Posted by / Sunday 1 January 2017 / No comments

The features of subsistence farming

Subsistence farming may be defined as the method of farming by which production of crops is mainly to feed the farmer and his/her immediate family. The primary aim is not to sell the produce for income. However, sometimes, some of the little surplus is sold to take care of some basic financial needs of the family.

Production for family use
One of the features of a subsistence type of farming is that the almost all, if not all that is produced in the farm is consumed by the farm owner and his or her family. Some may sell a few surpluses when they occur. Even that may be to solve some financial difficulties that the family may have faced.

Obsolete farming implements
Another feature of subsistence farming is that the tools that are employment are rudimentary. The farmers use hoes and cutlasses to clear the land and prepare the land for planting. There is little or no use of modernized tools so very small area of land is cleared at a time.

Dirt Farm Garden Hand Tools Handle Labor M
Obsolete methods of farming
The subsistence farmer continues to use slash and burn, shifting cultivation and methods that are no longer in vogue in developed farming systems. They plant their seeds any how without recourse to methods.

Low level of production
The level of production in a subsistence farming method is low. This is due to a combination of factors such as poor methods of farming, employing rudimentary tools and not able to cultivate large tracks of land.

Low level labour supply
One of the other features of subsistence farming is the low level of labour supply. Most of the farmers depend of their family members to help in clearing the farm, planting and harvesting of the crops. The smaller the family size therefore, the less the farmer can produce.

No specialization in crop production
Under subsistence farming, the farmer produces all kinds of crops to provide variety for the family. Mostly too, the crops produced are dependent on the type staple that peculiar to the locality. In the farm of a subsistence farmer, one can see crops like maize, cassava, yam pepper, onions, okro and many others. You cannot label him or her a rice farmer or a tomato farmer.

1. What are the features of subsistence farming in your country?

2. Highlight six features of subsistence farming.

3. What six characteristics are used to identify subsistence farmers?
Related Posts