Here is a short note on Shifting Cultivation, important for upcoming government exams like SSC, UPSC, RRB NTPC, and all other regional level exams. The native name of Shifting cultivation is always asked in various competitive exams, for example, “Shifting cultivation in Malaysia is known by what name?” Here the answer is Ladang.
Types of Agriculture
➧ Based on methods of farming, agriculture is classified into major two categories. These are_
◘ Subsistence Agriculture
◘ Plantation Agriculture
➧ Subsistence Agriculture
☛ In this type of farming all the produced crops or nearly so consumed by the people of that farming area.
☛ It can be classified into two categories_
◘ 1. Primitive Subsistence Agriculture
◘ 2. Intensive Subsistence Agriculture
☛ Primitive subsistence agriculture is also known as shifting cultivation or slash and burn agriculture.
What is Shifting Cultivation?
➧ Shifting Cultivation is a form of primitive subsistence agriculture in which farmers clear a small area of land and cultivated food grains like cereals and paddy. After harvesting the crops when the fertility of the soil decreased they abandoned the area and shifted to a fresh patch of land.
➧ Shifting cultivation is also called slash and burn agriculture because the natural vegetation of the small land area is usually cleared by fire. The ash produced by burning natural vegetation helps in increasing the fertility of this soil.
➧ In shifting cultivation farming is done with very primitive tools such as sticks and hoes.
➧ After 3 to 5 years of cultivation, the soil loses its fertility and the farmers move to other places and clears another patch of land to start farming again, and the farmer shifts to other parts and clears another patch of the forest.
Different names of shifting cultivation in India
In the below table, Here we have listed the important “different names of slash and burn agriculture or shifting cultivation” of Indian states and other countries in the World.
|Sl.No||State/Region||Shifting Cultivation Name|
|3.||Hilly Region of|
the Western Ghats
|5.||Bastar District (Chhattisgarh)||Deepa|
|6.||Southern States||Zara and Erka|
|Vevar and Dahiyaar|
|8.||Odisha||Kaman, Vinga and Dhavi|
Terms used for shifting cultivatión in different parts of the World
|Sl.No||Country||Shifting Cultivation Name|
|4.||Java, Indonesia and Malaysia||Ladang|
|10.||Vietnam , Laos||Ray|
|13.||Yucatan and Guatemala||Milpa|
|16.||Equatorial African Countries||Fang|
|17.||Congo (Zaire river Valley)||Masole|
Advantages of Shifting Cultivation
• It is a traditional farming method where a plot of land is clean, burned, and cultured.
• It is a very easy and fast preparation method for land and agriculture.
• This type of farming is done using very small amounts of farming equipment.
• It is very useful for the people living in hilly areas.
• Within short period of time Crops can be easily produced and harvested.
• It helps the used land to get back all nutrients naturally without any help from the modern methods of replacing the soil.
Disadvantages of Shifting Cultivation
• Destruction of forests is the major disadvantage of shifting cultivation. Large-scale deforestation causes a variety of environmental problems, such as_
1. As a result of deforestation, the roots of the trees can no longer hold the soil in that place. This causes heavy erosion of the soil.
2. Deforestation causes floods in rivers and low-lying areas.
3. This method is responsible for reducing the soil fertility of crops as the land is abandoned when the soil is exhausted.
4. It causes a loss of biodiversity.
5. It disturbed the ecological balance of the region.
6. It destroyed the natural vegetation along with important medicinal plants.
Environmental Impacts of shifting cultivation
• Shifting cultivation causes loss of forest, including flora and fauna of that region, which includes precious species of trees, plants, shrubs, medicinal plants, and minor forest products.
• It is an easy method of deforestation.
• The wild animals lose their shelter.
• Causes heavy floods in the rivers below.
• Siltation to the tanks, Dallas, river, and reservoirs.
• Ecology is disturbed and destroyed, which is never restored.
• Soil erosion and loss of nutrients.
Previous Year Questions on Shifting Cultivations
1. Which of the following methods does not help in conserving soil fertility and moisture?
(SSC Section Officer (Audit) 2006)
A. Contour ploughing
B. Dry farming
C. Strip cropping
D. Shifting agriculture
2. “Slash and Burn agriculture” is the name given to_
(SSC Section Officer (Commercial Audit) 2007)
[A] method of potato cultivation
[B] process of deforestation
[C] mixed farming
[D] shifting cultivation
3. Jhumming is shifting agriculture practiced in
(SSC (10+2) Level Data Entry Operator & LCD 2011)
[A] North-eastern India
[B] South-western India
[C] South-eastern India
[D] Northern India
4. At the time of independence, predominantly India practiced
(SSC CGL Tier-I Re-Exam. (2013) 2014)
[A] Subsistence agriculture
[B] Mixed farming
[C] Plantation agriculture
[D] Shifting agriculture
5. Leaving agricultural land uncultivated for some years known as
(SSC GL Tier-I Exam. 19.10.2014)
[A] Intensive farming
[C] Shifting cultivation
[D] Subsistence farming
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Shifting Cultivation
Question 1: What is shifting cultivation?
Answer: Shifting cultivation is an agricultural system in which plots of land are cultivated temporarily, then abandoned while post-disturbance fallow vegetation is allowed to freely grow while the cultivator moves on to another plot.
Question 2: Shifting cultivation is also known by which names?
Answer: Shifting cultivation is also known as slash and burn agriculture. In this cultivation method, the farmers clear the natural vegetation of a small land by fire, then they start cultivating that land, and gradually when that land loses its fertility the farmers move to another new place. Here the word ‘Slash’ means “a cut made with a wide, sweeping stroke” and the word ‘Burn’ means clearing a small area of land by fire. In India, this type of farming is called jhumming or Jhum or jhoom cultivation
Question 3: Shifting cultivation is an ancient farming method widely practiced in______
Answer: The humid tropics of Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America.
Question 4: In India, shifting cultivation is widely practiced in the area of?
Answer: Northeast India like Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and some other parts of India like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Odisha.
Question 5: Dahiyaar or Dahiya cultivation practiced in?
Answer: Dahiyaar or Dahiya is a type of shifting cultivation, which is practiced by Baiga tribes. Baiga means sorcerers. Baiga tribes mainly live in Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh.
Question 6: Humah is the name for shifting cultivation practiced in?
Answer: Humah shifting cultivation is practiced in Indonesia.
Question 7: Milpa and Ladang are different names of___?
Answer: Milpa and Ladang are different names for shifting cultivation, which is practiced in Yucatan, Guatemala, and Java, Indonesia respectively.