Shifting agriculture, locally known as ‘Jhum’ in north eastern part of India is one of the main components of village agroecosystem. It is subjected to various kinds of criticism such as the main cause of forest degradation and subsequent ecological imbalances in the region, apart from low productivity and economic returns to the farmers. But even all forms of agriculture taken as a whole in this region, it is a still a minor land use in terms of spatial extent (net sown area being < 20% of total geographical area). In term of dependencies by the traditional communities in Northeast India on shifting agroecosystem, it is the backbone of local livelihoods and ecosystem services. It is rather one of the complementary land uses in a larger frame of integrated ecosystem consisting of wet paddy cultivation, plantations and forests. Shifting agriculture practice involving controlled logging and limited extraction of biomass is sustainable in term of species regeneration and rejuvenation of forest.
Keywords Shifting agriculture, Forest, Northeast, Landscape, Local communities, Arunachal Pradesh