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Natural Resources and Economic Development

“Natural resources determine the course of development and constitute the challenge which may not be accepted by the human mind.”- E. Arthur Lewis.

Natural Resources in the Process of Economic Development:

The process of economic development involves the growth of national output. To achieve an expansion of national output, it is essential to combine natural resources, human resources and capital. (i.e. Land, Labour & Capital). Therefore, to facilitate the process of economic development the existence of favorable natural resources is must. Otherwise it will retard the process of development. However, natural resources only are not sufficient for development but it requires following aspects also.

  1. A location of country

  2. Accessibility (availability) to raw materials and markets in other countries.

  3. The present state of knowledge

  4. Growth of technology

  5. Attitudes of the people towards material things, saving and investment.

Natural Resources Include Following:

1)  Land    2)   Water resource    3)   Marine resource   4) Fisheries
5)  Mineral resource   6) Forests   7) Climate, rainfall and topography

The above natural resources, of course, can be classified on the basis of following criteria.

A) Renewable and Exhaustible Resources:
Some resources like cultivable land, water, fisheries, forest etc are renewable while some resources like minerals, mineral oil are exhaustible.  Therefore in the process of development the renewable resources should have to maintain carefully.

Similarly the exhaustible resources have to be used economically as those can be used only once.

B) Know and Unknown Resources:

Many resources we are using in the process of economic development are known for example topography, size of land, forests, climate etc. These resources are known because the people of the country possess knowledge about them. Sometimes the discovery of the use of a resource can immediately increase its use-value e.g. Monazite sand on the beaches of Kerala & Tamil-Nadu had been knowing for several decades, but recent advance in science of nuclear energy have made these resources most valuable and they are now called as “rare earths” But still number of resources which human being is not knowing called “Undiscovered Resources” are there. These can be used in the process of economic development but it is necessary to develop techniques. These can be alternatively in development process.

Current Category » Economics of Natural Resources & Farm Management