Factors responsible for development of plantations in Asia and America:
- Suez Canal was opened in 1869= this reduce the distance between Asia and Europe
- sail based ship were replaced with steam based ship=faster, more carrying capacity
- Industrial revolution= demand for rubber as eraser, waterproofing material+ consumer demand for tea, coffee, tobacco.
- cheap labour = already available in colonies
- Capital/finance= provided by Europeans.
there is some difference in the origin of Asian vs. American plantations:
|American plantations||Asian plantations|
|usually owned by rich families||Setup, Financed and controlled by commercial companies based in Europe.|
|was started with help of African slave labor.||with help of locals + indentured laborers from India, China.|
Three types based on relative maturation time and longevity of production
- Plantation of rubber, cocoa, coffee= need large scale investment, you will not see profit for many years, until the tree matures.
- Such crops are unsuitable for small scale planter because he can't afford to keep land unproductive for more than a year.
- Annual crop are better suited for smallholder, they allow greater flexibility in planting followed by a harvest the same year. Hence plantation system has almost retreated from sub-tropics: they instead grow tobacco/cotton.
- Even when the commodity prices fall in the world market, the plantation owner must continue to operate, he cannot is rapidly switch to another crop.
- On the other hand small scale farmers can grow an alternative crop to fetch them higher price. E.g. Many UP farmers have shifted to other crops.
Sugar mills are located near sugar growing areas, because of two factors
Sugar Mill and sugar refinery of two separate location principles
|Input||sugarcane||raw Coarse brown sugar (from sugar mill)|
|output||Brown and white sugars of various grades.|
|LocationPrinciple||Must be located near sugar-farming areas because sugarcane being bulky-perishable. e.g. in Uttar Pradesh, Maharahstra, South Gujarat.|
Let's examine the factors that led to growth Desi-videsi sugar industries
Limiting factor=proximity to raw material. So sugar mills are located in 30-50 kms radius of sugar-cultivating areas.
|State||Location (list non-exhaustive)|
Sugar mills: Maharashtra
Sugar: Uttar Pradesh
|water||Ganga, Yamuna and their numerous tributaries|
|energy||use bagasse instead of coal for energy.|
|transport||Dense road-network, flat terrain =easy transport.|
|labor||Seasonal and migratory labour available=cost of production low.|
|market||large population=> high demand for gur, khandsari, sugar.|
|govt.||sugar pricing=covered in a separate article. click me|
Factor: North vs South
- In South India: No loo, no frost+ moderating effect of ocean=ideal for sugarcane growth.
- But the sugarcane cultivate/industry in South India is not as large as UP-Maharashtra belt, Why?
- During British-raj, North India used to cultivate indigo as cash crop but then invention of synthetic dyes=>farmers switched to sugarcane.
- In South India, farmers have better cash-crop alternatives e.g. cotton, tobacco, coconut, groundnut etc. so you don't see a large sugarbelt unlike UP.
- developed by Research insti. @Coimbatore
- ratoon crop= during harvest, you don't uproot sugarcane, leave the root intact => sugarcane grows again from that root.
- Advantage: time, money saved.
- challenge: sugar-yield decreases on every cycle, after 1-2 years, you need to start fresh.
|sugarcane||Fertile calcareous soil= Crops are obtained twice a year.|
|labor||Initially started using slave labor.|
Now passing references
|Mauritius, Fiji||sugarcane Grown with help of indentured labour from India.|
- German-climate unsuitable for sugar-cultivation.
- They had to rely on imports=sugar-shortage during wartime.
- Therefore, Germans developed a method to extract Sugar from sugar beet, and encouraged the cultivation of sugar beet for the strategic reasons of self reliance during war-time.
- Later industry spread in Belgium and France as well.
- In European countries, cool autumn retains the sugar content in root= higher yields.
