Thursday, March 1, 2012

Shifting cultivation

Shifting cultivation is a type of farming where people make temporary clearings in the forest to grow food. When the soil is no longer fertile after two to three years, the shifting cultivators abandon the field to look for another suitable plot of land. The first field is left to fallow, or rest, while the cultivators begin the cycle of activities on a new plot of land.The farmers may return to the same plot of land after 20 to 30 years.

Shifting cultivation id also known as ladang cultivation in Southeast Asia. There are 5 stages in shifting cultivation.

Stage 1: Selecting a plot of land
The headman of the tribe first chooses a plot of land in the forest.Trees in the area are felled and the undergrowth is cleared at the beginning of the dry season.

Stage 2: Burning the felled trees
The trees are left to dry before they are burnt. The ashes of the burnt trees act as fertilisers for the soil.

Stage 3: Planting
Planting is carried out after the ground has cooled. Holes are made witha dibble stick, into which seeds could be dropped.

Stage 4: Harvesting
Harvesting usually takes place during the dry season.

Stage 5: Fallowing
After a few years of cultivation, the soil loses its fertility. farmers then move on to look for a new plot of land, leaving the first field to fallow or rest. They may return to the same plot of lnf afetr a period of time.

Characteristics of shifting cultivation:

-Shifting cultivation is one of the earliest types of subsistence agriculture. The farmers grow enough food to feed themselves and their family.
-Also practised by trial people residing in forests.
Even though a small plot of land is cultivated each time, shiftig cultivation takes up large areas of forest land because farmers move on to another plot of land every few years.

Hardly any capital is required for shifting cultivation. The farmers use simple tools such as machetes, sickles, axes and sticks. Instead of buying seeds, they use seeds saved from the prrevious harvest.

Much work is required in the clearing and burning of trees and undergrowth , as well as in the sowimg of seeds. Less work, however, is required durimg the growing process. This is because the grops are not given any special care, other than some weeding by hand. Family members usually provide the labor for this kind of agriculture.

-the output per unit area is low and usually only enough to feed the farmer's family.
-A small variety of crops are grown. Examples include dryland rice, bananas, maize and tapioca.
-Output is usually only sufficient for survival


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At December 25, 2017 at 11:23 PM , Blogger Sean Parker said...

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