3. Chitemene Cultivation (2)
In October, when the rainy season approaches, villagers set fire to the piled up branches and leaves to create a chitemene (burned field), covered with thick ashes. The burning helps to return the nutrients stored in the trees into the soil and increase the chemical reactivity of the nutrients in the soil, which also eliminates the seeds of weeds. In the chitemene villagers cultivate mainly finger millet and other crops such as cassava, beans, peanuts, tomatoes and pumpkins. After cultivating the field for four to five years, combining mixed and rotated cropping, the land is laid fallow.