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Reintroducing agrobiodiversity to design more sustainable banana cropping systems in the French West Indies

Malézieux E., Ganry J., Dorel M.. 2004. In : Jacobsen Sven-Erik (ed.), Jensen Christian Richardt (ed.), Porter John R. (ed.). VIII ESA congress, 11-15 July 2004, Copenhagen, Denmark: European agriculture in a global context. Book of proceedings. Taastrup : KVL, p. 939-940. Congress of the European Society for Agronomy. 8, 2004-07-11/2004-07-15, Copenhagen (Danemark).

In most producing countries, banana production for export is based on intensive monocrop, monospecific and monocultivar systems that require high chemical inputs and frequent plantings to obtain a steady production. In the French West Indies, the monoculture of banana (Musa spp., AAA group, cv. Cavendish Grande Naine) requires a high pesticide use to control fungi (Mycosphaerella musicola, responsible for Sigatoka disease), nematodes (Radophollus similis and associated nematodes and fungi species that damage the root system), insects (Cosmopolites sordidus, that causes damage on bulbs) and weeds. The control of these pests and diseases requires several applications of fungicides, nematocides, insecticides and herbicides per year that may lead to serious threats to air, soil and water quality, with major detrimental impacts on environment and human health. Environmental risks include pesticide leaching into surface and ground water, soil erosion and compaction due to frequent plantings (pests reduce yields and increase plant falls due to poor root system leading to plot destruction and a new planting). These risks are magnified in fragile ecosystems such as tropical islands like those that prevail in Guadeloupe or Martinique (F.W.I. , 16°15'N, 61°32'W) where inhabited areas, coral reefs and rainforests are located close to these intensive agrosystems. Designing more sustainable cropping systems appears hence as a key ecological and social challenge in the European islands of Guadeloupe or Martinique (FWI). This presentation explores possible solutions and analyses current research needs. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : système de culture; musa (bananes); agriculture alternative; culture sous couvert végétal; jachère; antilles françaises; france

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