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

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 But moving beyond mere subsistence farming required an openness to these new markets and to the world of commerce in general. Keith Stavely And Kathleen Fitzgerald, Smithsonian, "What America’s First Cookbook Says About Our Country and Its Cuisine," 12 Jan. 2018 The few families that live in the valley subsist mostly on shepherding and subsistence farming, the same livelihoods that have supported people on these productive alpine and subalpine pastures for centuries. Borja Carsi, Slate Magazine, "A Return to Yaghnob Valley," 18 Dec. 2017 Togo, which lies between Ghana and Benin, is one of the world’s poorest countries, with many people surviving on subsistence farming. Raluca Besliu, New York Times, "Togo Rallies for Change After 50 Years of Rule by One Family," 4 Nov. 2017

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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Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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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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