In order to understand concepts related to products, let us understand a story of a village called Palampur. Do you know what is the main production activity in Palampur village?
Farming is the main production activity in Palampur. 75 percent of the people who are working are dependent on farming for their livelihood. They could be farmers or farm laborers. The well-being of these people is closely related to production on the farms. But remember that there is a basic constraint in raising farm production. The land area under cultivation is practically fixed. Since 1960 in Palampur, there has been no expansion in land area under cultivation. By then, some of the wastelands in the village had been converted to cultivable land. There exists no further scope to increase farm production by bringing new land under cultivation.
Farming is the main activity in Palampur, whereas several other activities such as small-scale manufacturing, dairy, transport, etc. are carried out on a limited scale. These production activities need various types of resources — natural resources, man-made items, human effort, money, etc. As we read through the story, we will learn how various resources combine to produce the desired goods and services in the village.
Palampur is well-connected with neighboring villages and towns. Raiganj a big village is 3 km from Palampur. An all-weather road connects the village to Raiganj and further on to the nearest the small town of Shahpur. Many kinds of transport are visible on this road starting from bullock carts, tongas, bogeys (wooden cart was drawn by buffalos) loaded with jaggery (gur) and other commodities to motor vehicles like motorcycles, jeeps, tractors, and trucks.
This village has about 450 families belonging to several different castes. The 80 upper-caste families own the majority of land in the village. Their houses, some of them quite large, are made of brick with cement plastering. The SCs (Dalits) comprise one-third of the population and live in one corner of the village and in much smaller houses some of which are of mud and straw. Most of the houses have electric connections. Electricity powers all the tube wells in the fields and is used in various types of small businesses. Now you know what is the main production activity in Palampur village, let us learn more about the village Palampur.
Palampur has two primary schools and one high school. There is a primary health center run by the government and one private dispensary where the sick are treated. The description above shows that Palampur has a fairly well-developed system of roads, transport, electricity, irrigation, schools, and health center. The story of Palampur, an imaginary village will take us through the different types of production activities in the village.
In villages across India, farming is the main production activity. The other production activities, referred to as non-farm activities include small manufacturing, transport, shop-keeping, etc.