Subsistence agriculture

subsistence agriculture characteristics. SUBSISTENCE FARMING. 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

What is Subsistence Agriculture

this type of 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, it 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
this type of agriculture is mostly practiced by peasant farmers mainly to feed their immediate family
Subsistence farming involves small portion of land—land tenure system
It involves the use of crude or simple farm tools
There is no specialization in subsistence agricultural practices due ti the fact that this farming system does not require skilled labour inputs
In this type of  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 farmers uses only the family labour input
It is geared towards the family need only which invariably reduces expectations
There is little or no surplus of food for sale in order to raise money

Subsistence involve little capital
Subsistence framing depends on natural rainfall because of lack of money to build modern irrigation system

Subsistence practices 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

subsistence agriculture

characteristics problems of 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.

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  1. 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.

features of subsistence agriculture

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

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.

  1. types of demand curve and used


What is land in economics?

Land in economics does not only include land surface of the earth but all other free gifts of nature or natural resources like forest, mineral resources, rivers, oceans and atmosphere. Unlike other ction, the supply of land is limited. The reward for land is rent.

Characteristics or features of land

  • Land is immobile: Land cannot be moved from one geographical location to another
  • The supply of land is fixed: It is practically impossible for man to increase the quantity of land.
  • Land is a free gift: Land is given freely by nature.
  • Land is subject to diminishing returns: When a piece of land is frequently bought under cultivation, it becomes less productive
  • Variability: The quality and value of land varies from one place to another as some areas of land are more fertile than others
  • Rent: The reward for land is classified as rent
  • Land has no cost of production: No cost was involved in bringing land into existence
  • Land is heterogeneous: No two parcels of land are the same in value or in other characteristics

Importance and uses of land

  1. Farming purposes: Land is used for the cultivation of both food and cash crops, e.g maize, yam and cocoa. Water provides irrigation for farming activities in dry areas.
  2. Livestock purpose: and is also used for livestock production (i.e. rearing of animals), e.g. cattle, sheep, goat and poultry
  3. Fishery purposes: Land is used for fishery in rivers, seas and oceans. Fish ponds are also developed
  4. Wild life purposes: Land is used for wildlife conservation, e.g. game reserves and national parks
  5. As collateral security: Land with Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is used widely as collateral to secure loans from banks, especially in urban centres
  6. Construction purposes: Land is used for construction purposes, e.g. roads, airports and railway. Sand, stone, gravel and granite are raw materials used for building and road construction
  7. Social or recreational purpose: Land can also be used for social or recreational purposes, e.g. stadia, schools, markets and cemeteries
  8. Residential buildings: Residential buildings and housing estates are sited on land
  9. For industrial buildings: Industrial buildings are also cited on land
  10. Sources of minerals: Land is the source of minerals like limestone, gold, tin and petroleum, which can serve for transportation of people and goods from one place to another

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