Slash-and-burn agriculture, or fire–fallow cultivation, is a farming method that involves the cutting and burning of plants in a forest or woodland to create a field called a swidden. (Preparing fields by deforestation is called assarting.) In subsistence agriculture, slash-and-burn typically uses little technology. It is often applied in shifting cultivation agriculture (such as in the Amazon rainforest) and in transhumance livestock herding.
Slash-and-burn is used by 200–500 million people worldwide. In 2004 it was estimated that in Brazil alone, 500,000 small farmers each cleared an average of one hectare (2.47105 acres) of forest per year. The technique is not scalable or sustainable for large human populations. Methods such as Inga alley farming have been proposed as alternatives which would cause less environmental degradation.