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image - shifting cultivation in the Amazon
After shifting cultivation trees should be re-planted to increase soil fertility.

Shifting Cultivation


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What is shifting cultivation?
Shifting cultivation is an example of arable, subsistence and extensive farming. It is the traditional form of agriculture in the rainforest. This case study will focus on the Amazonian Indians in South America.

Indians in tribes such as the Quicha and the Kayapo clear small areas of vegetation. They then burn it because the ash provides nutrients for the infertile soil. The land is then farmed for 2-3 years before the Indians move on to another area of the rainforest. This allows the area of rainforest to recover.


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