Definition of KAINGIN
Variants of KAINGIN
ka•ing•in also ca•ing•in or ca•iñg•in \käˈēŋə̇n\ Origin of KAINGIN
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Definition of KAINGIN
: employing a technique of clearing land by slashing and burning underbrush and trees and plowing the ashes under for fertilizer This word doesn't usually appear in our free dictionary, but the definition from our premium Unabridged Dictionary is offered here on a limited basis. Note that some information is displayed differently in the Unabridged. To access the complete Unabridged Dictionary, with an additional 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary, start a free trial.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Slash-and-burn is an agricultural technique which involves cutting and burning of forests or woodlands to create fields. It is subsistence agriculture that typically uses little technology or other tools. It is typically part of shifting cultivation agriculture, and of transhumance livestock herding. Older English terms for slash-and-burn include assarting, swidden, and fire-fallow cultivation. Today the term "slash-and-burn" is mainly associated with tropical rain forests. Slash-and-burn techniques are used by between 200 and 500 million people worldwide. In 2004 it was estimated that, in Brazil alone, 500,000 small farmers were each clearing an average of one hectare of forest per year. The technique is not sustainable beyond a certain population density because, without the trees, the soil quality soon becomes too poor to support crops. The farmers have to move on to a virgin forest and repeat the process. Methods such as Inga alley farming have been proposed as an alternative to this ecological destruction. History
Historically, slash-and-burn cultivation was practiced throughout much of the world, in grasslands as well as woodlands. During the Neolithic Revolution, which included agricultural advancements, groups of hunter-gatherers domesticated various plants and animals, permitting them to settle down and practice agriculture which provides more nutrition per hectare than hunting and gathering. This happened in the river valleys of Egypt and Mesopotamia. Due to this decrease in food from hunting as human populations increased, agriculture became more important. Some groups could easily plant their seeds in open fields along river valleys, but others had forests blocking their farming land. In this context, humans used slash-and-burn agriculture to clear more land, and make it suitable for their plants and animals. Thus, since Neolithic times, slash-and-burn techniques have been widely used for converting forests into crop fields and pasture. Fire was used before the Neolithic as well, and by hunter-gatherers up to present times. Clearings created by fire were made for many reasons, such as to draw game animals and to promote certain kinds of edible plants such as berries. Slash-and-burn fields will typically be used and "owned" by a family until the soil is exhausted. At this point the "ownership" rights are abandoned, and the family will clear a new field, and the forest is permitted to grow on the old field. After a few decades, another family or clan may then use the land and claim usufructuary rights. In such a system there is typically no market in farmland, and land is not bought and sold in the open market. Such rights are "traditional."In slash-and-burn agriculture, forest will typically be cut months before a dry season....