SHIFTING CULTIVATION PRACTICES IN BARAK VALLEY, INDIA – POLICY SCENARIOS FROM A SPATIALLY EXPLICIT LAND USE MODEL
Barak valley is a region in north east part of India where the practice of shifting cultivation is quite prevalent. Population growth coupled with the geographic isolation of the area have led to an increased pressure on land and a consequent decline in forest cover. The decrease of forests observed is spatially distributed and dependent on neighborhood rules. Hence, we look towards modelling the land use change to understand the land use changes and the factors affecting them. In this paper, we modify an agent-based land use model for modelling shifting cultivation to determine how various policy changes at a larger scale might affect the shifting cultivation practice in the region at the micro level. We explore scenarios like drastic population increase and availability of irrigation infrastructure in the area. Through the scenario analysis we explore how policies play a role in agriculture patterns and influence land use patterns.