Subsistence farming: Importance and types of subsistence farming..


 Agriculture is, as we all know, one of the world’s most important resources. In which Subsistence farming is one of the numerous farming strategies available.

Crop farming, truck farming, and other terms for subsistence farming exist. Farmers who produce their crops for their personal use or their families (as well as their animals) rather than for trading. Due to the lack of awareness about the soil, climatic conditions, proper equipment, and technology most farmers doing this substance farming.

In many regions of Asia, Latin America, and Africa, subsistence farming is the norm.


Subsistence farming has been practiced since the last ice age, some 12000 years ago. People grow plants on a modest scale in their homes for their everyday needs.

Importance of subsistence farming:

Subsistence farming has a high potential for growth if it supports necessarily. It helps to drag behind the economic development of country This form of agriculture takes up less than 10% of the world’s land, whereas the majority of other farmed area is utilized for commercial farming to increase profits.
Subsistence farming is practiced only in 1 to 3 hectares because it is used to feed their families and animals.

Types of subsistence farming

There are two types of subsistence farming.

1.Intensive subsistence farming.

2.Primitive subsistence farming

Intensive subsistence farming:

It is a kind of farming in which the farmers cultivate food for their personal use while the remaining output is sold for a profit. Now, more and better agricultural inputs are being produced with the assistance of sophisticated and scientific methods. It is carried out on a small plot of cultivable ground. Monoculture is another term for this.

Intensive subsistence farming

Features of intensive subsistence farming:

1. Very small properties: 

The property is utilized despite its modest size. Seasonal reconfiguration of sub-parcels within fields and very small farm sizes (0.25-10 acres) are widespread due to socio-economic factors and land tenure regimes.

2. Farming is very intensive:

Due to farming in a small sector, it would very intensive when double cropping is practiced. when just one paddy crop may be grown During the dry season, the fields are typically utilized to grow cash crops such as sugarcane.

3. Much hand labor is entailed:

Paddy farming requires a lot of hand labor, and plowing is done with the aid of buffalo. The machines may be used for plowing, but most farmers are unable to purchase them.

4. Use of animal and plant manures:

Farmers used every type of manure that they know like cow dung, rotten vegetable, farm wastes, human excreta, poultry manure, concentrated organic manure, oil cakes. India, Japan, and China used phosphates, nitrates, and potash fertilizers to provide nutrients to different types of the plant through different types of soil

Also read: Types of crops 

Primitive subsistence farming:

It is the oldest form of agriculture which is practiced for a dense area in which a farmer grows food for himself and his or her family including animals and it is done in a small patch of land. This type of method is mostly practiced by tribal communities for their living. It is a slash and burns, shifting cultivation and pastoral nomadic framing.

Primitive subsistence farming

Features of primitive subsistence farming:

1. It is grown on tiny plots of land with the use of rudimentary equipment.

2. The basic implements employed include the hoe, dao, and digging stick.

3. Most farmers do not utilize fertilizers since they are poor, therefore they rely on the most rudimentary techniques.

4.The monsoon, soil fertility, and climatic conditions all play a role in this method.

5. As soil fertility declined, farmers relocated to a new location, where they burned the forest and began growing various crops.

Distinguish between primitive and intensive subsistence farming:

Intensive subsistence farming

Primitive subsistence farming

 1. It is used in agriculture when a tiny piece of land is under stress.  1. It is practiced in a densely populated region, but only on a tiny piece of land.
 2. It is utilized for both personal and business purposes, with the leftover food being used for good exchange (in small purposes). 2. It solely feeds the farmer’s family.
3. Monoculture is another term for intensive farming.  3. Slash and burn agriculture is another name for it.
 4. Wet paddy agriculture and non-paddy cultivation are also included.  4. It comprises nomadic herding and shifting farming.
 5. Chemicals and fertilizers are utilized in these devices when they are appropriate.  5. It’s a natural occurrence.
 6. It is not affected by the monsoon.  6. It is dependent on the monsoon.
 7. In this phosphates, nitrates, and potash are used which provide nutrients to plants through soil. 7. Natural fertility of the soil.
8. It is costlier than primitive farming due to the use of machines.  8. It is cost-effective.
 9. productivity of land is high as compare to primitive farming. 9.productivity of land is low.
 10. Ex: rice is the main crop other than includes wheat, maize, pulses, and oilseeds.  10. Ex: Bananas, cassava(root vegetable to make medicine), yams, corn, maize, millet, mountain rice, and beans.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Subsistence Farming:


1. It is cheap and cost-effective.
2. It supports the economic development of a country.
3. It provides organized food for the family.


1. Land shortage and poor land tenure system.
2. poor delivery of extension service.
3. lack of infrastructure.
4. poor government policies.
5. Due to the small size of farms large families can’t afford it.
6. Burning destroys soil organisms.

Q and A:

When was subsistence farming invented?

Ans:-Humans began domesticating plants for growth at least 12,000 years ago, which is when subsistence farming began. Favorable environmental circumstances following the Ice Age most likely aided early plant domestication.

What is an example of intensive subsistence agriculture?

Ans:-A large amount of land is utilized to plant single spices such as wheat, rice, and other grains.

What is subsistence farming in easy words?

Ans:-It is a form of farming in which farmers grow food on a small amount of land for themselves and their families, including their animals, to survive daily. It can be done simply or intensely.

Why intensive subsistence farming is practiced?

Ans:-One of the primary reasons for intense subsistence farming is the rising need for food, which is driven by the world’s growing population and limited land resources.

What is primitive subsistence farming class 10?

Ans:- Primitive subsistence farming is defined as farming in which food is grown using natural processes such as soil fertility and monsoon and is grown on a small plot of land for oneself and his or her family.

Subsistence type of farming is practiced in which area?

Ans:-Subsistence farming is performed all over the globe, but it is most commonly practised in densely populated areas such as Asia since the world’s population is expanding and the need for food is increasing every day, and land is limited, therefore subsistence farming is practiced.


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