The taungya (taung = hill, ya= cultivation) is a Burmese word coined in Burma in the 1950s but it is believed that the system is much older having originated in China. The taungya method spread from Burma to other parts of word .It was introduced into South Asia as early as 1887, 1890 in Chittagong area in India and in 1895 to Bengal in this system government gave land to shifting cultivators and allowed them to grow trees and agricultural crop together. When tree canopy closed and precluded further agricultural cropping farmers were shifted to another site.
This is a modified form of shifting cultivation in which the labour is permitted to raise crops in an area but only side with the forest species planted to it. This labour is responsible for the upkeep of a plantation. The practices consists of land preparation, tree planting, growing agricultural crops for 1-3 years, until shade become too dense crop and then moving on to the repeat the cycle in a different area. In some cases crop may be grown one year before the trees are planted.
In Nepal the taungya system was started sometime in 1972 at Tamagadhi area of Bara district i.e. in the Terai Regions of Nepal. This areas was originally covered with forests consisting mainly of Shorea robusta Asna, and its associates the hills. In an efforts to sane the remaining forest and to engage the migrants in forest activities, the taungya system was practiced in that area.
Advantages of Taungya:
• Artificial regeneration of the forest is obtained cheaply.
• Problems of unemployment are solved.
• Helps towards maximum utilization of the site.
• Low cost method of forest plantation establishment.
• In every case highly remunerative to the forest departments.
• Provision of food crops from forest land ; and
• Weed, climber growth etc is eliminated.
Disadvantages of the taungya system:
• Loss of fertility and exposure of soil.
• Danger of epidemics.
• Legal problem created Susceptibility of land to accelerated erosion.
Shifting cultivation:This from of low-input agriculture and fallow managements is common in Asia. If managed property this practice can be sustainable but depends upon the fallow period. Forest land is cleared through, burning (also known as slash and burn agriculture) for agriculture operation. Different kinds of shifting cultivation were practiced by farmers around Asian countries. This type of system is commonly practiced in Middle Mountains Region of Nepal.
Advantages of Shifting cultivation:
• Weed control.
• Easy method of clearing for agriculture.
• Suitable for root crops like banana based cropping systems.
Limitation of shifting cultivation:
• Increases soil and nutrient loss.
• Soil nitrogen is lost by burning.
• Siltation and other environmental problems.
• Low input in long run.