1. Vegetables Industry
  2. California: veggies and fruits
  3. Curious case of oranges
  4. Von Thunen Agro land use model
  5. Viticulture, Grapes, Liquor
  6. Government policy Impact
  7. Viticulture India
  8. Mock Questions

In the previous article, we discussed the geographical factors affecting location of Meat, Poultry and Pig rearing industry. Moving to the next topic:

Vegetables Industry: Geographical factors

Fresh vegetables are widely grown near major markets because

  1. Product=perishable.
  2. Urban Consumer want it fresh and has the purchasing power.
  3. high value product= veggie/fruit farmer can risk to buy/rent the more expensive land near city areas (compared to a wheat/corn farmer)

Exception: Apples, Oranges, Mangoes etc. they need particular climate, they can’t be grown everywhere.

California: veggies and fruits

California=leading producer fruits, veggies and nuts, viz

  1. Asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach etc.
  2. orange, lemon, melon, grapes, peaches
  3. fig, dates, wallnuts, almond, pistachios
Why California leading producer?
Factor impact
Climate Mediterranean type = suitable for the fruits/nuts
  • Dams on Sacramento River and feather River
  • Contra Costa Canal for irrigation
  • Efficient system of user-fees for getting water in farms
  • Weeding, harvesting in veggi/fruit =require a sizeable labor force.
  • Mechanization= not that easy like in Corn/cotton.
  • But problem solved with the help of illegal/less-educated Mexican immigrant workers.
  • Since product =perishable=has to be transported via truck quickly to market.
  • California has good roads/highways=trucks cover a greater distance in the given time= area under truck farming is higher than in India or elsewhere.
  • Los Angeles=Hollywood + Silicon Valley.
  • Lot of people in service sector=Standard of living is high= junta diet conscious=good demand for fresh veggies/fruits.
  • Farmers have turned into agri-business manager: marketing and distribution in corporate level efficiency.
  • Costal location =processed/frozen products can be exported to Singapore, Hongkong, Japan etc. where std. of living high=demand

Curious case of oranges

Orange are grown in both California and Florida, But

state What is done to oranges?
California most of them sold fresh as ‘fruits’
Florida Most of them turned into concentrated juice.

Recall the dairy sector: area faraway from market=high transport cost=product has to be ‘concentrated’ to increase its value and shelf-life. In case of oranges

Cali itself has a big domestic market due to Silicon Valley and urbanized, service sector oriented economy=higher std. of living=junta consumes more fruits.
Florida Florida is far away from the urban posh people of NY, LA or Europe.Florida is surrounded by ‘backward’ states like Georgia and Alabama. Hence local/regional demand=not that high=> product must be concentrated (fruit to concentrated-preserved juice) before sending to faraway market.

Fruit for thought: Analyze the situation for Himachal Apples, Nagpur Oranges and Andhra Mangoes.

Von Thunen Agro land use model

  • farmers near cities grow vegetables, fruits, milk
  • while famers faraway from cities grow foodgrains
  • farmers extremely faraway from cities rear sheep/goat etc.

Why ^this type of pattern/distribution? Von Thunen explained it with a theory:

  • Farmer like any other businessman wants to maximize profit.  But his profit depends on three variables:
  • P=V-(E+T)
  • Profit P=Value of his produce (V) MINUS [production expenses (E) + transport cost(T)]
  • without going into all details, when you plot a graph of distance vs profit for various crops/agro-activities…the ultimate wisdom is:

As the farmer moves away from the city, number of profitable options decreases. Since Transport cost gets higher, he has to pick an activity with lower production cost (e.g. sheep grazing.) to make any profit.
if you apply Van Thunen on Delhi:

place Relative distance from Delhi What will they do?
Haryana, Agra nearest dairy
Punjab medium wheat
Jammu farthest sheep/goat grazing

For USA, if you consider New York as only “city” of the whole USA, then observe following map:

Von Thunen model USA Food industry

If you consider London as the only city of the world, then

place Relative distance from London What will they do?
Denmark nearest dairy
Canada medium wheat
Australia farthest sheep rearing
  • Although it doesn’t mean nobody grows vegetables or milk in Australia. At local scale they too have their vegetable, dairy production near their big cities.
  • Van Thunen doesn’t apply to specialty crops such as oranges, apples- they’ll only be grown where climate/soil permits them, irrespective of proximity from market.

