Where is swidden agriculture practiced

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Swidden is mainly practiced in the mountainous and hilly parts of Latin America, Central Africa and Southeast Asia by smallholder farmers (Munthali 2013; Van et al. 2012), and often drives deforestation as well as forest degradation (Rahman et al.Mar 8, 2016

Full
Answer

What is an example of slash and burn agriculture?

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, for animal grazing in South and Central America, and by dry-rice cultivators in the forested hill country of Southeast Asia.

What is ‘slash and burn’ agriculture?

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.

Why is agriculture important and its role in everyday life?

Agriculture Important and its Role in Everyday Life. In most parts of the world, agriculture is an important source of livelihood. This entails hard work, but it contributes to the nation’s food safety and health. Agriculture was the primary source of the economy prior to the industrial revolution.

What is the definition of slash and burn agriculture?

Things to Remember

  • Slash-and-Burn Agriculture is a land use that dates back to the beginning of agricultural history. …
  • When no primary forest exists the fallow season shortens, secondary forests gradually disappear, and new techniques emerge or are adopted. …
  • Slash-and-Burn Agriculture is considered the primary source of deforestation. …

More items…

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What is swidden agriculture where is it practiced?

Shifting cultivation is also known as Swidden agriculture. This is a traditional agricultural practice in many parts of Asia, Africa and South Amercia.


Who uses swidden agriculture?

In these mountain areas, ethnic minorities from the Mon-Khmer and Sino-Tibetan language groups are engaged in subsistence swidden agriculture (shifting cultivation). This is one of the rare regions of the world where traditional swidden agriculture is still being practiced.


What is swidden farming in the Philippines?

Saguiguit Jr. said swidden agriculture had been practiced for centuries in the Philippines, with indigenous farmers roaming mountainous areas to farm, leaving their fields to lie fallow for years before returning and planting crops.


Where is slash and burn farming practiced?

Slash and burn agriculture is most often practiced in places where open land for farming is not readily available because of dense vegetation. These regions include central Africa, northern South America, and Southeast Asia. Such farming is typically done within grasslands and rainforests.


What is a swidden used for?

Swidden is an agricultural strategy that necessitates the slashing, cutting, felling, and burning of forested areas for the planting of impermanent garden plots or agricultural fields, and that has been the mainstay of horticulturalists and peasant farmers in the tropics and primeval forests of the world for the better …


Why is swidden cultivation used?

Swidden in practice Much of the world’s ‘primary’ forest has in fact been historically managed under shifting cultivation. Much ‘secondary’ regrowth is rich in biodiversity as the clearings encourage the growth of a range of plant species which in turn attract a diversity of birds and animals.


What is a swidden AP Human Geography?

Swidden. A patch of land cleared for planting through slashing and burning.


What is the local name of shifting cultivation in Brazil?

Shifting cultivation is called Roca in Brazil.


What is shifting cultivation known as in North East India?

Shifting cultivation or jhum, predominantly practiced in the north-east of India is an agricultural system where a farming community slashes secondary forests on a predetermined location, burns the slash and cultivates the land for a limited number of years.


Where is slash and burn agriculture practiced in India?

Tribal groups in the northeastern Indian states of Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and the Bangladeshi districts of Rangamati, Khagrachari, Bandarban and Sylhet refer to slash-and-burn agriculture as jhum or jhoom cultivation.


What is slash and burn agriculture called in Brazil?

Slash and Burn agriculture is known as Roca in Brazil, Milpa in Central America, Conuco in Venezuela and Ray in Vietnam.


What is slash and burn cultivation called in Brazil?

shifting cultivation in Brazil is known as Roca.


Where did svedjebruk farming originate?

This practice originated in Russia in the region of Novgorod and was widespread in Finland and Eastern Sweden during the Medieval period. It spread to western Sweden in the 16th Century when Finnish settlers were encouraged to migrate there by King Gustav Vasa to help clear the dense forests. Later, when the Finns were persecuted by the local Swedes, svedjebruk farming was spread by refugees to Eastern Norway in the Eastern part of Solør, in the area bordering Sweden known as Finnskogen (“the Finnish woods”).


