Primary Industry

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Primary Industry

Primary industries within the geographical context relate to the extraction of raw materials from the sea or land. Some examples relate to fishing, forestry, agriculture, mining or oil. The extraction of these core materials plays a key role to reach overall sustainability. It also ensures the survival of humankind through the use of these different resources.

Some resources allow us access to food while others provide us with the ability to stay warm or keep our vehicles from running. The extraction of the primary resources became an important global discussion because many of our resources experience threats. These threats include, for example, and extinction of our fishing communities, decline in oil resources and finding new ways of preventing pollution.

The extraction industry relies significantly on the availability of resources directly from our planet. If we impact the availability of these resources, it creates diverse problems from a macro to a micro-level.

The Primary Industry plays a key role in the daily survival efforts of humankind, the support to poor communities and the continuous development of a balanced life. Many communities rely on the Primary Industry to gain income, food, and energy to keep warm. This section remains one of the key industries globally. Before we discuss the impacts of our activities on the Primary Industry, let us see what the concept means.

What are Primary Industries?

Primary Industries normally basis itself on the basic principles of produce or production processes. Meaning it involves the removal of original or raw material. As mentioned before, it relates to the mining sector for example during the removal of iron ore. These resources play a key role to feed into secondary industries and allow for further refinement of the resources. The determination of the values normally aligns directly with the minerals. 

For us to grasp the meaning of an industry, we need to understand what the term means. An industry relates to a group of organisations who mainly take part in the manufacturing or production of specific products or services. The Primary Industry does not necessarily provide a service but focuses more on the extraction of natural resources.

What types of Primary Industries exist?

Primary Sector

The primary industry plays a key role to start and maintain the economy of the world and countries. The industries focus on the production of raw materials by the use of human interference during the production phase. In the extractive industry, one cannot cultivate the material. This is different when looking at agriculture or crop growing activities. 

Primary Industries we notice in many shapes and sizes. Some industries for example fisheries offer small-scale communities or large industrial fishing activities. Other examples relate to the planting of trees and logging. Many times industries rely on local forestry businesses to provide them with trees, and other times corporate companies plant them on a large scale basis.

What are the characteristics of Primary Industries?

The role of the Primary Industries transformed, especially in developed countries. Agricultural industries, for example, became more technology orientated than traditional methods of planting or picking. In some developed countries also the use of insecticides plays a key role to ensure higher productions. The negative side of following a more technical approach relates to a lesser workforce.

Another approach by developed countries aims to use the primary industries to enhance their wealth systems. The European Union attempts to manage its inflation-rates aligned with the production of agricultural products, for example. It makes the market exceptionally competitive.

Governments aim to keep the Primary Industry costs reasonable and protected from external influences. In the past and present, these industries struggled with extensive impacts because of war or famine. An impact on the Primary Industry lead to large-scale communities living without food for example. It, therefore, remains critical to keep a balance when impacting on countries who rely on Primary Industries.

What are the Primary Industry Roles?

The Primary Industry exists for many reasons and aligns drastically with how a country manages its economic status. Developing companies focus more on the Primary Industry than the developed countries. Let us see the main aspects and challenges the industry comprises:

Export Returns allow for the use of natural resources to collect income and export profits. For example, the selling of natural gas or oil allowed for extensive economic growth in developing countries. It allowed them to collect capital and invest their funds in different infrastructure developments. Successful countries, in this case, relate to Saudi Arabia for example. Russia also displays an example of a country that supply the West with natural gas.

In other countries, the export of Prime Industry minerals presented a more negative effect. In Africa, for example, significant examples of mining by external companies happened with a limited progressive impact on the local economies. Meaning limited portion of the profits made returned to the communities impacted by the mining developments. 

Primary Industries continue to experience significant price differences because of their sensitive nature and unpredictability. Many times we see an increase in gas or petrol rates because of a change in oil prices.

Other characteristics related to a significant emphasis on the primary sector without developing the secondary part. Countries, therefore, rely on their Primary Industries and stay behind in large scale technological developments.

The Primary Industry create significant employment opportunities for individuals in the mining, agriculture, fishing, and forestry sectors. If a decline happens, it impacts on their ability to keep the economy from moving into a recession. Besides the issues related to the workforce, sometimes the oversupply of certain materials, for example, iron ore impacts the price. In the event of experiencing too much of a specific mineral, the share prices drop and with this to keep the industries sustainable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main sectors in the Primary Industry environment? 

The Primary Industry environment focuses on the extracting sectors for example mining but also other types inclusive of fishing, forestry, and agriculture.

Is the Primary Industry typical of a developing or developed country? 

The Primary Industry occurs in developing and developed countries. Mostly the developed countries rely more on technologically advanced methods to manage the activities within the Primary Industry and become less work-intensive. Your developing countries rely on a larger workforce to maintain their agricultural environment, for example.

What are the effects of the Primary Industry on the economy of a country? 

In most circumstances, the Primary Industry tends to display a more volatile status in developing than developed countries. The industry plays a significant role to maintain the economy of a country, but with different variations. Mostly during a decline in the Primary Industry in a developing country, the economic impacts seem a lot more extensive. This relates to their reliance on this industry instead of secondary activities.

Can we live without the Primary Industry? 

Although some countries became more advanced in the fields of Secondary industries, it remains a critical part of any economy. Globally scientists aim to find methods that allow for the development of alternative food and energy resources. Still, humankind needs the Primary Industry to create food and energy for survival.

Is the Primary Industry experiencing threats? 

Globally the Primary Industry experience threats because of overpopulation, famine, war or political instability. This industry stays significantly sensitive towards any internal or external influences. 


Cite/Link to This Article

  • "Primary Industry". Geography Revision. Accessed on January 26, 2021.

  • "Primary Industry". Geography Revision, Accessed 26 January, 2021.

  • Primary Industry. Geography Revision. Retrieved from