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Shifting Cultivation. Mocachino: Aaron Sean Ji Won Micalla. Contents. What is Shifting Cultivation? Who and where is Shifting Cultivation practiced? Steps of shifting cultivation Characteristics of Shifting Cultivation Advantages of Shifting Cultivation

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Shifting Cultivation


Aaron Sean Ji Won Micalla



  • What is Shifting Cultivation?
  • Who and where is Shifting Cultivation practiced?
  • Steps of shifting cultivation
  • Characteristics of Shifting Cultivation
  • Advantages of Shifting Cultivation
  • Disadvantages of Shifting Cultivation
  • Environmental effects of Shifting Cultivation
what is shifting cultivation
What is Shifting Cultivation?
  • Shifting cultivation is usually practiced by the tribal groups living in the forests, and involves only a very small land area.
  • The chosen piece of land in the forest is cut down and burnt to ashes that act as a form of temporary fertilizers.
  • A variety of crops are cultivated at the same time. When the land loses its fertility in about 2 to 3 years' time, the land is abandoned and the tribe will search for a new patch of forest to clear.
  • This form of "slash-and-burn" method could sometimes destroy a larger forested area than planned.
who and where practices shifting cultivation
Who and where practices Shifting Cultivation?
  • Shifting Cultivation is practiced in countries such as India, Africa and Asia, in areas which meet the conditions, such as forested highlands.
  • Usually practiced by individuals and families, sometimes also practiced by primitive tribes.
  • It is also mainly practiced in tropical or equatorial rainforests.
steps of shifting cultivation
Steps of Shifting Cultivation
  • The tribe chooses a plot of land in the rainforest and clears it using the slash and burn method.
  • The crops are then grown. The crops usually grown in shifting cultivation include rice, beans, maize, cassava, etc. After a 2 to 3 years of growing and harvesting on the plot of land, the soil begins to lose fertility, and weeds start growing extensively.
  • The family or tribe would then abandon the plot of land and move to a new area. The tribe would not return to the same plot of land for another 20 – 50 years because the soil has to regain it’s fertility.
characteristics of shifting cultivation
Characteristics of Shifting Cultivation
  • Crops are mainly frown for subsistence.
  • Small scale farming.
  • Small farmlands used.
  • The longer the same patch of land is abandoned, the more fertile it will be when used again.
  • The method used for clearing space is mostly “slash-and-burn”.
  • After the trees are burnt, the ashes are then returned to the earth as natural fertilizer.
advantages of shifting cultivation
Advantages of Shifting Cultivation?
  • In lesser populated areas, the “Slash-and-burn” method is more sustainable and productive than other methods, due to the lack of people in the area, and shifting cultivation relies heavily on “slash-and-burn”.
  • By regularly switching farmlands, the prevention of over-exhaustion on farms will increase.
  • Sometimes the timber salvaged from making the clearing are used in stead of burned. For example, construction, fences, etc…
disadvantages of shifting cultivation
Disadvantages of Shifting Cultivation
  • “Slash-and-burn” method will cause a lot of pollution.
  • Shifting cultivation will not earn a lot of money as it is a type of subsistence farming.
  • It could be a lot of hassle to regularly switch farmlands as well as homes.
environmental effects of shifting cultivation
Environmental Effects of Shifting Cultivation
  • Due to the clearing of trees and such, floods will happen more often because there are no roots to absorb the water.
  • Air pollution will happen when the trees are burned.
  • Landslides will also happen more frequently as there aren’t any roots to hold the earth together.


Shifting Cultivation – Definitions and much more from [Accessed on October 17th] Available at

(This site has shown a lot of the information we have, not all, but a lot.)

Shifting Cultivation [Accessed on October 17th] Available at

(This site contain more details on the steps of our topic.)

Shifting Cultivation[online] Available from Accessed on 18 Oct 2007

(Most of our information of Slash and Burn are found here.)



List down 3 crops that grow in shifting cultivation.

WHAT is shifting cultivation?

Do they sell the crops for the money? Explain

Why do people do shifting cultivation?

arrange the followings
Arrange the followings
  • Burn the crops
  • Plant the crops in another place
  • Cut the crops
  • Plant the crops
  • Move to another place