Primary sector of the economy

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The primary sector of the economy includes any industry involved in the extraction and production of raw materials, such as farming, forestry, fishing and mining. [1] [2] [3]


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 [4] but less than 1% of GDP in North America. [5]

In developed countries the primary sector has become more technologically advanced, enabling for example the mechanization of farming, as compared with hand-picking and -planting in poorer countries. [6] More developed economies may invest additional capital in primary means of production: for 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, so 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]

List of countries by agricultural output

Largest countries by agricultural output (in PPP terms) according to IMF and CIA World Factbook, at peak level as of 2018
Countries by agricultural output (in PPP terms) at peak level as of 2018 (billions in USD)
(01) Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
(02) Flag of India.svg  India
(03) Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia
(—) Flag of Europe.svg  European Union
(04) Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan
(05) Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria
(06) Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
(07) Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
(08) Flag of the United States.svg  United States
(09) Flag of Iran.svg  Iran
(10) Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey
(11) Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt
(12) Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand
(13) Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam
(14) Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh
(15) Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
(16) Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
(17) Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines
(18) Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar
(19) Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria
(20) Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia

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

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  1. Chand, S. N. (2006). Dictionary of economics. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers & Distributors. p. 268. ISBN   81-269-0535-2. OCLC   297507928.
  2. "primary producer". . HarperCollins. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
  3. 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.
  4. "Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP) | Sub-Saharan Africa". World Bank Open Data. 2018. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  5. "Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP) | North America". World Bank Open Data. 2018. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  6. "Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate) - Data".
  7. H Dwight H. Perkins: Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, Vol. 31, No. 1, China's Developmental Experience (March 1973)

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