Thursday, 6 May 2010

Economic activity and industry in the Languedoc

The Agriculture
Viticulture is concentrated in the plains of Aude, Hérault, and Gard, which produce about one-half of France's grapes. Animal husbandry predominates in the Causses region.
The agriculture of the Hérault département is a monoculture based on wine.  The irregation canals, that were recently built, have mainly fallen short of diversifying agriculture.   The exception is locally grown vegetables and fruits.  The Compagnie Nationale d'Aménagement de la Région du Bas-Rhône et du Languedoc ("National Company for the Development of the Region of the Lower Rhône and Languedoc") has brought approximately 500,000 acres (200,000 hectares) under irrigation in an effort to diversify agricultural output.

Sheep are raised in the north of Hérault.  Some of Hérault’s ewes' milk is sent to the cheese factories at Roquefort, in the neighbouring département of Aveyron.
Cultivation of vines, fruit, and vegetables in the
plain of Pyrénées-Orientales has been pushed up into the mountain valleys; apricots, peaches, and cherries are specialties.

The Perpignan is an important center for trade in fruit, vegetables, and wine, and also has factories making clothing, processed food, and building materials.
Nîmes has long been known as a farm-trade and manufacturing center.  Apart from textiles, its products include shoes, clothing, processed food, brandy, footwear, machinery, and chemicals.  It is also an especially important market town for wine.  The city is an important crossroads for road and rail transportation.
Narbonne is a wine-trade center for Aude wines.  It is also a major road and rail junction and a manufacturing center.  Its products include clothing, pottery and tile, machinery, and fertilizer.  In 1959, a uranium processing plant was built just outside the town.
Today, Montpellier is a commercial and manufacturing center.  Its industries include food processing, textiles, metallurgy, electronics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and textile weaving.  The modern city is a tourist Center and the seat of the annual International Vine and Wine Fair.

Carcassonne engages in some clothing manufacturing.  It is also a trade center for wine, grain and fruit that is produced in the region.  Today, Carcassonne is a popular tourist attraction.

In Aigues-Mortes, fishing is a source of revenue, although the port long ago silted up.  The principal industries are tourism and the extraction and processing of marsh salt.
The Industry
Manufacturing is underdeveloped outside the lower Rhône.  Plutonium is processed at Marcoule in Gard, while Ardoise in Gard is the site of the electrometallurgical center of Ugine-Kuhlmann.  Tourism is being developed along the Mediterranean.
Minerals are scarce, with some sulfur mined at Malvési and iron ore at Leucate on the coast.  Quillan, in the foothills of the southwest, has an important plastics industry.
In the areas around Nîmes and Alès industries such as steel, aluminum, textiles, and electrical equipment have been established.  A former coal mining center, on the Gard, has been transformed into a tourist Center. The oldest of France's nuclear power plants is situated at Marcoule.  The irrigation projects, of the 1960s, transformed poor and infertile land into a rich agricultural region.
The Mediterranean littoral is being developed for tourism by the creation of beach resort towns.  The main harbor at Sète has been transformed into one, of several, prominent seaside resorts.
The area’s traditional industry has been viticultural implements, but there are also important refineries and chemical plants.
The département of Lozère has little industry.  Farming has been the principal economic activity, devoted almost entirely to sheep and cattle raising.  This animal husbandry is difficult except in the valleys.  Increasing tourism has not arrested the exodus of the rural populace.
In Canigou The high-grade iron ore is still worked.  Light industries have been developed around Perpignan, which is also a tourist Cente  

The seaside resorts of Languedoc-Roussillon have become popular and its winter sports are attracting large numbers of visitors.  Summer music festivals, given by the cellist Pablo Casals, served to popularized Prades. Digg It! Stumble Delicious Technorati Tweet It! Facebook

Enjoy a romp around the Aude, Languedoc

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Happy romp!!