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Sustainable cropping systems for export banana in the French West Indies: A on-going reality that no longer remains elusive?

Risède J.M., Dorel M., Chabrier C., Quénéhervé P., Tixier P., Jenny C.. 2005. In : CFCS, Guadeloupe. 41st Annual Meeting of the Carribean Food Crop Society = 41ème Congrès annuel de la Société Caraïbe pour les Plantes Alimentaires, 10-16 juillet 2005, Gosier. s.l. : s.n., 1 p.. Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Food Crops Society. 41, 2005-07-10/2005-07-16, Gosier (Guadeloupe).

In tropical America and the neighbouring caribbean region, intensive banana cropping systems have long been pointed out as detrimental for environment and human safety, seeing the numerous agrochemical pesticides and huge quantities of fertilisers they required to ensure sufficient production. They especially matter in the insular French West Indies because of their proximity with rivers, coasts and natural ecosystems, and also cause of their overlapping with rural housing. Beyond the claimed necessity to lessen their environmental impacts, an in-deep transformation of the banana landscapes of Guadeloupe and Martinique is actually taking place, due to the fact that more environmentally-friendly techniques and strategies are promoted. Alternative cropping systems are thus being gradually implemented. They mainly rely on soil and crop sanitation, perpetuation of a forecasting system for a rational control of the Yellow Sigatoka Disease, promotion of parasites and pests monitoring, development of biological control, selection and introduction of banana cultivars that are resistant to leaf spot diseases and more tolerant to endoparasitic nematodes. They also encompass the introduction of cover crops that are non host or poor hosts of the main banana plant-parasitic nematodes, maintenance of dead (mulching) or living ground covers to control weeds, and minimum tillage to preserve the soil structure, the microbial biomass and the macrofaunae diversity. All these cultural techniques are reviewed here, and the severe hardening of the legislation on pesticides by which they are accompanied is also mentioned. Moreover, additional requirements to favour the designation of an integrated crop management in bananas in the FWI are also discussed. (Texte intégral)
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