United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Subsistence Agriculture for Green Economy and Subsistence Life

ARASMIN (Association for Rural Area Social Modification, Improvement and Nestling) (
Non-governmental organization (NGO)

    Background: The latest technology and the highest contributions of the modern scientific world for the Agriculture sector is the Hybrid Farming. But, Subsistence Agricultural farming is a high quality traditional cropping pattern of the Indigenous People, completely different from the Hybrid Farming and something different from Organic Farming. It is also known as Dry-land Farming. Moreover, the crop is Eco-friendly, Climate friendly, Climate resilient, Climate smart, Carbon smart, Water smart and Energy smart. All the indigenous people are taken as the Stakeholder Community/Target Group.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    We have executed this project in 3 Districts of Odisha State successfully and our Beneficiaries have availed lots of benefits. All the dry-land crops like Indigenous Paddy, Black Rice Paddy, Kodo Paddy, Maize, Black gram, Cowpea, Beans, Pea, Turmeric, Zinger and some other millets are being harvested. It is very economic for Cultivation as there is no need of more Water, Fertilizer, Pesticide, and more labour. The duration of the crops are very less i.e. about 60 days, except the Turmeric and Zinger. Some other benefits are also there like: the Fertility of Soil will never be destroyed, the Land will saved from Degradation, Soil Erosion will be stopped, Excellent for good health, these are re-generating crops, palatable for consumption, provides Food Security and Health Security. It is a freedom pattern of traditional cultivation needs no Scientific Technique. The method of cultivation, Knowledge and Expertise were best known to the Tribal people of old age which have been transferred to new generations. The Practices of Land use is generally horizontal and sometimes it is Vertical for the purpose of cultivation and the land below the hills is more appropriated and suitable for this cropping pattern. Crop Coverage is Suan Paddy, Black Rice Paddy, Koddo Paddy, Ragi, Maize, Black gram, Beans, Pea, Cowpea, Turmeric, Zinger etc. which are grown in Forest Area without more care and more labour. The Farmers will be highly benefitted by producing 3-4 crops at a time. The dependency of the Farmer on the Companies to purchase the seed will reduce. Even at the greatest drought situation, the Farmer will never lose the seeds of the crops and will be able to cropping for the next year. The natural composts produced by the trees of the forest are available for the purpose of Cultivation.


    Fertility of Soil will never be deteriorated; rather it will be restored by subsistence Agriculture. Inter-cropping system is possible and 3-4 crops are being produced. No need of more water and no need of fertilizer. Nutritional contents are more and the Medicinal value is enough with the crops. It is very Economic for cultivation and Easy to harvest. The Gender sensitization Agenda will be active as the women will get the opportunity to work. No Possibility of infection and Palatable for consumption. The market demand is very high due to more nutritional contents and the people are availing more benefits. It will focus on Land Right, as no people have the Record of Rights on their occupied land in Hilly area. The real economic system into the supply chain and advancing Food Security through nexus expertise is being created. Over all, to highlight the Private Sector Project as a landmark to Rural Development in the context of National and International priority.

    Enabling factors and constraints

     Changing the mindsets of the people from inertia to action for involving them with the Subsistence Agriculture is notoriously difficult.  Awareness campaigns should be conducted to acquaint the people with this cropping pattern.  Creation of educative Community Organizations village level and creation of local Leaders for involving the people with the project activity depend upon the well-experienced Field Staff.  Strengthening the local Community and Engaging them in Subsistence Agriculture and providing skill development training on preparation of land and Bio-compost and Bio-pesticides depend upon expert Trainers.

    Sustainability and replicability

    Sustainability of the Project is a vital part of the process to activate the future course of implementation. The community members should be provided the knowledge how to measure the progress of work. It is to be done strategically giving the responsibility on the Community during the process of implementation. The community members shall be involved in the process by which they will gain the expertise and skill and will be able to carry forward the activities after the completion of the project period and all the movable properties should be handed over to the Community after the completion of the Project.

    Other sources of information

    Please refer our website http://www.arasmin.org and since last 12 years, we have been working in collaboration with the KVK (Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Agriculture Science Center), Government of India.

    COVID-19 Impact

    Covid-19 was no doubt an unfortunate situation that has affected all sectors. There was restriction from the Government to obey the rules of Lockdown and Shutdown. The Tribal people also feared to foot out as there was the risk of life. Hence, the Covid-19 epidemic was a curse for them. The impacts of the outbreak were observed prominently in the form of Scarcity of Foods, Vegetables, communication facility and lack of earning opportunities. A number of people suffered from fasting and hunger and a large number of lives passed away. The people having intensive agriculture were put into loss severely, but the agricultural production of the Tribal people was not totally lost due to the Subsistence Agricultural Farming. So, we feel this is the livelihood support option.

    This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
    01 April 2012 (start date)
    31 March 2030 (date of completion)
    ARASMIN (Association for Rural Area Social Modification, Improvement and Nestling)
    Other beneficiaries

    As regards to the stakeholder community, priority is being given on the Tribal small Farmers and marginal Farmers depending upon the resources of the forest for their Lively-hood management. They collect the Forest produces and sale in nearest market and cultivate the Forest Land for some indigenous crops (millet). But, Subsistence Agriculture will provide Food Security for these poor people.

    More information
    Contact Information

    Bikash Ranjan , Subsistence Agriculture for Green Economy and Subsistence Life