What was the use of slash and burn agriculture?

Thus, since Neolithic times, slash-and-burn agriculture has been widely used to clear land to make it suitable for crops and livestock.


How long did it take for the Svedjebruk to regrow?

It was necessary to allow the former fields to regrow with forest for 10–30 years before repeating the cycle. As a result, the dwellings were often many kilometers from the fields. Furthermore, since the process was man-power intensive, extended families tended to work together and live in compact communities.


When is slash and burn used in agriculture?

In slash-and-burn agriculture, forests are typically cut months before a dry season. The “slash” is permitted to dry and then burned in the following dry season. The resulting ash fertilizes the soil and the burned field is then planted at the beginning of the next rainy season with crops such as rice, maize, cassava, or other staples.


What is slash and burn farming?

v. t. e. Slash-and-burn agriculture is a farming method that involves the cutting and burning of plants in a forest or woodland to create a field called a swidden. The method begins by cutting down the trees and woody plants in an area. The downed vegetation, or “slash”, is then left to dry, usually right before the rainiest part of the year.


What is swidden agriculture?

Swidden agriculture tends to be viewed as outdated when compared to intensive modern agriculture, and it is accused of being a primary cause of tropical deforestation. Modern agriculture involves the input of fertilizers to supplement soil nutrients and the use of herbicides to prevent the propagation of weeds.


What is swidden farming?

Swidden agriculture, then, represents a sustainable and cyclical farming method that makes use of natural processes; it is by no means outdated. Ancestral peoples have practiced swidden agriculture sustainably for countless generations, maintaining a cycle of cultivation and fallow that was and is appropriate for the land.


How to understand swidden agriculture?

In order to understand swidden agriculture correctly, we must do away with certain ‘classifications’. Swidden agriculture is best characterized by the idea of ‘continuity,’ not through ‘classification’. The necessity of perceiving a swidden field and fallow land as the same space at different points in time is also evident from the plants that the swidden farmers use. If we re-examine swidden agriculture from the standpoint of resource use and forest ecology and take ‘continuity’ as the key idea, swidden fields can be considered an ‘agricultural field’ for the purposes of food production in the first year after slashing and burning. However, over the long fallow period that follows, the area returns to being a biologically diverse ‘forest’ after repeated natural cycles of different types of vegetation invading and succeeding one another. Swidden fields function as both field and forest, and it is inappropriate to consider swidden agriculture to be environmentally destructive.


Why are swidden fallows important?

It is worth noting that swidden fallows serve an important role as grazing land for cattle and as a source of flora and fauna resources for everyday life .


How does swidden agriculture help soil fertility?

In addition, swidden agriculture not only allows the accumulation of organic soil matter through the decomposition of weeds, leaves, roots, branches and other plant parts, but also, through burning, both contributes to soil fertility by breaking down this accumulated organic matter and sterilizes the soil. Swidden agriculture, then, represents …


How does swidden agriculture affect the environment?

The argument that swidden agriculture causes environmental degradation focus es solely on the slashing and burning of trees for the reclamation of farmland. This ignores the value of the ten-or-more years of swidden fallow, which enables forest recovery. Farmland and fallow land are considered completely separate entities.


Is swidden farming harmful?

Swidden fields function as both field and forest, and it is inappropriate to consider swidden agriculture to be environmentally destructive.


What is swidden farming?

Swidden agriculture, also known as shifting cultivation, refers to a technique of rotational farming in which land is cleared for cultivation (normally by fire) and then left to regenerate after a few years. Governments worldwide have long sought to eradicate swidden agriculture, which is often pejoratively called ‘slash-and-burn’, …


What is the argument against swidden agriculture?

