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

Malézieux E., Dorel M., Tixier P., Ganry J.. 2004. In : ESA. VII European Society of Agronomy Congress, Copenhage, Denmark, 15-19 July 2004. s.l. : s.n., 2 p.. Congress of the European Society for Agronomy. 8, 2004-07-11/2004-07-15, Copenhagen (Danemark).

In most banana producing countries, banana production for export is based on intensive monocropped, monospecific and monocultivar systems that require high chemical imputs and frequent planting to obtain steady production. Associated direct environmental risks include pesticide leaching into surface and ground water, soil erosion and compaction. These practices can thus lead to serious threats to air, soil and water quality, with major detrimental impacts on fragile ecosystems such as tropical islands. Designing more sustainable agricultural systems is hence a key ecological and social challenge in the European islands of Guadeloupe or Martinique (FWI). In this context, reintroducing agrobiodiversity at different scales (plot, farm, region) could provide a solid foundation for designing more sustainable alternative systems. As a preliminary strategy, fallows, cover crops and rotation crops such as sugarcane, pineapple or forage have been introduced in these systems and could be an effective way to improve pest and weed control, while reducing pesticide use and erosion. The sustainability of future banana-based cropping systems will depend on our ability to combine agro-technological innovations, field management strategies and enhanced knowledge on the functional ecology of these systems. This presentation explores possible solutions and analyses current research needs.

Mots-clés : musa (bananes); système de culture; monoculture; impact sur l'environnement; durabilité; agriculture alternative; biodiversité

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