- Sugar juice makes up to 20% of the root= significant weightloss. Therefore, just like sugarcane, sugar beet must be processed quickly at nearby factories
- But sugarbeet Factories cannot be fed consistently and only operate during the harvest season= increases cost of running.
|Topography||doesn't like stagnant water=> has to be grown on highland or hill slopese.g. hills of Darjiling, Jalpaiguri or Nilgiri|
|black tea||green tea|
|People in far east and Japan like green tea more. They consume it without adding sugar/milk (obviously because this region doesn't a have well developed dairy industry.)|
- Break of the bulk=place where mode of transportation changes e.g. waterway to railways.
The rise of London Tea Biz
- In the era of Colonization, British controlled Indian and Sri-Lankan tea estates and had 'sphere of influence' in China.
- Therefore, lot of tea went to London port and from London the large consignments were broken, various blends were mixed and tea was re-exported to other European countries + USA (which was a 'colony' of Britain at that time) + local consumption.
The fall of London Tea Biz
- In world history, we saw that Americans revolted against the tea-tax imposed by Britain= Boston Tea Party, and then American war of independence= Thus tea export to USA declined, product became expensive, Americans shifted to Coffee drinking.
- Later Both Indian and Sri-Lanka gained independence, Communist rule in China=now tea was exported directly to the recipient country in Europe, rather than via 'middleman' London.
|Climate||morning fog, low temperature=high grade leaf|
|soil||soil has good quantity of phosphorous+potash=>gives special flavor to Darjeeling Tea.|
|Topography||Grown in hills=no stagnant water.|
|Labour||Large estates have residential, school, hospital facilities=>permanent labor force working for generations.|
Mostly grown on Yangtze-Kiang and Sikiang valleys
|Climate||summer monsoon keeps the temp good for tea|
Some passing reference to other countries and factors
|Indonesia||Ocean breeze and cheap supply of female labour|
- Initially the Europeans that had settled in USA, consumed tea imported from Britain.
- But then King George imposed heavy tax on tea exported to USA => Boston tea party revolt + American war of independence=> tea supply halted= Americans switched to Coffee and thus USA became major market for Brazil and Columbian coffee cultivators.
Let's check some important coffee growing regions and factor responsible.
Coffee grown in the North-Eastern region of Brazil. Brazilian Coffee plantations are called "fazendas" (because in Portuguese, Fazenda=farm)
|Market||Universal demand, except where tea is the main beverage.|
Kerala=> Western Ghats + Nilgiri Hills region = suited for both Tea+coffee.
|Market||Kochi port to (mostly) Italy+local demand in South India|
|Raw Material|| |
- Latex from tree=>diluted with water & strained to remove dirt.
- Diluted latex + acid =rubber coagulates and forms slabs on top.
- these slabs removed ,pressed in mill to squeeze out liquid
- slabs=dried=become thin sheets= easy to pack & export
Rise of Natural rubber demand
- 1830s: Charles Goodyear of the USA invented vulcanization process= increased the industrial applications of Natural rubber.
- 1890s: automobile industry= pneumatic cars=needed rubber.
Fall of Natural rubber demand
- In the 1920s, USA began to develop synthetic rubber. Although natural rubber was still preferred because new technology was costly.
- But WW2= Japan occupied Southeast Asia=natural rubber export to USA was cutoff.
- In response, US government developed a huge synthetic rubber industry in a very short time and after WW2, sold it to private companies.
|Climate||hot moist equatorial climate=suitable for Rubber trees.|
|Labour||immigrants from China + Tamils from India|
In Kerala, Rubber grown on hill slops of W.Ghats in Travancore, Kozikode, Malabar, Kottayam distrcits.
|soil||laterite soil=good growth.|
|labour||Available and skiled. One tapper can go through almost 250-300 trees per day.|
Kerala= lot of coconuts=their shell is used as "cup" to collect latex. Other than that, not much wisdom is given in books regarding 'location factor'.
