Best Tips That You Need to Know About Subsistence Farming

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Hybrid farming is the cutting edge of agricultural technology and the culmination of the modern scientific community’s most important contributions to the agricultural sector. However, indigenous people’s subsistence agrarian farming is a high-quality, time-tested cropping pattern.

This kind of agricultural practice is not only different from organic farming but also from hybrid farming. This kind of farming is also known as dry-land farming. The crop also has no adverse effects on carbon smartness, water smartness, energy smartness, or climate resilience or smartness. It is assumed that all indigenous people make up the stakeholder community and the intended audience.

To what end does subsistence farming serve?

Subsistence agriculture, a kind of farming that is being practiced in certain parts of the world today, has been around for thousands of years. Farmers practice subsistence agriculture because they need food for themselves and their families, not because they hope to profit from it. In many cases, just a small fraction of the produce is set aside for sale or trading. Most of the harvested food is consumed inside the household.

Subsistence farming is one extreme, whereas commercial farming, in which a crop is cultivated with the explicit goal of selling it at a market, is on the other. To ensure his family’s survival, a subsistence farmer must cultivate a wide variety of foods and animals that can adapt to the local climate and other conditions.

Survival farming’s lasting impact

Self-sufficiency in food production has been a driving force in the development of civilization. It has been around for at least 12,000 years and is an integral part of the earliest survival techniques used by most communities. Domestication of plants by Homo sapiens after the end of the Ice Age led to permanent settlements rather than nomadic subsistence.

This progress was made possible by what we now call “subsistence farming.” This change marked the beginning of the emergence of increasingly complex human civilizations.

The anthropological term for this shift is the “neolithic revolution.” Many delicious foods widely appreciated in contemporary civilization were first domesticated by hardworking subsistence farmers in the Americas. Corn, beans, tomatoes, squash, and potatoes are all examples of such foods.

Farmers have traditionally preferred using natural techniques, and this preference extends back thousands of years and continues now. Today’s industrial farms routinely use chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Subsistence farmers often use manure and compost, both of which are byproducts of the farmers’ land and animals.

Over time, the plants and products that are cultivated but not consumed end up being recycled for use in animal feed. Consequently, we have a productive system, a closed-loop operation with little waste.

Methods of farming essential for survival

If you’ve traveled across North America in the past several years, you’ve undoubtedly seen miles upon miles of corn and soybean fields. There are infinite straight lines of identical plants. A society defined by endless consumerism and the insatiable need keeps these monocultures going.

However, if you have a little plot of land and must rely on it to provide for your family year-round, then a wide variety of crops and livestock is essential. You can’t survive on only corn and soy. Subsistence farmers absolutely need polyculture, which is a specific kind of diversified agricultural strategy. 

Subsistence Farming

First of all, compared to other ways, polycultures are far healthier for the planet. Some plants’ roots provide nutrients to the soil, whereas those of others drain it. The whole farm may benefit from “companion planting” techniques. Growing a diverse variety of plants over several years helps preserve the soil’s fertility and health. Crop yields often increase when polyculture methods are used.

In what parts of the world do people still farm for survival? 

 Since most of the rural poor in Sub-Saharan Africa must rely on their land for survival, subsistence farming is the predominant agricultural strategy used there. Those who make their living from the land are better able to handle the high costs of living in the city, such as those for transportation, housing, and food.

For example, the agricultural sector in Tanzania accounts for 28 percent of the country’s GDP. Seventy-three percent of the world’s population lives in rural areas, and of that number, 19 million practice subsistence agriculture on very small parcels of land. 

Despite this, subsistence farming may be found almost everywhere on Earth, and it can take several forms. This comprehensive list includes locations from all over the world, including but not limited to Central and Western Asia, India, South-West Africa, Eurasia, the Philippines, and Latin America.

Subsistence Farming

Like the places people choose to call home, the methods are many and ever-evolving. Research from 2015 suggests this is the case for a quarter of the global population.

In addition, people’s day-to-day lives might be drastically different. It’s still being determined if residents can access essential services like running water, electricity, and adequate healthcare. As a consequence of the many factors involved, including poor sanitation, diarrheal disease is a leading cause of death among children in low-income countries.

Where in the world does subsistence farming predominate over commercial farming?

Early civilizations relied on primitive foraging techniques, and subsistence farming developed from such methods. Parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, South, and Central America, and Southeast Asia are notable for their prevalence of subsistence agriculture. Most of the world’s early farmers engaged in subsistence agriculture as a means of ensuring their survival.

FAQ About Subsistence Farming

What kind of product can you get from subsistence farming?

The fundamental mechanism by which food is made available and is made accessible in rural areas is the production of food for subsistence reasons, in which members of the community employ traditional techniques to produce and store food. Self-sufficiency is fostered, and poverty and hunger are reduced when there is sufficient food production.

How large of a plot of land is required for a subsistence farm?

Having around 1 acre of quality land is adequate for such purposes. Two acres of quality grazing land should be plenty, and the extra effort needed will be reasonable if the family is interested in maintaining a cow and wants to buy the necessary winter feed.

What factors influence farming for subsistence?

Small farmers are already trapped in a vicious poverty cycle, and environmental degradation and biodiversity loss only worsen their situation.

What do you mean by subsistence farming?

Almost all of the products or livestock produced in a subsistence farming system are consumed by the farmer and his or her family, leaving little to no extra for sale or trade.

What is Subsistence Agriculture?

In agriculture, a practice known as subsistence farming, crops are planted to supply the farmers’ needs. Agriculture is therefore practised on a small scale without the sale or exchange of surplus items.


Small-scale farmers sometimes go hungry because the current agricultural system prioritizes enormous swaths of land for companies above the needs of individual farmers. Because of this, farmers have been trying to find better ways to improve their farming techniques to increase their harvest. These days, the term “intensive subsistence farming” is used to describe this kind of agriculture.

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