What is jhoom farming?


The word Jhum  (Jhoom) or Podu refers to shifting or slash and burn cultivation. It is one of the oldest practices of agriculture systems.

How is Jhum (Jhoom) farming done?

In this system, a patch of forest land is cleared by cutting trees, shrubs, bushes. During May and June, the entire field is set on fire, allowing the dried trees, shrubs and bushes to burn and the land is ploughed immediately after the first shower. It is believed that doing so improves the soil quality.

Grains are sown before the arrival of monsoon. All sort of indigenous seeds, including cereals, pulses, vegetables and oilseeds are just broadcasted and harvested periodically one by one crop. Once a patch of land is cultivated, they move to another piece of land in the next year, and the cycle continues.

Places where this farming is found

It is known as Jhum (Jhoom) in Northeastern India, Podu in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and some southern Indian states. This form of agriculture is being practised by the tribals, and it is one of the controversial farming systems because of opinions about its impact on the environment.

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