subsistence farming


: 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
: farming or a system of farming that produces a minimum and often inadequate return to the farmer

called also subsistence agriculture

subsistence farmer noun

Examples of subsistence farming in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Around 50 percent of the country remains in poverty, 90 percent or so depends on subsistence farming. Foreign Affairs, 23 Apr. 2014 Paraguayans from the town of Puerto Casado take part in a 91-mile march from their homes towards Asuncion, the capital, to pressure the government to turn over some of the land acquired in their region by the Unification Church for subsistence farming, in Tacuara, Paraguay, on July 16, 2005. TIME, 4 Apr. 2024 The local population live off hunting, fishing, and subsistence farming, and plans to boost the local economy with eco-tourism have been hampered by the lack of connectivity; La Chorrera can only be reached by a commercial plane once every 15 days. Stefano Pozzebon, CNN, 30 May 2023 For generations, his ancestors have lived on Huastecan land, passed down from generation to generation for subsistence farming. Imelda García, Dallas News, 12 Apr. 2023 On both continents, many families depend on subsistence farming and a minuscule supply of livestock. Suresh V. Kuchipudi, Discover Magazine, 4 Mar. 2020 As a poor 8-year-old boy in eastern Uttar Pradesh, he was destined to a miserable life of subsistence farming — or worse. Ron Charles, Washington Post, 29 Dec. 2022 Studies have found strong negative correlations between agricultural income per capita and hookworm infection amongst rural families involved in subsistence farming prior to the initiation of the Rockefeller Commission (g)(j). Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 25 Apr. 2011 As with many subsistence farming communities, Tsimane families tend to be large. Herman Pontzer, Scientific American, 12 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'subsistence farming.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of subsistence farming was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near subsistence farming

Cite this Entry

“Subsistence farming.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

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