Rubber is originally from Brazil, their government had banned export of rubber plant to maintain monopoly However, an Englishman smuggled the seeds out of Brazil, spread Rubber plantation in Sri Lanka and other S.E.Asian countries. But today S.American countries don't figure in top Rubber producers, why?
- South American Countries= prolonged struggles for independence, coups, countercoups =instability=no attention to infra/research necessary for Rubber.
- Their governments did not understand the importance of replanting like Malaysians =yields kept decline after every year.
- Rubber estates confiscated with change of regimes, land redistributed among peasants= small scale rubber production =cannot maintain 'uniform quality' for exported rubber + no more 'economies of scale'= unit cost of production increased.
- Originally from Central and South America, associated with Aztec civilization.
- Spanish brought it to Europe, but only after Europeans learned the art of chocolate making, cocoa demand increased.
- Then Europeans introduced cocoa in West African countries.
In Ghana, the triangular area between Takoradi, Kumasi and Accra towns has max. Concentration of cocoa cultivation= famous as "Cocoa Triangle".
|soil, climate||cocoa tree need warm wet climate, forest protection.Ghana being in the equatorial belt. So all conditions met.|
|labour||need lot of cheap laborers because|
Ghana has abundant supply of cocoa-labourers known as Tumbadors.
|transport/market||Port of Takoradi and Tema.Mainly grown for export to US and dairy countries of Europe (Swiz, Den, Neth).|
(just for information)
- cocoa fruitpod=> pulp removed= you get 20-30 seeds from each pod
- Seeds covered in banana leaves and allowed to ferment for a week=> sun dried.
- Tropical damp climate = cocoa beans quickly lose flavor after roasting. Therefore, further processing done in the importing country (e.g. USA)
- they roast the bean=>grind=> you get two products
- Powder: mix with sugar, milk & make chocolate.
- Cocoa-butter: used in cosmetics, cream-lipstick, pharmaceuticals etc.
So why does Ghana export cocoa-beans, why not finished products?
- Unlike USA, Ghana doesn't have abundant supply of other ingredients of chocolate/confectionary items viz. milk and sugar. Even if Ghana imported milk/sugar from elsewhere to make chocolates, the final market is in US/Europe=> transport cost makes the industry @disadvantage.
- Ghana doesn't have drug/cosmetic industry that can efficiently utilize by-product: cocoa-butter. (because drug/cosmetic industry require 'skilled' labour)
Ecuador used to be a major cocoa exporter but trees were plagued by fungal disease=> farmer switched to banana, coffee and sugar cane.
Just passing reference
- fruit ripens very quickly.
- without refrigerated boats, impossible to ship product from tropics to US/EU market.
- banana producing regions nearest to major markets have trade advantage. e.g. Caribbean islands
In the next article, we'll see the location factors for Iron-steel-heavy industries.
5 marks/50 words
Explain the reason(s) for each of the following:
- Sugarcane is more economical to produce cane sugar beet.
- more cane sugar enters the world trader then beet sugar
- The invention of chocolate making was the greatest single factor in rapid expansion of cocoa cultivation
- chocolate making factories are located in importing countries rather than in cocoa-producing countries
12 marks /120 words
- Explain the geographical factors responsible for large-scale commercial cultivation of any one of the following pairs:
- Tea and Coffee
- sugarcane and sugar beet
- consider the basis of regional specialization in tropical beverages with special reference to any one major beverage crop.
- for any selected area, examine the relationship between development of coffee or tea because of following factors
- relief and drainage
- labour Supply
- government policy
25 marks/ 250 words
- Tropical and Sub-tropical regions are the chief suppliers of beverages to the temperate markets. Comment
- Plantation agriculture is essentially limited to the tropical and subtropical areas. What are the factors responsible for this particular concentration?
- Analyze the factor responsible for underdevelopment of Plantation economy near tropical regions.
- Examine the factors influencing commercial production of rubber in Malaysia or Tobacco in USA.
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