resources and types of resources
Written by Waseem Raza

Resource and categories of resource: A resource is a source or supply from which benefit is produced. Resources are materials, cash, services, staff or other assets that are transformed to produce benefit. Benefits of resource utilization may include increased wealth, satisfaction of needs or wants, proper functioning of a system. Resources can be broadly classified on basis upon their availability they are renewable and non-renewable resources. Resources can also be classified as actual and potential on the basis of level of development and use, on the basis of origin they can be classified as biotic and abiotic. Resources have three main characteristics; utility, limited availability and have potential for consumption. Also read about continents of the world

Economic Resources

Economic resources are the factors used in producing goods or providing services. They are inputs that are used to create things or help us to provide services. Economies itself has been defined as the study of how society manages its scarce resources. Economic resources can be divided into human resources such as labor and non-human resources include land and capital goods. Land includes all natural resources that are viewed as both the site of production and the source of raw materials. Labor or human resources consist of human effort that produces the products and in return wages are paid to the labor. Capital consists of human made goods or means of production that are used in the production of goods and services, paid in interest. 

Land or Natural Resources

Natural resources are the resources which are derived from the environment. Many natural resources are compulsory for human beings to survive while some resources are not necessary they are used for satisfying human desire. Natural resources may be classified in different ways.

On the Basis of Origin

Resources can be classified on the basis of origin I.e. Abiotic resources and biotic resources. Abiotic resources are the resources that comprise non-living things e.g. land, water, air and minerals etc. Biotic resources are the resources that are obtained from the biosphere. Forests and their products, birds and their products, fish and other marine organisms are important examples. Resources that are formed from fossilized organic matter are also include3d in this category.

On the Basis of Stage of Development

Resources are also categorized based on the stage of development. Potential Resources are the resources whose entire quantity may not be known and these are not being used at present. These resources could be used in future. The level of technology we have at present may not be good or advanced enough to easily utilize these resources. Actual Resources are those resources that have been surveyed, their quantity and quality has been determined, and they are currently being used. The development of actual resources is dependent on technology.

On the Basis of Renewability

Natural resources can be categorized on the basis of renewability. Non-Renewable Resources are those resources whose formation is very slow. They are formed over long geological periods and do not naturally form in the environment. Minerals and fossil fuels are the examples of non-renewable resources. Renewable Resources are the resources that cannot be finished. They are available continuously and their quantity cannot be affected by human consumption. Sunlight, water air and wind are the examples of renewable resources.

On the Basis of Distribution

On the basis of distribution natural resources can be further classified. Ubiquitous Resources are formed everywhere e.g. air, light and water etc. Localized Resources which are formed only in certain parts of the world e.g. copper, iron ore etc.

Labor or human resources

Human beings provide their labor work to the organization in order to get their benefit considered as human resources. Skills, energies, talents, abilities and knowledge used by the labor for the production of goods and services are also including in the human resources. Labor provides their services with best of their knowledge and abilities in order to get maximum output and in return they get their reward in the form of wages.

resource and categories of resource

Capital Resources

Capital resources are the resources that are already produced durable goods and further used for production of goods and services. Examples of capital include buildings, machinery, railways, roads and ships. However, the capital resources are not fully consumed, they may be depreciating in the production process.

Tangible or Intangible Resources

Tangible Resources are those resources which have actual physical existence such as equipments. Intangible Resources such as corporate images, brands and patents exist in abstraction.

Mineral Resources

Minerals provide the material source that is used in the industries for the production of various commodities. A mineral is a pure inorganic substance that occurs naturally in the earth’s crust. Minerals are valuable natural resources being finite and non-renewable. A demand for minerals is increasing day by day as the population increases and the consumption demands of individual increase. Following are the types of mineral resources.

i. Iron

Iron is a mineral that our bodies need for many functions. For example, iron is part of hemoglobin, a protein which carries oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies. It helps our muscles store and use oxygen. Iron is also part of many other proteins and enzymes.

Your body needs the right amount of iron. If you have too little iron, you may develop iron deficiency anemia. Causes of low iron levels include blood loss, poor diet, or an inability to absorb enough iron from foods. People at higher risk of having too little iron are young children and women who are pregnant or have periods.

