What is Shifting Cultivation?

Shifting Cultivation is also known as ‘Slash and Burn Cultivation’ and ‘jhum’, ‘ponam’ or ‘podu’. It is a primitive method of cultivation. In this type of cultivation, a patch of forested land is cleared by felling and burning trees. The ashes of trees are mixed in the soil.


Shifting Cultivation

  • Shifting Cultivation is also known as ‘Slash and Burn Cultivation’ as, in this type of cultivation, a patch of forested land is cleared by felling and burning trees. The ashes of trees are mixed in the soil.
  • After two to three years, when the soil loses its fertility, the land is left fallow, and a new patch of land is cleared for cultivation.
  • Maize, potato, yam, and cassava are grown in shifting cultivation. It is mainly practiced in northeast India.
  • Dry paddy, maize, millets, and vegetables are commonly grown in this type of farming. This method of cultivation has some disadvantages. It results in deforestation, accelerates soil erosion, and causes floods and silting.

Agriculture in India plays an important role in the Indian economy in the following ways:

  • It provides food for the ever increasing population of the country.
  • It supplies raw materials for agro-based industries such as the textiles and food processing industries.
  • It provides a market for industrial goods such as machinery and agricultural implements.
  • It provides employment to millions of people.
  • It accounts for a large portion of India’s exports.
  • Some types of agricultural farming in India are shifting agriculture, subsistence agriculture, intensive agriculture, extensive farming, plantation farming and mixed farming.

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