An argument against swidden agriculture is that it does not yield sufficiently to feed a burgeoning population. But the quality and diversity of the nutrition that is extracted from swidden plots is typically higher than from intensive agricultural systems. In one Amazonian area, less than 5% of the forest land is cultivated at any one time, the rest is in varying states of regeneration.


What was the impact of swidden on the world?

In the mid to late 20th century, swidden was seen as a disastrous activity which was destroying forests that should either be used for conservation or logging. The impacts of mining, dam building, plantations and the voracious demand for timber were underplayed, whist swidden was held up as conservation’s enemy number one. Several governments banned or severely restricted the practice whilst allowing vast areas of forest land to be cleared for logging, plantations and biofuel production.


What is the term for a forest people who practice chena cultivation?

Swidden in practice. The Wanniyala Aetto of Sri Lanka are a forest people who have traditionally practiced a form of agriculture called chena cultivation. The forest plots are cleared for one or two years and then left to rest for seven or eight.


Why is swidden agriculture unsuitable for permanent cultivation?

Many of the areas where swidden agriculture is practiced are unsuitable for permanent cultivation because the soils are too poor. By moving their plots from year to year, tribal communities have developed ways of ensuring a diverse and sustainable supply of food, rather than high, but short-term, yields.


What is slash and burn farming?

There are a huge number of different farming practices that are lumped together under the disparaging term ‘slash and burn’, otherwise known as swidden or shifting cultivation. It is also used to describe the rampant encroachment of farms and ranches into forested areas, first by felling the trees, then burning the stumps and then planting.


Why are tribal swidden systems important?

Far from being responsible for destroying biodiversity, tribal swidden systems are being recognised as having contributed to the diversity of forest areas and to maintaining the ecological value of these areas. This shows that tribal peoples are better at looking after their environment than anyone else.


What is swidden agriculture?

Swidden agriculture is practiced by diverse societies across a broad range of habitats, with the result that the methods, settlement patterns, cropping cycles, and traditional crops also vary widely. For instance, Bernard Sellato reports that the Dayak peoples of Borneo practice a range of agricultural pursuits, swidden being but one of many adaptive strategies. Among those Dayak groups that engage in swidden agricultural practices, crops consist of a variety of plant foods that are multicropped (planted within the same fields). According to Sellato, while the customary Dayak practice centers on the swidden cultivation of hill or dry rice in rain-forest clearings, such fields are seldom used to cultivate any more than a single crop of rice per year. However, while two crops of rice may be harvested on some occasions, cassava or manioc is sometimes cultivated within the same fields after the rice harvests. Once harvested, such fields are left to fallow for ten to twenty years. Sellato has also observed that the declining productivity of those swidden gardens closest to the communal dwelling place or longhouse often necessitates the relocation of village settlements and, thereby, accounts in large part for the shifting or semi-sedentary nature of the Dayak communities of Borneo, as is typical of other swidden farming communities the world over (p. 13).


What is swidden farming?

Swidden is an agricultural strategy that necessitates the slashing, cutting, felling, and burning of forested areas for the planting of impermanent garden plots or agricultural fields, and that has been the mainstay of horticulturalists and peasant farmers in the tropics and primeval forests of the world for the better part of the past four to eight thousand years. This method of agricultural intensification, more widely known as “slashand-burn” agriculture, is called tlacolol or milpa agriculture in Mesoamerica. It is often associated with patterns of shifting cultivation or extensive agriculture via which soil exhaustion or weed intrusion necessitates plot rotation and fallow cycles.


Who documented the introduction of swidden agricultural strategies into Norwegian Lapland from Finland at the beginning of the answer?

Similarly, Myrdene Anderson has documented the introduction of swidden agricultural strategies into Norwegian Lapland from Finland at the beginning of the eighteenth century. In fact, a further review of swiddenrelated documents in the eHRAF Collection of Ethnography (the online version of the Human Relations Area Files) will readily produce references to some forty-eight societies the world over whose cultural histories center on swidden agriculture or similar forms of agricultural intensification. Those societies range across the length and breadth of Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle America and the Caribbean, North America, Oceania, and South America.


