Dairy Industry

Milk is a perishable commodity and so has to be consumed soon after manufacturing. The cattle to be raised for milk doesn't need large amount of space. Thus dairy farmers stay close to markets. The same goes for poultry products and vegetable farms. As the demand for these is high and shelf life low the producers are located closer to the market. However when markets are located far away from markets the production policy changes. Milk is converted into more concentrated items that have higher shelf life like butter,cheese, ice-cream etc. This has an added advantage that price per unit item is higher and can withstand cost of transportation and remain competitive. Dairy products when produced give skimmed milk as a by-product and so this is used as feed for pigs. Therefore dairy regions are also known for pork, bacon products.

Concentration is higher if the distance from market increases. 1 pound Cheese needs 10 pounds milk and 1 pound butter needs 20 pounds of milk but milk to ice-cream doesn't have much weight-loss.

Dairy Industry: Zones 

New Zealand

The climatic zone has led to formation of long plains of undulating grass which is nutritious and grazing can be done throughout the year. The cattle rearing has been an occupation for generations so NZ has traditional skill. Government policy of strict quality control over exports mean that products are respected in international market. Scientific breeding practices, vaccination of cattle and infrastructure for storage and transportation of milk is available. Since the domestic demand is low milk is converted to products like cheese, butter etc and exported.

European Nations

Countries like Holland, Denmark, Norway are known for dairy products. Here too the grass is nutritious and traditional skill is present. Quality infrastructure for storage and transportation of milk is available.

However Mediterranean countries are net importers of milk as the grass is wiry and low nutritive value.


African nations are lacking in the transport and storage infrastructure. The dairy farmers don't have training or use scientific practices. Tropical cattle have low milk yield and even if temperate cattle are imported their survival is difficult.


The dairy belt and the corn belt are interdependent. The corn is used as cattle feed and the cattle are used for dairy and beef. Chicago is the location of slaughter-houses. USA dairy industry is highly mechanized to compensate for labor shortage. Cattle is reared as climate and terrain don't permit agriculture. Indoor cattle rearing is done. Farmer cooperatives own cooling and transportation infrastructure. The capital needed for investment is available from banks.

Meat Industry

Meat industry is based on cattle,pigs and sheep's. In areas of rough terrain agriculture is uneconomical so cattle are bred and then sent to slaughter houses. USA is known for its beef industry that extends from West to East. The western states have to rear cattle indoors and use corn to fatten them. Cattle are used for beef and dairy products. Slaughter houses in Chicago then transport them to major cities or export them. But due to high weight loss cattle are now slaughtered in western states and meat is sent to east.

Pig rearing in China is done closer to market like cities where demand is high. This is because pork is staple food. Pigs can be bred indoors or outdoors. They can be fed anything. They multiply faster and can be prepared for slaughter houses sooner.

However in New Zealand pigs are reared closer to dairy regions are skimmed milk obtained from converting milk to other products is used for fattening pigs.

Poultry farming in India is done closer to markets as there is high demand for poultry products. It is also done in rural areas away from markets as it is a cheap source of proteins for people.

In USA too the farmers rear poultry in rough terrain where agriculture is difficult. The soil conditions don't affect poultry rearing. Also contract farming is carried out by farmers for MNC's.


Fruits and vegetables are perishable items and so grown closer to market areas. Just like dairy and poultry products there is a good demand for horticulture products too. Therefore farmers prefer locations closer to markets. Farmers located away from market prefer growing of food grains as they have higher shelf life and can withstand cost of transportation.

California and Florida both grow oranges but in California they are sold and in Florida they are turned into juice. This is because California has a good demand for oranges and Florida is located far from markets so has to concentrate fruits into products that have higher shelf life and can withstand cost of transportation.

Factors affecting location of horticulture industry apart from markets are transportation and storage infrastructure.


Grapes can be cultivated in areas where cold isn't present and hence tropical weather is most suitable. The Mediterranean regions have dense population and generations of experience and so skilled labor is available. This is needed as Grapes need personal attention and slight change in handling,manure, temperature, pressure make a difference in taste. Also unlike USA mechanization isn't possible in Europe as terrain is rough.

Since Grapes are perishable they are turned into Wine. This makes them more valuable and liquor is in high demand anywhere. The Geographical Indicator tag means the brand name is preserved.

Beer is made from barley this is grown in places that are too cold for grapes. Whiskey is made from rye in countries where grapes can't grow. Both barley and rye can't be used for good bread and so instead of exporting the raw product as food grains. It is converted to beverage that higher cost and can withstand transportation.

Questions for UPSC Mains

Explain factors needed for growth of Dairy sector?

Explain factors needed for growth of Viticulture sector?

Explain factors needed for growth of Horticulture sector?

Explain factors needed for growth of Meat sector?