Full text: Modern business geography

Modern Business Geography 
Egypt. In Egypt, the fourth cotton-growing region of the world, 
almost ideal conditions for cotton are found. It is true that the 
rainfall is very light; but better than a good rainfall is the abundant 
water of the Nile River, which in times of flood overflows the low lands 
on either side. Part of the supply is stored in reservoirs made by 
damming the river, and can be fed to the plants as it is needed. To 
make sure of plenty of water for irrigation, the great Assuan Dam 
was built at a cost of $125,000,000. When the land is irrigated, 
it receives not only water but silt, which settles out of the muddy 
river and enriches the soil. 
It is no wonder that Egypt produces twice as much cotton to the 
acre as the United States, and five times as much as India. Her 
cotton fiber is longer, silkier, and stronger than any other except sea- 
island cotton. Cotton growing in Egypt, however, has this serious 
handicap — it can be carried on only where irrigation is practicable. 
Minor regions. Other regions where geographical conditions so 
favor cotton growing that an important amount is raised are Tur- 
kestan, Transcaucasia, southeastern Brazil, and Peru. 
The meaning of primary production. Thus far we have considered, 
first, the conditions required for the satisfactory growth of the 
cotton plant and, second, the places where cotton is produced ; that is, 
we have been considering the primary production of cotton. The first 
great step in any industry is to draw upon nature to produce a com- 
modity. Nature is drawn upon when coal, for example, is taken 
from the mine, when logs are cut from the forest, when wheat plants 
are grown for the grains in the wheat-ear, when cattle are fed and 
tended so that their hides may be used for leather. All industry 
depends on primary production, as we find out if we trace to their 
origin the materials used in any of the industries. Primary pro- 
duction is one phase of business geography, or of commercial and 
industrial geography, as it is also called. 
The second important step, as we have seen, is to move the com- 
modity from where it is produced to where it is needed. Sometimes 
such transportation is easy, as when the farmer drives to the cream- 
ery near by with a few cans of milk ; sometimes it requires weeks of 
time and the work of many persons, as when crude rubber from the 
South American forests is brought to factories in North America. 
With cotton the problem of transportation is serious because 
the cotton mills, in the main, are far away from the plantations.

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