What are the Steps of Shifting Cultivation?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The steps of Shifting Cultivation are to choose an area for planting, remove the vegetation and clear the land, burn the debris carefully, after the rain, the ashes mix with the soil and provide essential nutrients, leave the old land uncropped for 10 to 25 years, and cultivate the land again after 10 to 20 years. The various types of shifting agriculture are slash-mulch systems, slash-and-burn, plough-in-slash systems, etc.

Steps of Shifting Cultivation

Shifting Cultivation is a type of farming that involves felling and burning trees to clear a plot of land. The land is then abandoned, allowing vegetation to grow freely, and the cultivators relocate to another plot. This type of agriculture is also known as ‘slash and burn.’ 

The entire process of Shifting Cultivation is a simple three-step procedure that is repeatedly followed by the farmers to enable growth and vegetation. The steps can be summarized as follows:

  • Picking a piece of land
  • Cutting the trees in a particular part of the forest area
  • Burning the cut portions to create farming land
  • Shifting to a new area and repeating the process again step-wise

Characteristics of Shifting Cultivation

The Shifting Cultivation is ecologically viable if enough land is available for a long period of time (about 10 to 20 years).

  • The demand for food should not be excessive.
  • This system is well-suited to the tropics’ harsh environmental conditions and fragile ecosystems.
  • As a result, we have had limited success in finding viable alternatives to shifting agriculture in India.

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