The term “Taungya Cultivation” is Burmas word meaning hill cultivation, and the system was started for the first time in Burma in 1856. Then it was introduced into Bangladesh (Chittagong and Sylhet) in 1870. The taungya system is defined as a method of establishing a forest crop in temporary association with agricultural crops. It is a method of raising forest plantations in which cultivators are allowed to grow agricultural crops for initial periods of a few years. In return, they are made to raise forest plantations.
Definition: Taungya System is a form of agroforestry system in which short-term crops are grown in the early years of the plantation of a woody perennials species to utilize the land, control weeds, reduce establishment costs, generate early income, and stimulate the development of the woody perennials species.
This is a modified term of shifting cultivation in which labor is permitted to raise a crop in an area but only side by side with the forest species planted by them. The practices consist of land preparation, tree planting, growing agricultural crops for 1 to 3 years until shade becomes dense, and repeating the cycle in a different area. Traditional Taungya consists of land preparation for tree plantation, growing agricultural crops for 1 to 3 years after the tree plantation, and moving on to another location to repeat the cycle.
Types of Taungya
There are three types of Taungya
1. Departmental Taungya: Under this, agricultural crops and plantations are raised by the forest department. By employing daily paid laborers, raising agricultural crops and the plantation keeps the land free of unwanted vegetation.
2. Leased Taungya: The forest land is given on lease to the person who affects the highest money for raising Agril. Crop for a specialized number of years and ensure the care of tree plantation.
3. Village Taungya: This is the most successful of all the three Taungya systems. Under this, the people who have settled down in a village inside the forest raise crops. Usually, each family has about 0.8 to1.7 ha of land, raising trees and cultivating crops for 3 to 5 years.
Advantages of Taungya System
- Artificially, regeneration of the forest is done at a cheaper rate.
- Problem of unemployment is solved to some extent.
- Better utilization of land.
- Remunerative to the forest department.
Disadvantages of Taungya System
- Creates some legal issues.
- Exploitation of hum in labour.
- Danger of epidemic.
- Loss and soil fertility.
How To Make Taungya System (Procedure)
The Taungya system begins with the harvesting of the forest. The harvested area is clear cut and burnt. Some trees are reserved for shade or for fruit. Usually, the site selected for the Taungya system should be flat and fertile. Generally, one or two hectares of land are allocated to one family. However, sometimes the amount of area may be more.
Usually, cultivation of an agricultural crop is permitted for one or two years before forest plantation. This helps the farmer take one or two good harvests in the highest fertility condition of forest land. Allowing one or two crops before plantation is an incentive to the farmers for clearing the land for forest plantation.
When tree crops are planted with agricultural produce in the second or third year, they receive the intensive cultural operation benefits the farmer adopted for his agricultural crops. When the forest plantation gets established, the farmers have to leave the area.