Ecological Problems Due to Shifting Cultivation

The current practice of shifting cultivation in eastern and north eastern regions of India is an extravagant and unscientific form of land use. The evil effects of shifting cultivation are devastating and far-reaching in degrading the environment and ecology of these regions. The earlier 15–20 year cycle of shifting cultivation on a particular land has reduced to 2–3 years now. This has resulted in large-scale deforestation, soil and nutrient loss, and invasion by weeds and other species. The indigenous biodiversity has been affected to a large extent. To mitigate the environmental loss and to provide other alternatives of livelihood to the local population, we have made an attempt in this paper to suggest environmental management options for shifting cultivation areas.

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