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

By meenakshi|Updated : August 26th, 2022

Jhum Cultivation is an agricultural practice of crop-growing farming followed in North-East states in India. Jhum Cultivation or slash and burn agriculture is the practice of cleaning a particular jungle portion by cutting off the crops or the trees and then getting rid of that by burning to clear the area. Then, with the help of poker, the seeds are sowed in the clear area.

Jhum Cultivation in India

Jhum Cultivation is a traditional shifting cultivation technique. Jhum Cultivation in India is predominantly practiced by the indigenous communities in North East India. It includes areas near Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram. The farmers who practice Jhum Cultivation are known as the jhummias. They cut the trees in January and then burn them while plants, bamboo, and wood are dried in the sun and then burnt in March or April, making the land clear and suitable for cultivation.

Also, the Bengalis in the Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh practice this type of cultivation for many years during 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 yearly (because of drought and other natural reasons). The land is left unused, and the farming is done in other locations because of the loss of minerals and decreased soil fertility.

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  • Jhum Cultivation, also known as slash and burn agriculture, is a practice of farming in which crops are cut and burnt to clear the land for further cultivation. After clearing, new seeds are sowed using poker.

  • The Jhum Cultivation has a lot of drawbacks. A few are soil erosion, flooding of lakes and rivers, loss of soil fertility, deforestation, destruction of fauna and flora, and much more. Also, it demands continuous labor and heavy agricultural activities.

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