Characteristics of intensive subsistence farming

Intensive subsistence farming is the growing of crops and rearing of animals on small scale for subsistence purpose for example growing cereal crops like cassava and beans for domestic consumption. it is mostly practised in less developed countries like Zambia and some parts of Asia.

Characteristics of intensive subsistence farming

The following are characteristics of intensive subsistence farming

  • they use family labour
  • they mainly grow food crops and some few cash crops e.g cotton and coffee.
  • the plots are small and scattered (land fragmentation)

  • they use simple and rudimentary tools e.g machete, hoes and exes
  • they grow crops for domestic consumption (subsistence purpose) and sell small surplus for purchasing basic needs
  • they use mixed cropping or inter cropping and this help to maintain soil fertility
  • it is mainly practised in sparsely populated areas that is in rural areas by peasants
  • soil fertility is maintained by fallowing and by adding manures and using mulching, they dont use fertilizers
  • they depend on physical environment, natural condition or environmental factors
  • they have permanent field for rice bananas and coffee


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