"NOT GOOD - SLASH & BURN AGRICULTURE" Top 5 Page for this destination Africa Local Custom Tip by DAO
Africa Local Customs: 97 reviews and 215 photos
You are looking at a crime. This is both against the law and an environmental disaster. Slash & Burn agriculture is just like it sounds. It happens all over Africa, but my pictures and story are from Madagascar (Photo 5 is in Burundi). In Madagascar this traditional way of clearing land is called ‘Tavy’. Local farmers mark of a few acres of, often rain forest, and literally burn it all to the ground. They do this to plant rice field mostly. Rice is harvested for 1-2 year from the now cleared land and then left alone, or fallow, for 4-6 years. The process is repeated through 2-3 more cycles until the soils nutrients are destroyed. Then little can grow on it except scrub and rains bring erosion and further damage to the land. As poor farmers exhaust the flatter land, they then move up increasingly steep slopes over the years and this causes even worse environmental disaster. Why do they do it? It is illegal and poor land management. Unfortunately this quick & easy process has been handed down for generations. The government has stopped this in some areas through education of more productive methods, but not very area has gotten the message.
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