Jhum Cultivation versus the New Land Use Policy: Agrarian Change and Transformation in Mizoram


The Mizo people of India have practiced jhum cultivation (“slash-and-burn”) for hundreds of years. However, since British colonial rule, they have increasingly lost control of communal land because of governmental development and land-use policies. Furthermore, in post-colonial India, the practice of jhum cultivation is often considered an extravagant and unscientific form of land use. Pessimistic attitudes toward jhum cultivation practice are driven largely by the rise of liberal economic policies, and concern for potential ecological crises. This paper adds to current debates surrounding jhum cultivation, forest conservation, and agrarian change in Mizoram by looking at jhum cultivation in relation to the New Land Use Policy introduced by the government of Mizoram in 1984.

DOI: doi.org/10.5282/rcc/6162