Primary sector of the economy

The primary sector of the economy includes any industry involved in the extraction and collection of natural resources; such as farming, forestry, mining and fishing.[1][2]

The primary sector tends to make up a larger portion of the economy in developing countries than it does in developed countries. For example, in 2018, agriculture, forestry, and fishing comprised more than 15% of GDP in sub-Saharan Africa[3] but less than 1% of GDP in North America.[4]

Mining in 19th-century South Wales provides a case study of how an economy can come to rely on one form of activity.[5]

In developed countries primary sector has become more technologically advanced - witness for instance the mechanization of farming as opposed to hand-picking and -planting.[6] More developed economies may invest additional capital in primary means of production. As an example, in the United States' corn belt, combine harvesters pick the corn, and sprayers spray large amounts of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, producing a higher yield than is possible using less capital-intensive techniques. These technological advances and investment allow the primary sector to employ a smaller workforce - in this way, developed countries tend to have a smaller percentage of their workforce involved in primary activities, instead having a higher percentage involved in the secondary and tertiary sectors.[7]

Developed countries are allowed to maintain and develop their primary industries even further due to the excess wealth. For instance, European Union agricultural subsidies provide buffers against fluctuating inflation-rates and prices of agricultural produce. This allows developed countries to export their agricultural products at extraordinarily low prices. This makes them extremely competitive against those of poor or underdeveloped countries that maintain free-market policies and low or non-existent tariffs to counter cheap goods.[8][9][10] Such price differences also come about due to more efficient production in developed economies, given farm machinery, better information available to farmers, and (often) larger scale.

Some economies exhibit a particular emphasis on the basic food-providing parts of the primary sector (farming and fishing), wishing to guarantee via autarky in food-production that citizens can eat even in extreme circumstances (such as war,[11] blockade,[12] or sanctions). The agricultural revolution may not have preceded the industrial revolution entirely by chance.

List of countries by agricultural output[edit]

Largest countries by agricultural output (in PPP terms) according to IMF and CIA World Factbook, at peak level as of 2018
Economy
Countries by agricultural output (in PPP terms) at peak level as of 2018 (billions in USD)
(01)  China
2,101
(02)  India
1,602
(03)  Indonesia
486
(—)  European Union
352
(04)  Pakistan
284
(05)  Nigeria
253
(06)  Brazil
209
(07)  Russia
196
(08)  United States
185
(09)  Iran
162
(10)  Turkey
155
(11)  Egypt
154
(12)  Thailand
109
(13)  Vietnam
108
(14)  Bangladesh
108
(15)  Argentina
101
(16)  Mexico
100
(17)  Philippines
92
(18)  Myanmar
89
(19)  Algeria
87
(20)  Malaysia
84

The twenty largest countries by agricultural output (in PPP terms) at peak level as of 2018, according to the IMF and CIA World Factbook.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Primary sector of the economy". Economics Help. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  2. ^ Kjeldsen-Kragh, Søren (2007). The Role of Agriculture in Economic Development: The Lessons of History. Copenhagen Business School Press DK. p. 73. ISBN 978-87-630-0194-6.
  3. ^ "Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP) | Sub-Saharan Africa". World Bank Open Data. 2018. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  4. ^ "Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP) | North America". World Bank Open Data. 2018. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  5. ^ Mining: it's only a word Archived 2007-01-23 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate) - Data". data.worldbank.org.
  7. ^ H Dwight H. Perkins: Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, Vol. 31, No. 1, China's Developmental Experience (Mar., 1973)
  8. ^ WTO MINISTERIAL OUTCOME IMBALANCED AGAINST DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Archived 2006-08-23 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Third World Farmers Hit by Unfair Rules Archived 2006-09-09 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "U.S. subsidies help big business, but crush farmers from developing countries". www.finalcall.com.
  11. ^ See for example Prodrazvyorstka and Dig for victory.
  12. ^ See Blockade of Germany and Blockade of Germany (1939–1945).

Further reading[edit]

  • Dwight H. Perkins: Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, Vol. 31, No. 1, China's Developmental Experience (Mar., 1973)
  • Cameron: General Economic and Social History
  • Historia Económica y Social General, by Maria Inés Barbero, Rubén L. Berenblum, Fernando R. García Molina, Jorge Saborido

External links[edit]