Definition of shifting cultivation in English:

shifting cultivation

(also shifting agriculture)


  • A form of agriculture, used especially in tropical Africa, in which an area of ground is cleared of vegetation and cultivated for a few years and then abandoned for a new area until its fertility has been naturally restored.

    • ‘This thinly populated area has 237 villages of which 205 have settlements and the remaining are abandoned due to shifting cultivation habit among the tribals.’
    • ‘Many slash-and-burn farmers are in a rapid transition from shifting cultivation to settled hill-rice agriculture and even to intensive farming.’
    • ‘Australian aboriginal people never practiced agriculture, so did not cut the rainforest for shifting cultivation, as occurs in rainforests in many other tropical regions.’
    • ‘They depend on shifting agriculture, complemented by animal husbandry, hunting, fishing, and gathering for their livelihood.’
    • ‘They practise shifting cultivation, periodically clearing the forest to grow millet, maize and pulses.’


shifting cultivation

/SHiftiNG ˌkəltəˈvāSHən/