2004 HIGHER PAPER 2 Q3c.
Describe traditional shifting cultivation in Amazonia. (6 marks)
Shifting cultivation is a form of subsistence agriculture.
Small areas (5ha) of forest are cleared with axes or machetes and the undergrowth is burnt, this is referred to as 'slash and burn'. The ashes are ploughed into the soil to be used as fertiliser. Crops such as yams, peppers and cassava are planted by hand using simple tools. Crops are harvested by hand. After a period of 4 - 5 years the soil becomes infertile and yields decline so the indigenous people move on and form another clearing.