subsistence farming

noun

Definition of subsistence farming

1 : farming or a system of farming that provides all or almost all the goods required by the farm family usually without any significant surplus for sale
2 : farming or a system of farming that produces a minimum and often inadequate return to the farmer

called also subsistence agriculture

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Other Words from subsistence farming

subsistence farmer noun

Examples of subsistence farming in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Agrarian peasants, most of whom lived on subsistence farming, each had eight days—spread out over the year to avoid competition—to sell their excess wares. Tara Isabella Burton, WSJ, "Undiscovered Italy: The Strange and Splendid Carso Region," 20 June 2019 Some villagers are employed at his camp, but most rely on subsistence farming. Paul Steyn, National Geographic, "How the world’s largest lion relocation was pulled off," 2 May 2019 Caal Maquin’s family is among the poorest in a village of very poor indigenous Guatemalans, where subsistence farming is getting harder as forests are razed for palm oil. Dara Lind, Vox, "The death of 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin in Border Patrol custody isn’t an isolated outrage," 18 Dec. 2018 More than 95 percent engaged in subsistence farming to get by, and 87 percent lived on under $2 a day. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Giving out cash is a great way to fight poverty. This approach might be even better.," 15 Oct. 2018 Most end up doing what amounts to subsistence farming. The Economist, "Culture and the labour market keep India’s women at home," 5 July 2018 Most families in the area rely on subsistence farming. The Economist, "How psychotherapy improves poor mothers’ finances," 26 May 2018 In Quilombo Cachoeira Porteira, where Ms. Souza lives, the quilombolas eke out a living by harvesting nuts, and through subsistence farming and fishing. Karla Mendes, The Christian Science Monitor, "Brazilian descendants of slaves fight for land titles," 6 Mar. 2018 Now, in these times when the weather is so much more variable and even extreme, subsistence farming isn’t providing enough to feed the family and chronic malnutrition is a grave risk for small children. Deepa Fernandes, USA TODAY, "Guatemalan mother struggles to feed her children amid climate change," 24 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subsistence farming.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of subsistence farming

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for subsistence farming

Last Updated

30 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for subsistence farming

The first known use of subsistence farming was in 1892

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More from Merriam-Webster on subsistence farming

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about subsistence farming

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