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Model-based assessment of technological innovation in banana cropping systems contextualized by farm types in Guadeloupe

Blazy J.M., Dorel M., Salmon F., Ozier Lafontaine H., Wery J., Tixier P.. 2009. European Journal of Agronomy, 31 (1) : p. 10-19.

DOI: 10.1016/j.eja.2009.02.001

Farmers are inundated with advertisements about many innovations that are supposed to increase their yields or reduce environmental impact. However, the benefit of these innovations depends on the farming context. Here we present the ad hoc adaptation of the crop model SIMBA and a method to evaluate 16 innovations in six types of farms previously selected through a typology of the banana farming systems in Guadeloupe. The innovations include regulation of pesticide use, rotations and fallows, intercropping, conditional application of pesticides, resistant cultivars, and integrated systems. Our results showthat, for a given innovation, the yield and pesticide reduction vary widely with different farm types.We showthat environmentally friendly innovations often cause a greater decrease in yield in more productive farm types. Nevertheless, despite an apparent trade-off between yield and pesticide use, some innovations address both production and environmental issues, e.g., rotation with fallows improved with cover crops, regular fallows, and rotations with pineapples for the most intensive farm types. Our modelling study confirms the importance of innovation-farm type interactions and the usefulness of models for assessing large numbers of technological innovations among a wide range of biophysical and technical contexts.

Mots-clés : musa; guadeloupe; france

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