Slash-and-burn agriculture is when farmers cut down trees and burn the undergrowth , called slash. After the ground stops smoldering, farmers plant crops in the ash nutrient soil. However, the soil only remains fertile for two to seven years. After the soil goes bad, farmers find more land to slash-and-burn.
If practiced right, slash-and-burn is not all that bad. Slash-and-burn opens up areas for sun starved plants to grow. The Lacandon Maya people of Mexico practiced safe slash-and-burn. After burning the slash, they plant fruits, vegetables, and native plants. After the people leave the area, they allow it to reseed and regrow.
However, in some areas where the population is growing, farmers do not to let the forest regrow in areas once used. They slash-and-burn huge areas of land where regrowth would take longer. Farmers also grow only a few types of vegetables that use up the same nutrients in the soil. These practices destroy the soil and the forest.