Study on Shifting Cultivation Cycle (Jhum Cycle) in Mokokchung District of Northeast India Using Multi Temporal Satellite Data

H. C. Kalita *

KVK, ICAR-NRC on Pig, Dudhnoi, Goalpara, Assam, India

S. K. Baishya

KVK, ICAR-NRC on Pig, Dudhnoi, Goalpara, Assam, India.

P. Dutta

KVK, ICAR-NRC on Pig, Dudhnoi, Goalpara, Assam, India.

S. Borah

Department of Extension and Communication Management, CCS, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, Assam, India.

Vishram Ram

School of Natural Resource Management, CPGS, Central Agricultural University, Barapani, Meghalaya, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Shifting cultivation has a long history that predates the development of agriculture as a whole. Locally known as jhum farming in Northeast India, this system's farmers are referred to as jhummias. The strategy is based on crop planting during the wet season and cutting and burning vegetation during the dry season. After growing crops for two to three years, the land is left fallow for a number of years before being further cultivated. The locations and area under various jhum cycles are currently inadequate. This was the first attempt to use GIS and remote sensing tools to generate data on various shifting cultivation fellow cycle periods in Mokokchung district of Northeast India between 1991 and 2012. To locate moving farmed areas, IRS sensor data for the year 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2012 were used. While for the years 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2000, Land-sat TM satellite imagery was used. ERDAS envision and Arc GIS 10.0 software tool were used to determine the area under different jhum cycles, namely 20, 10, and 5 years, and to create the map. For the purpose of determining the spatial extent of the current shifting agricultural areas over the course of 20 years, visual interpretation of the images has been carried out and verified with field checking. Our findings indicate that the Northeast Indian district of Mokokchung's jhum lands declined from 8.99% to 6.31% of its overall geographic area. The highest jhum area in the research region was likewise estimated to be under 20 years cycle (817.23 ha), followed by 5 years cycle (783.02 ha), 10 years cycle (591.9 ha), and 15 years cycle (684.55 ha). A correct fallow cycle of shifting agriculture may help to increase watershed conservation while maximizing crop productivity, according to the fundamental concept of our work.

Keywords: Shifting cultivation, jhum, fallow cycle, Northeast India

How to Cite

Kalita, H. C., Baishya, S. K., Dutta, P., Borah, S., & Ram, V. (2023). Study on Shifting Cultivation Cycle (Jhum Cycle) in Mokokchung District of Northeast India Using Multi Temporal Satellite Data. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 13(10), 2023–2031.


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