On the basis of origin, resources may be divided into two types. They are:
1. Biotic resources
2. Abiotic resources
Biotic resources
Biotic resources are living resources like plants, animals and other microorganisms found or obtained from the biosphere. Fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum formed from decayed organic matters are also included in this category.
The biotic resources were mere substances until human beings recognise them and bring them into usage. In the beginning, humans fulfilled their food, clothing and shelter needs through primary activities such as hunting, food gathering, fishing and forestry.
Agriculture and cattle rearing (primary activities) came into practice once food becomes scarce.
Abiotic resources
Abiotic resources are the non-living parts of an environment.
Land, water, air, sunlight and heavy metals, including ores such as gold, iron, copper, silver etc.
The abiotic resources were sought by the early men when they searched for better landforms with enough water resources for agriculture and their cattle. They needed tools right from hunting to agriculture. Initially, the tools were only made of stones. Later they found copper first and iron later. They also mined precious metals and stones for making ornaments and jewels. Later, mining became one of the important primary activities, and it still holds an important place among the economic activities.