Slash and burn agriculture definition

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slash and burn agriculture definition

Slash-and-burn agriculture, also called fire-fallow cultivation, is a farming method that involves . Slash-and-burn may be defined as the large-scale deforestation of forests for agricultural use. Ashes from the trees help farmers by providing.

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Slash and burn agriculture is a widely used method of growing food in which wild or forested land is clear cut and any remaining vegetation burned. The resulting layer of ash provides the newly-cleared land with a nutrient-rich layer to help fertilize crops. However, under this method, land is only fertile for a couple of years before the nutrients are used up. Farmers must abandon the land, now degraded, and move to a new plot— clearing more forest in order to do so. Slash-and-burn agriculture has been used in Central America and Mexico for thousands of years. But today, with more people than ever trying to survive in the midst of dwindling natural resources, its impact is particularly destructive and unsustainable. There are many problems that result from this method of growing crops, including deforestation , a direct consequence of cutting down forests for crop land; loss of habitat and species ; an increase in air pollution and the release of carbon into the atmosphere—which contributes to global climate change ; and an increase in accidental fires.

Slash and burn farming is a form of shifting agriculture where the natural vegetation is cut down and burned as a method of clearing the land for cultivation, and then, when the plot becomes infertile, the farmer moves to a new fresh plat and does the same again. This process is repeated over and over. The soil loses its fertility because the richness of the rainforest is in the trees. Thus continuous recycling keeps everything fertile and growing. When this no longer happens in a cleared plot it soon becomes infertile. Torrential tropical rains quickly wash nutrients out of the soil when it is left bare after harvest.

Slash and burn agriculture—also known as swidden or shifting agriculture—is a traditional method of tending domesticated crops that involves the rotation of several plots of land in a planting cycle. It has also been documented in societies where people maintain a very broad diversity of food generation; that is, where people also hunt game, fish, and gather wild foods. Since the s or so, swidden agriculture has been described as both a bad practice, resulting in the progressive destruction of natural forests, and an excellent practice, as a refined method of forest preservation and guardianship. A recent study conducted on historical swidden agriculture in Indonesia Henley documented the historical attitudes of scholars towards slash and burn and then tested the assumptions based on more than a century of slash and burn agriculture. For example, if a swidden rotation is between 5 and 8 years, and the rainforest trees have a year cultivation cycle, then slash and burn represents one of what may be several elements resulting in deforestation. Slash and burn is a useful technique in some environments, but not in all. Alternatively, when farmers have access to off-farm income, swidden agriculture is maintained as a complement to food security see Vliet et al.

The cleared area following slash and burn, also known as swidden, is used for a relatively short period of time, and then left alone for a longer period of time so that vegetation can grow again. For this reason, this type of agriculture is also known as shifting cultivation. The plot is left alone for longer than it was cultivated, sometimes up to 10 or more years, to allow wild vegetation to grow on the plot of land. When vegetation has grown again, the slash and burn process may be repeated. Slash and burn agriculture is most often practiced in places where open land for farming is not readily available because of dense vegetation. Such farming is typically done within grasslands and rainforests.

Slash-and-burn agriculture , method of cultivation in which forests are burned and cleared for planting. Slash-and-burn agriculture is often used by tropical-forest root-crop farmers in various parts of the world and by dry-rice cultivators of the forested hill country of Southeast Asia. The ash provides some fertilization , and the plot is relatively free of weeds. After several years of cultivation, fertility declines and weeds increase. Traditionally, the area was left fallow and reverted to a secondary forest of bush. Cultivation would then shift to a new plot.

What Is Slash And Burn Agriculture?

IAS Exam Questions - Slash and Burn Agriculture definition -What is shifting cultivation



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