Viticulture, Grapes, Liquor

Q. Why do Mediterranean countries lead in this grape/wine business?

factor impact
Climate Grapes hate cold=> not grown beyond 50 Degree North and 40 Degree south latitude.
topography Grapevines like plenty of sunshine

  • in northern hemisphere, grown on the hills facing South
  • in southern hemisphere, grown on the hills facing north

^This is done to provide maximum sunlight

  • grapevines do not require plenty of water. (unlike Sugar)
  • Their roots can penetrate deep for sucking water. = can grow in semi-arid regions of Mediterranean
  • The grapevines themselves shed the ground in summer= soil remains cool + less moisture loss.
soil Grapes like calcium. France-Italy hill have chalk/limestone=good for growth.
  • grapes requires personal attention
  • The grapes grown in one farm are not same as those from another farm.
  • Even slight variation in temperature, precipitation, sunshine, soil, drainage, manure, method of fermentation and storage can make all difference in the final wine.
  • Mediterranean countries have dense population and long history of cultivation =skilled labour available
  • In California, Grapevine harvested using machine but not possible in Europe because hill slopes and small farms.
raw material
  • Grapes= perishable.
  • Wine=non-perishable, can be stored for years, infact its vale increases with age.
  • Wine=high value product=can withstand transportation cost.
  • Therefore, wine is made near the raw material site (grape cultivation areas.)
  • Mediterranean region =long established wine producing areas have reputation and given exclusive names. Example sherry from Spain, Champagne/Cognac from France etc.
  • Because of Geographical indicator (GI) system, other areas cannot use the same name. (Even if you make same type of liquor in India) =less competition
  • + Liquor has high demand in any part of the world.

Factor: Government policy

  • When French occupied Algeria they started grape cultivation.
  • Why? Because French wanted to export their own premium wines to other countries, so for local consumption in France itself, cheaper variety had to be imported from Algeria.
  • Thus, Algeria became a leading grape producing country in the region.
  • But When Algeria won independence, the new government did not allow wine industry anymore (because Algeria=Muslim population, alcohol forbidden) =grape cultivation declined.

Some more ‘factors’ on liquor industry

Just passing reference given in the books:

Liquor Type factor
  • is made from barley
  • in countries too far north = grape-cultivation not possible.
  • Barley=gluten content too high=can’t make good breads= better make beer. Recall the ‘concentration’ principle.
rice wine
  • In China, Japan and many Asian countries because grape is not cultivated and rice abundantly available.
  • gluten content too high=can’t make good breads.
  • can grow in the adverse climate of central  Europe.
  • Used for whiskey making. Again recall the “concentration” principle.

Viticulture India

Factor impact
Climate vineyards in Himachal, Nashik, Banglore due to favorable climate,soil
Government Policy State governments giving tax benefits to encourage wine industry. e.g. Maharashtra give stamp and Excise duty exemption, sale tax holiday etc. to new wine units.

Other than that, books don’t give much wisdom about “location-factors” of wine industry in India.

But on a non-serious note, why are desi-liquor dens located close to slum areas?

Factor impact
Climate irrelevant
Soil irrelevant
Water freely available from nearest sewer
Raw Material
  • discarded /bad quality gur (Jaggery), rotten barley etc
  • raw material =non-perishable=>industry need not be setup near raw material site.
  • In case of Aluminum refining, industry should be setup near a cheap electricity source.
  • On the same logic, this unit should be setup near jungle/city outskirts for getting free firewood for distillation process.
  • But in that case, finished goods has risk of getting caught while in-transit to city.
  • Therefore it is more logical to set industry near market (Slum), rather than @energy source.
  • can be done by even single man, as long as he has the jigar (guts) and the brewing-skill, otherwise hooch will be produced =>deaths= no repeat customers.
  • If the unit is farther away from market (slum)=risk of getting caught during transport. Therefore, proximity to market (slum) =prime factor in deciding industrial location.
Government policy although with corrupt police, government provides indirect support to the industry but to increase the per capita availability of desi liquor, following reforms are necessary :

  1. Afforestation programs outside city using MNREGA labour, to increase firewood availability.
  2. Rotten grain from FCI should be handed over to these entrepreneurs
  3. Some scheme named after you know who, for providing skill upgradation and subsidized equipment, implemented with the help of local NGO.

anyways, In the next article we’ll see location factors for plantation crops such as tea, coffee, rubber, sugarcane and later iron-steel industry etc.

Mock Questions

For UPSC General Studies Mains Paper I

5 marks, 100 words

  1. Why do European producers have supremacy in the wine industry?
  2. World production of wine is concentrated in the Mediterranean shorelands. Comment
  3. for any area of your choice, examine the relationship between development of wheat farming with respect to following factors
    • climate
    • relief and drainage
    • labor Supply
    • government policy
  4. What factors give rise to truck farming industry near urban areas? Illustrate with examples.
  5. Farmers away from urban areas usually grow cereal crops. Comment.
  6. Analyze the factor responsible for underdevelopment of Dairy industry in tropical regions.

10 marks, 200 words

  1. In USA, certain groups of states are known as dairy belt, cotton belt and Corn Belt. Explain the factors responsible for such regional specialization of agriculture.
  2. Discuss the major geographical and economic factors influencing the location of livestock farming in different parts of the world.
  3. Examine the factors responsible for large production of corn and Wheat in the North America and compare it with suitable states of India.