulate grazing.
  3. Movement toward parcels over time and availability and number decided by carrying capacity of pasture.
  4. It is specialized activity in which only one type of animal is reared.
  5. Sheep, cattle, goats, horse are some animals.
  6. Meat, wool, hides and skin are products.
  7. Emphasis on breeding, genetic improvement, disease control and health care of animals.

  8. Practiced in New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Uruguay and United States of America commercially.

  9. It is practiced under multiple combinations of physical and socio-economic conditions, which give rise to different types of agro-cultural systems.
  10. Subsistence agriculture: 2 types' primary subsistence agriculture and Intensive subsistence agriculture.
  11. Primary subsistence agriculture: or shifting cultivation by many tribes in the tropics of Africa, South and Central America and south-east Asia.
  12. In this system, vegetation fired and ashes add to the fertility of the soil .also known as slash and burn agriculture.
  13. Jhumping in north eastern states of India .Milpa in Central America &Mexico. Lading in Indonesia and Malaysia.
  14. They use old tools are farms run for 5-6 yrs mostly
  15. Intensive subsistence agriculture: largely found in densely populated regions of monsoon Asia.
  16. 2 type of intensive subsistence farming
  • Intensive subsistence farming dominated by wet paddy cultivation : high yield but labor productivity low
  • Intensive subsistence farming dominated by crops other than paddy: due to water availability and climatic reason, other crops are farmed.
  1. Wheat, soybean, barley and sorghum are grown in china, Manchuria, North Korea and North Japan.
  2. In India, wheat is grown in western part of indo-Gangatic plains.
  3. Millets are grown in dry parts of western and southern parts of India.
Plantation agriculture:

  1. Introduced by Europeans in colonies situated in tropics.
  2. Tea, coffee, cocoa, rubber, cotton, oil palm, sugarcane, bananas and pineapples are some examples.
  3. Characteristics of this type of farming is :
  • Large capital investment
  • Managerial and technical support
  • Scientific method of cultivation
  • Single crop specialization
  • Cheap labor
  • A good system of transport needed to connect to factory
  1. The French established cocoa and coffee plantation in West Africa.
  2. The British setup large tea gardens in India and Sri Lanka., rubber plantation in Malaysia and sugarcane and banana plantations in west-indies.
  3. Today, ownership of majority of plantations into hands of Govt.


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