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There is a general perception among farmers that food crops grow well with an increase in yield only on farms made in the high forest with decades of deposit of organic matter in the soil. As a result, intact forest is cut down to be planted with crops for a few years, such as with rice then vegetables, then peanuts, before the land is abandoned or left fallow.
This practice is one of the major drivers of deforestation and the loss of critical habitat that was previously partly protected through local customary regulations (sacred forests), leading to the loss of the landscape’s connectivity. Another underlying major factor is population growth, which puts increased pressure on forest habitat to be converted to agriculture.