slash and burn

By Calvin Gonzalez

what is it

tting down the vegetation in a particular plot of land, setting fire to the remaining foliage, and using the ashes to provide nutrients to the soil for use of planting food crops.

The cleared area following slash and burn, also known as swidden, is used for a relatively short period of time, and then left alone for a longer period of time so that vegetation can grow again. For this reason, this type of agriculture is also known as shifting cultivation.

how it helps

The resulting ash fertilizes the soil for vegetation to grow.

is it good or bad for soil and environment

Well slash and burn is actually good and bad...

The good is that it helps the soil gets it nutrients for what ever needs to be planted...

The bad is the loss of vegetation that follows slash-and-burn agriculture causes an increased level of soil erosion. The soils of the humid tropics create a hard pan underneath a thick layer of organic matter. Therefore, upon the removal of vegetation cover, huge areas of land become exposed to the torrential rainfalls that occur in these regions.

Slash-and-burn a way of life on Indonesia's Sumatra