What is shifting cultivation

Shifting cultivation, also known as slash-and-burn agriculture, is a traditional method of farming in which land is cleared by cutting down trees and brush, which is then burned to provide nutrients for crops. Farmers then plant crops on the cleared land for several years until the soil becomes depleted, at which point the land is abandoned and left fallow for several years to allow it to regenerate.

This cycle of clearing, farming, and fallowing is repeated over and over again, with farmers moving on to new plots of land as their old ones become depleted. Shifting cultivation is often practiced in tropical regions where the soil is poor and crops require large amounts of nutrients.

While shifting cultivation has been practiced for thousands of years and is still used by many indigenous communities today, it can also have negative environmental impacts, such as deforestation and soil erosion, particularly when it is practiced on a large scale. Additionally, as populations have grown and land has become scarce, shifting cultivation has become less sustainable, and many communities are moving towards more intensive and sustainable farming methods.