The term subsistence agriculture refers to a self contained and self sufficient unit where most of the agricultural production is consumed and some may be sold in local market is sold.
Characteristics of subsistence agriculture
The main characteristics of traditional or subsistence agriculture in brief are as follows:
(1) Land use
. Traditional farms are very small usually only 1 to 3 hectares. The goods produced on these small farming units is used mainly for consumption of the family. The consumption survival considerations dominate the commercial ones.
. Labour used per hectare tends to be high in traditional farming. Mostly the family labour works on the subsistence farms. However the traditional farms may hire some labour during the busy time of the year. Family farm members may and do supplement their income by working off the farm part during slack times.
(3) Power and transport.
In many countries including Pakistan livestock is the main source of power. They plough the field, transport products and carrying out processing tasks like grinding sugar cane. The level of technology mostly used is simple and less productive.
(4) Productivity and efficiency
. The subsistence farming or traditional farms are characterized by low of inputs which are mostly provided by the farmer himself . For example seeds, cow dung manure etc are not purchased by the farmers. Yields per hectare, production per person and overall productivity tend to be low.
(5) Rationality and risk.
The traditional farmers are economically rational. They can be motivated to raise standard of living. The subsistence farmers are not adverse to changes but proposed changes must fit in into their current farming operations. The traditional farmers are now mentally ready to take risks of using modern inputs into their small scale farming operations.
(6) Income and level of living.
The income and level of...
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