subsistence farming


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 While most of the population work in agriculture, with much of its rural population relying on subsistence farming, development has grown. Helen Regan, CNN, 28 July 2021 People scrape by on subsistence farming, jobs in small factories, welfare checks and cash flow from retirees who are moving onto the cheap, vista-blissful land. New York Times, 30 Apr. 2021 In a place like PNG, where the CIA says about 85% of the population lives off subsistence farming, lockdowns can be challenging. Julia Hollingsworth, CNN, 27 Mar. 2021 In Comitancillo, where the main source of work is subsistence farming, nearly everyone dreams of coming to the U.S., said Father Aguilon, the town priest. Elizabeth Findell, WSJ, 13 Mar. 2021 In African countries, female farmers are trained to move beyond subsistence farming to production for local markets. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Mar. 2021 The traditional Shuar live primarily by foraging, hunting, fishing and subsistence farming. Gretchen Reynolds, Star Tribune, 4 Mar. 2021 In Zabarmari, villagers struggle to eke out a living through subsistence farming and fishing. Ismail Alfa And Ruth Maclean New York Times, Star Tribune, 10 Dec. 2020 The majority of the region's inhabitants are Miskito, who live through subsistence farming or fishing, Jarquin said. The Associated Press,, 4 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for subsistence farming

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The first known use of subsistence farming was in 1892

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Dictionary Entries Near subsistence farming

subsistence economy

subsistence farming

subsistence homestead

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Statistics for subsistence farming

Last Updated

1 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Subsistence farming.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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