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Industry Characteristics

4 Examples of Primary Industry

 , updated on January 31, 2024
Primary industry is the sector of the economy that extracts and processes natural resources. This can be compared to secondary industry that turns natural resources into finished products such as manufacturing and construction businesses. The following are the basic types of primary industry.

Mining

Mining is the extraction and processing of valuable materials from the earth such as minerals, metals, gemstones, rock, salt and clay.

Forestry

Forestry is the practice of managing, harvesting and conserving forests and woodlands.

Agriculture

Growing crops or raising animals for food and raw materials. An estimated 1 billion people are employed in agriculture.

Fishing

Catching aquatic animals such as fish, molluscs, cephalopods, crustaceans and echinoderms. The term fishing is not used for the capture of aquatic mammals or the raising of fish in a fish farm. Fishing and aquaculture employs up to 500 million people directly and indirectly on a global basis.

Summary

Primary industries are the root source of the materials and energy that underpin all economic activity and human sustenance. On a global basis, a large number of people work in these industries. As they are involved with extracting resources from natural ecosystems, these industries also have a massive environmental footprint.
Overview: Primary Industry
Type
Definition
The sector of the economy that extracts and processes natural resources.
Related Concepts
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References

Labour - Over 1 billion people are employed in world agriculture, FAO Rural Infrastructure and Agro-industries Division, 2011.
Fisheries and Aquaculture in our Changing Climate Policy brief of the FAO for the UNFCCC COP-15 in Copenhagen, December 2009.

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