What is Jhum Cultivation? Where it is followed in India?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

Jhum Cultivation is an agricultural system of crop growing in the northeastern states of India. It is also called slash-and-burn agriculture which is the practice of clearing part of a particular forest by cutting down crops or trees and then getting rid of burning them to clear that area.

The seeds are then sown in a clean area with the help of poker. The resultant ashes are used in the fertilization of the soil. This soil is later successfully used for grazing cows and farming.

Jhum Cultivation in India

Jhum cultivation is a traditional shifting cultivation technique. Jhum cultivation in India is mainly practiced by indigenous communities in North East India. It includes areas near Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram.

  • The farmers practicing Jhum cultivation are known as Jhumias.
  • They cut down trees in January and then burn them while the saplings, bamboo, and wood are sun-dried and then burned in March or April, leaving the land clear and suitable for cultivation.
  • In addition, Bengalis in the Chittagong hill areas of Bangladesh practice this type of farming for many years in the month of Baishakh and Jyeshtha.
  • After clearing the land, they sow seeds of sesame, maize, sweet pumpkin, cotton, Marfa, and paddy for months.
  • However, this practice of jhum cultivation cannot be practiced annually (due to drought and other natural reasons).
  • The land is left unusable, and cultivation is carried out in other places due to the loss of minerals and loss of soil fertility.

Drawbacks of Jhum Cultivation

The Jhum cultivation technique also leads to certain negative effects on the surrounding environment. Some of these drawbacks are given below.

  • Deforestation
  • Infertility of the soil
  • Flooding of rivers
  • Loss of flora and fauna
  • Soil Erosion

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