Too much iron can damage your body. Taking too many iron supplements can cause iron poisoning. Some people have an inherited disease called hemochromatosis. It causes too much iron to build up in the body.

ii. Copper

It is one of the most important and widely used metals of modern society. Pure copper is soft and malleable. Its surface has a reddish-orange color. It is used as a conductor of heat and electricity. The largest use of copper is in the electrical industry where copper wires and cables are produced. Copper is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, as a building material, and as a constituent of various metal alloys, such as sterling silver used in jewelry and coins and constantan used in strain gauges and thermocouples for temperature measurement. Copper reserves are found in South Central Africa, China, Western USA, Kazakhstan and Canada.

iii. Gold

Gold is the soft, dense and malleable mineral with a bright yellow color. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements. It is highly prized by people because of its attractive color and its many special properties. In its purest form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable and ductile metal. Gold is a good conductor of heat and electricity. Whereas most metals are gray or silvery white, gold is slightly reddish-yellow. As a precious metal gold has been used for coinage, jewelry, and other arts throughout recorded history. Trace amount of gold are found almost everywhere, but large deposits are found in only a few locations. Gold producing countries are South Africa, Canada, Russia, USA, Australia and India.

what is resource

iv. Silver

Silver is one of the so called precious metals because of its brilliant white color, malleability and ductility. Silver used in the manufacturing of coins, ornaments and jewelry. Unlike gold, silver are present in many naturally occurring materials. Silver is often found in conjunction with these or alloyed with other metals such as gold, it usually must be further extracted through amalgamation or electrolysis. Silver mining has been undertaken since early times. Silver is found generally in lead ores, copper ores and cobalt ores and is also frequently associated with gold in nature. Silver is found in Mexico, USA, Canada and Peru.

v. Coal

Coal is a brownish-black sedimentary rock that contains elements of carbon. Coal is composed primarily of carbon, along with variable quantities of other elements such as hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen. Coal also contains same percentage of solid, liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons. It is divided into different groups on the basis of properties, such as anthracite, bituminous, lignite and peat. A fossil fuel, coal forms when dead plant matter is converted into peat, which in turn is converted into lignite, then sub-bituminous coal, after that bituminous coal it lastly form anthracite. This involves biological and geological processes that take place over time. It is referred as a fossil fuel. Coal producing countries are China, Australia, Russia, South Africa and Germany. 

vi. Oil / Petroleum

Oil is a clear, colorless & odorless liquid. Mineral oil is a liquid by producing of refining crude oil to make gasoline and other petroleum products. Oils have a high carbon and hydrogen content and are usually flammable and surface active. They are used for food fuel (e.g., heating oil), medical purposes (e.g., mineral oil), lubrication (e.g. motor oil), and the manufacture of many types of paints, plastics, and other materials. Oil producing countries are Canada, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Russia etc.

Agricultural Resources

i. Wheat

Wheat is a food crop. It is the crop of temperate region. It is the most widely grown crops in the world and provides 20% of the daily proteins and also food calories. Wheat is grown on more land area than any other food crop. After rice, wheat is the second most important food crops in the developing world. Today, wheat is grown on more land area than any other commercial crop and continues to be the most important food grain source for humans. Wheat is the primary food staple in North Africa and the Middle East, and is growing in Asia. All countries share the need to increase wheat yield, as well as to improve input use efficiency in order to increase the wheat production.

ii. Rice

It is the crop of tropical region. It is the plant of water. It is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world’s human population, especially in Asia. Cultivation of Rice is originated is China over 4000 years ago. Rice is an essential agricultural product in many countries. In poor and developing countries, rice is used as a staple commodity due to its low costs and high caloric value. Rice was first cultivated commercially in the United States in South Carolina during the 17th century. Rice cultivation is wellsuited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is labor-intensive to cultivate and requires ample water. Rice consumption is increasing day by day in many countries due to growth in population and people’s demand.

iii. Cotton

Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will increase the dispersal of the seeds. Successful cultivation of cotton requires a long period, plenty of sunshine, and a moderate rainfall. Cotton plant produces fibers which are used to make clothes and other products like towels, carpets or sheets. Cotton is a subtropical plant that grows in many warm areas of the world. China is the world’s largest producer of cotton, but most of this is consumed domestically. Most important cotton-growing countries are the USA, China, India, Pakistan and Australia.

types of resources

iv. Sugarcane

Sugarcane is a crop that is grown in many countries. It is mainly grown for sugar production. Most of the World’s sugarcane is grown in subtropical and tropical areas. The world demand for sugar is the primary driver of sugarcane agriculture. Sugarcane is also used in industries for the production of essential items like chip board, paper, chemicals, plastics, paints, synthetic fiber, insecticides and detergents. In some regions, people use sugarcane reeds to make pens, mats, screens, and thatch. Sugarcane producing countries are Brazil, China, India, Thailand, Pakistan and Mexico.

v. Maize

Maize is cereal plant of the grass family and it is edible grain. Maize has become a staple food in many parts of the world, with total production surpassing that of wheat or rice. Maize was first domesticated by native peoples in Mexico about 10000 years ago. The domesticated crop originated in the Americans and is one the most widely distributed of the world’s food crops. However, not all of this maize is consumed directly by humans. Some of the maize production is used for corn ethanol, animal feed and other maize products, such as corn starch and corn syrup. Crops are used as livestock feed, as human food, as biofuel and as raw material in industry. The Maize producing countries are USA, China, Brazil, India, Argentina etc. Read more

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