What are the Characteristics of Shifting Cultivation?

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

The characteristics of Shifting cultivation are field rotation, the absence of fertilisation and draught animals, the use of only human labour, the use of a stick or hoe, and brief rotation periods with extended fallow periods. Shifting cultivation is a primitive form of land use, usually found in the tropical rainforests and scrublands of central Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia.

Table of content

  • 1. Characteristics of Shifting Cultivation (more)
  • 2. What are the Characteristics of Shifting Cultivation? (more)

Characteristics of Shifting Cultivation

In this farming system, farmers only grow food for their own families. In nearby markets, some minor surpluses are traded, bartered (commodity for commodity exchange), or sold for cash. As a result, the migrant population is economically independent and self-sufficient, and the resulting economy has little potential for rapid growth.

The characteristics of shifting cultivation are as follows:

  • Field rotation
  • Fire is used to cleanse the earth.
  • The land is left fallow for several years to allow regeneration.
  • The seeds are sown in the ashes after the first monsoon rains, usually harvested from September to October.
  • Human labour as the primary input
  • Draft animals are not used.

Sorting Cultivation:

  • Sorting requires clearing the jungle.
  • However, cutting down trees and clearing bushes accelerates soil erosion and accentuates rainfall variability, leading to drought or flooding.

Problems and Prospects:

  • The overall impact is decreased soil fertility.
  • Ecosystems are losing their resilience characteristics.
  • A population dependent on cultivation faces food shortages, fuelwood, and fodder.
  • As a result, the nutritional standard decreases.


What are the Characteristics of Shifting Cultivation?

Field rotation rather than crop rotation, the absence of fertilization and draught animals, the employment of only human labour, the use of a stick or hoe, and short rotation periods with lengthy fallow periods have been defined as the major characteristics of shifting farming.

Related Questions:

Our Apps Playstore
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium