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Slash-and-burn agriculture

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Slash-and-burn agricultureW is a type of subsistence agriculture that involves cutting and burning of forests or woodlands to create fields.

Overview[edit]

It is characteristic feature of shifting cultivatorsW and often cited as inherently destructive.

However, slash-and-burn cultivation has been practiced in the Amazon for at least 6000 years;[1] serious deforestation did not begin until the 1970s, largely as the result of Brazilian government programs and policies.[2] However, in this period, it may not have been slash-and-burn agriculture that was practiced, rather slash-and-charW, which with the addition of organic matter produces terra pretaW, one of the richest soils on Earth and the only one that regenerates itself.
  1. Sponsel, Leslie E. (1986) Amazon ecology and adaptation. Annual Review of Anthropology 15: 67-97.
  2. Hecht, Susanna and Alexander Cockburn (1989) The Fate of the Forest: developers, destroyers and defenders of the Amazon. New York: Verso.