1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Shifting cultivation in general, is a system of farming in which fields are prepared by cutting down the natural vegetations. Letting it dry and burning it off. This technique serves to clear the field and enrich the soil with nutrients from the ash. Shining cultivation fields are generally used not more than two years at a lime, after which the fanners move to a new area and repeat the process. The practice of shifting cultivation is accepted as an early stage of the agricultural evolution. This form of cultivation is still widely practiced in different parts of the world. As this practice dates back to the earliest times, it is thus regarded as primitive and archaic.
and thereby it is said to have ‘survived longest’ (Rolwey-Conl, W. Y, 2004).
The shifting field agriculture is characterized by ill rotation of’ fields rather than of crops, with short period of cropping alternating and long fallow period, and clearing by means of slash-and-burn. The practice of shifting cultivation is also referred to as slash-and-burn. Shifting cultivation’ has various local names, such as Khoriya, bhasme, Ihose’, and, so on. In this study, t he researcher used the local term ‘Khoriya’ and the general term ‘shifting cultivation’ interchangeably. In this study, the researcher intend to review different approaches and perspectives to study the shifting cultivation. Finally, the researcher would present some arguments as the major findings of my own field study (Dhakal 2009) in the Arun valley of eastern Nepal’. The study, as the researcher expect, will shed some light on how shifting cultivation has been approached and studied. It further intensify to enhance the way of understanding how possibly the practice of shifting cultivation might be approached in a particular context.