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Jhum cultivation UPSC NOTE

 

  • It's a fascinating traditional agricultural technique practiced in parts of Northeast India and Bangladesh. 

  • Jhum, also known as shifting cultivation or slash-and-burn agriculture, involves clearing land of trees and vegetation, burning it, and then cultivating it for a few years before leaving it fallow (uncultivated) for a longer period to recover.

  • Jhum is predominantly practiced in the hilly regions of Northeast India, particularly in states like Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Meghalaya

  • It's also found in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.

  • The burnt vegetation releases nutrients into the soil, enhancing its fertility for a short period. 

  • Farmers typically grow staple crops like rice, maize, millet, and buckwheat during this time. 

  • After a few years, the soil fertility becomes depleted, and the plot is abandoned for longer, allowing the natural vegetation to regenerate.

  • Jhum, when practiced sustainably, can be quite efficient. 

  • It allows for high yields on small landholdings, suppresses weed growth, and controls soil-borne diseases

  • However, Jhum cultivation can become unsustainable under population pressure or if fallow periods are shortened. 

  • This can lead to soil erosion, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity

  • Finding ways to balance the traditional practice with modern environmental considerations is an ongoing challenge.

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Jhum cultivation UPSC NOTE
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