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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

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Publication | 2021

Ensuring seasonal food availability and dietary diversity during and after transition of shifting cultivation systems to settled agriculture

Despite holding the promise of food security, improved nutrition and enhanced incomes, the establishment of terraces and plantations as replacements for shifting cultivation has resulted in large-scale permanent land-use change and the consequent erosion of the diverse resource base that upland communities are dependent on for their food and nutritional needs. This policy brief examines the impacts on seasonal food availability and dietary diversity from replacing shifting cultivation with settled agriculture. Drawing on the examples of Northeast India and Laos PDR, the brief discusses the ramifications for nutritional security and hidden hunger. The brief also explores possible approaches for overcoming this challenge and provides recommendations for addressing the issue during and after transition, which can be relevant and applicable not only for Northeast India and Laos PDR but also other countries in South and Southeast Asia.