What is the correlation between cropping periods and species competition?

Albers and M. J. Goldbach found a correlation between the duration of cropping periods in swidden systems and the onset of species competition, resulting in an irreversible ecosystem transformation away from forest cover to grassland ecological regimes (pp. 262 – 263). In such instances, deforestation was the inevitable result of poor choices made by swidden farmers who were not concerned with the long-term benefits of longer fallow cycles.

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Overview


History

Historically, slash-and-burn cultivation has been practiced throughout much of the world. Fire was already used by hunter-gatherers before the invention of agriculture, and still is in present times. Clearings created by the fire were made for many reasons, such as to provide new growth for game animals and to promote certain kinds of edible plants.
During the Neolithic Revolution, groups of hunter-gatherers domesticated various plants and anim…


Technique

Slash-and-burn fields are typically used and owned by a family until the soil is exhausted. At this point the ownership rights are abandoned, the family clears a new field, and trees and shrubs are permitted to grow on the former field. After a few decades, another family or clan may then use the land and claim usufructuary rights. In such a system there is typically no market in farmland, so land is not bought or sold on the open market and land rights are traditional.


Benefits and drawbacks

This system of agriculture provides millions of people with food and income. It has been ecologically sustainable for thousands of years. Because the leached soil in many tropical regions, such as the Amazon, are nutritionally extremely poor, slash-and-burn is one of the only types of agriculture which can be practiced in these areas. Slash-and-burn farmers typically plant a variety of crops, instead of a monoculture, and contribute to a higher biodiversity due to creati…


Regionally

Tribal groups in the northeastern Indian states of Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland and the Bangladeshi districts of Rangamati, Khagrachari, Bandarban and Sylhet refer to slash-and-burn agriculture as jhum or jhoom cultivation. The system involves clearing land, by fire or clear-felling, for economically-important crops such as upland rice, vegetables or fruits. After a …


Research

This type of agriculture is discouraged by many developmental or environmentalist organisations, with the main alternatives being promoted are switching to more intensive, permanent farming methods, or promoting a shift from farming to working in different, higher-paying industries altogether. Other organisations promote helping farmers achieve higher productivity by introducing new techniques.


Gallery

• Santa Cruz, Bolivia
• Chiang Mai, Thailand
• Arunachal Pradesh, India


See also

• 2006 Southeast Asian haze
• 2013 Southeast Asian haze
• 2015 Southeast Asian haze
• 2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires


Swidden and Conservation

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Some argue that part of the immense diversity of these forests is due to shifting cultivation practices, rather than endangered by them. Fire is one tool that is carefully used in these farming systems, which have been developed over generations to be appropriate to both the land and the community. In the mid to la…

See more on survivalinternational.org


Swidden in Practice

  • The Wanniyala Aetto of Sri Lanka are a forest people who have traditionally practiced a form of agriculture called chena cultivation. The forest plots are cleared for one or two years and then left to rest for seven or eight. The plots look untidy, with a multitude of different plants coexisting, rather than neat beds of specific crops, but this di…

See more on survivalinternational.org


Jummas and Jhum Cultivation

  • The Jummas – a group of several tribes in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of northern Bangladesh – are named after Jhum, their form of shifting cultivation. The Jumma tribes have developed this farming system to suit the rugged, hilly landscape in which they live. The Jhum system was an effective, sustainable system that provided for the needs of the Jumma tribes for generations. B…

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Yields from Swidden

  • An argument against swidden agriculture is that it does not yield sufficiently to feed a burgeoning population. But the quality and diversity of the nutrition that is extracted from swidden plots is typically higher than from intensive agricultural systems. In one Amazonian area, less than 5% of the forest land is cultivated at any one time, the rest is in varying states of regeneration. Many o…

See more on survivalinternational.org

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