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Moving Mountains

For mountains and people

Shifting cultivation

Shifting cultivation, another form of mountain agriculture, is prevalent in five countries of the eastern HKH region. Often, the poorest of the poor people from ethnic societies depend on shifting cultivation.

Large-scale transformations are taking place in this farming system, resulting in the further marginalization of marginal societies. ICIMOD has carried out systematic research to understand the transformation processes, community engagement and diversification, agro-biodiversity conservation, technological interventions and piloting of alternatives, promoting good agricultural practices within the system, policy studies, policy dialogues and knowledge sharing.

A number of publications from ICIMOD on shifting cultivation have been able to draw the attention of local and national governments in the eastern Himalayan region. REDD Initiative is working with forest departments to on afforestation, reforestation and restoration of fallow and degraded lands.

Pastoralism, agro-pastoralism and shifting cultivation in particular are sustained through traditional systems of accessing and managing common pool resources. Therefore mountain agriculture is unique in many ways, and demands a farming systems development approach.

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Summary of the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment Report (2019)

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