What Is Jhum Cultivation?

Charlotte Miller

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Are you curious to know what is jhum cultivation? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about jhum cultivation in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is jhum cultivation?

Jhum cultivation, also known as shifting cultivation or slash-and-burn agriculture, is a traditional method of farming prevalent in various parts of India and several other countries across the globe. This agricultural practice has sustained communities for generations, particularly in regions where access to modern farming techniques is limited.

What Is Jhum Cultivation?

Jhum cultivation involves a cyclical process where farmers clear a patch of land, burn the vegetation, and cultivate crops for a limited period. After exhausting the fertility of the soil, they move to another plot, allowing the previous land to regenerate its natural ecosystem.

Understanding Jhum Cultivation In India

In India, Jhum cultivation is predominantly practiced in northeastern states like Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, and parts of Assam. The hilly terrains and dense forests in these regions make Jhum an attractive and sustainable farming method for local communities.

Characteristics Of Jhum Cultivation

  • Rotational Farming: Farmers rotate their cultivation sites, allowing for natural regeneration of soil fertility.
  • Minimal Technology: Jhum relies on basic tools and traditional knowledge rather than modern agricultural equipment.
  • Reliance on Forest Ecosystem: It relies on forested areas, where land is cleared by cutting and burning trees.

Advantages Of Jhum Cultivation

  • Adaptability: Suited for hilly and forested regions where conventional farming is challenging.
  • Biodiversity: Promotes diverse crop cultivation and preserves indigenous seed varieties.
  • Community Bond: Encourages communal cooperation as families often work collectively on cultivation.

Disadvantages Of Jhum Cultivation

  • Soil Degradation: Continuous practice can lead to soil erosion and depletion of nutrients.
  • Environmental Impact: Deforestation and burning can have adverse effects on the ecosystem.
  • Low Productivity: Yields might not match modern agricultural methods due to shorter cultivation periods.

Where Jhum Cultivation Is Practiced In India?

Jhum cultivation finds its roots in the northeastern states of India, primarily in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, and certain parts of Assam. The geographical and climatic conditions of these regions make Jhum an integral part of the local agricultural heritage.


Jhum cultivation stands as a traditional yet contentious farming practice deeply rooted in the cultural and agricultural fabric of certain Indian regions. While it sustains communities and preserves indigenous agricultural knowledge, its impact on the environment and long-term sustainability remains a topic of debate.

In conclusion, understanding the nuances of Jhum cultivation sheds light on the intricate relationship between traditional farming practices, ecological balance, and the socio-economic dynamics of communities relying on this age-old agricultural technique.


What Is Jhum Cultivation Short Answer?

Jhum cultivation involves cutting the tree tops to burn vegetation on land. This creates fertile soil for cultivation. Once cultivation was done, another patch of land would be burned and cultivated. Jhum cultivation is also called shifting cultivation.

What Is A Shifting Cultivation Short Answer?

Shifting cultivation is an agricultural practice in which a plot of land was cultivated temporarily and is abandoned to allow vegetation to grow freely while the cultivator moves to another plot. Shifting cultivation has contributed to both positive and negative environmental impacts.

Who Used To Cultivate Jhum?

Jhum cultivation is the traditional shifting cultivation farming technique that is practised in certain parts of Northeast India and also by the indigenous communities in Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.

What Is The Jhum Cycle?

The Jhum cycle normally runs for around 6-10 years. i.e. when farmers return to the same patch of land and burn forest again. During those 6-10 years, same jungle provide forest produce to the tribals. Contrary to that, monoculture plantation causes permanent loss of forest, due to chemical inputs.

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