what is subsistence agriculture
Subsistence agriculture is defined as the type of agricultural practice which is concern with the production of food by a farmer for his family consumption only. In other words, subsistence agriculture is termed as the type farming practice where a farmer goes into farming just to feed his immediate family or household.
characteristics of subsistence agriculture
The characteristics of pure subsistence agriculture are outlined as follows
Subsistence agriculture is mostly practiced by peasant farmers
Subsistence agriculture involves small portion of land—land tenure system
Subsistence agriculture involves the use of crude or simple farm tools
There is no specialization in subsistence agriculture
In subsistence agriculture, unskilled labours are mainly employed for lack of finance
In subsistence agriculture, return of investment in always very low or poor
Most often, subsistence agriculture uses only the family labour input
Subsistence agriculture is geared towards the family need only
There is little or no surplus of food for sale in order to raise money
Subsistence agriculture involve little capital
Subsistence agriculture depends on natural rainfall because of lack of money to build modern irrigation system
Subsistence agriculture is concerned with the production of food crops only
The use of agro-chemicals is limited
Unimproved varieties of crops are often used
Mixed system of farming is usually practiced in subsistence agriculture
problems ode subsistence agriculture
The problems that are usually associated with subsistence agriculture are listed bellow though not limited to these alone as it concern subsistence agriculture. So here are the problems facing subsistence agriculture listed accordingly
1. Family labour supply is unreliable: in the face of rural-urban migration of able bodied men, it most probably leads to non-availability of labours. Therefore development of the farm is hampered and limited
Crude tools are mostly used: using crude implements in agricultural production often lead to poor yield compared to the use of tractors, bulldozers, ploughs, harvesters and harrows.
You can scroll down this article to see more helpful links that will aid your study of agricultural science
2. Fragmented or use of small farmland: the use of small farmlands for farming (land tenure system)is usually the issue with subsistence agriculture which is geared towards feeding the immediate family only
Illiteracy of the farmers: labour or labourers used in subsistence agriculture has little or no formal education, which in turn results in their inability to read written instructions and adopt modern farming techniques.
No surplus for sale: this often keeps the farmer permanently poor as he will not be able to generate enough capital to expand the size of the farm also known as land tenure system
3. Inadequate capital for investment and expansion: this aspect of subsistence agriculture leads to small farm holding and inability to buy large farm input
Low level of specialization: the subsistence farmer is often involved in mixed farming system known as mixed cropping as against the production of a particular crop which could lead to specialization
Pest and diseases are not properly controlled: owing to the illiteracy and [poverty level, pest and diseases are properly controlled and these further leads to low yield.
Low return or yield: as a result of illiteracy and low capital investment of the farmer and small farm holdings, the yield and returns from subsistence agriculture is usually very low
Subsistence agriculture is mostly practiced in most parts of West Africa, Nigeria Southern parts for example, is littered with this type farming due to non-availability of land enough for to engage in commercial agriculture or large scale farming. Most African communities are engaged in subsistence agriculture also known as communal farming system which involves the act of bush fallowing to allow the land some space to replenish itself by gaining nutrients in the natural way.
You can also read some these related articles for more insight on the subject of farming systems.
You can also share this site using social media links
Mixed farming method
Classification of crops
Disease and pest control
Advantages and disadvantages of mechanized agriculture
Botanical names of weeds
Weed dispersal methods
Feeding mechanism in living organisms
Types of soil
Cultural practices in agriculture
Osmosis and diffusion
don’t forget to use the comment box and leave a message or suggestion and we will get back to you within seconds.
You can read some of most interesting topics below
HERE YOU WILL FIND EVERY AVAILABLE TOPICS ABOUT AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE AND BIOLOGY. AND THE LINKS TO THEIR VARIOUS SOURCES.
1. DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE
42. CLIMATIC FACTORS AFFECTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION