What is Slash and Burn Agriculture?

Slash and burn agriculture is the practice of clear cutting vegetation from forest or jungle and burning whatever remains so the land can be used for farming. The resulting ash helps to fertilize the soil for a short time. Usually, after a couple of years the nutrients are used up and the farmers move to another plot.

Where is slash and burn agriculture practiced?

This method of farming is often practiced near dense vegetation of rainforest, jungle or grassland in regions such as central Africa, northern South America, and Southeast Asia

Slash and burn agriculture is which type of agriculture?

Slash and burn agriculture is a type of subsistence agriculture known as shifting cultivation. It is often practiced in impoverished areas where there are not a lot of urban resources.

What are other names for Slash and burn agriculture?

Slash and burn agriculture is also known as fire-fallow cultivation or swidden cultivation.

It is called Jhum in parts of India. It is known as Roca in parts of Brazil

What are the advantages of slash and burn agriculture?

The advantage of slash and burn is that it quickly clears dense vegetation from the land so that it can be used for subsistence farm or cash crop and provide a source of food and/or income to the community.

What are the disadvantages of slash and burn?

The glaring disadvantage of slash and burn is that it causes deforestation, habitat loss, air pollution, run off, and is usually only suitable for farming for a limited amount of time. It is also a leading cause of climate change and threatens biodiversity.

What are some solutions to slash and burn agriculture?

Regenerative Agriculture and renewable agriculture techniques such as no-till farming, terrace farming, crop rotation, and land reclamation can be taught to indigenous as a way forward to produce sustainable food systems. Unfortunately, this is difficult to get buy-in from local people who have been using the slash and burn methods of farming for generations. Many indigenous populations do not have the resources for many of the regenerative agriculture techniques. There are many regenerative agriculture techniques that can be used by rural communities such as cover crops, crop rotation and combining crop cultivation with animal husbandry to replenish the soil.

There are several organizations working to help indigenous communities find alternatives to slash and burn farming.

 


VIDEO: SLASH & BURN AGRICULTURE


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