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Sequential pegboard to support small farmers in cotton pest control decision-making in Cameroon

Brévault T., Couston L., Bertrand A., Thèze M., Nibouche S., Vaissayre M.. 2009. Crop Protection, 28 (11) : p. 968-973.

DOI: 10.1016/j.cropro.2009.07.004

A method (SPID) based on sequential plan for individual decision with a pegboard was tested over the 2006 and 2007 cropping seasons in 15 cotton producing villages in Cameroon - covering almost 700 farmers and 2000 ha to help farmers decide on when to spray their cotton crops against bollworms. This method was promoted through training sessions, from researchers to farmers through the technical staff of the cotton company (SODECOTON). This innovation led to a significant reduction in the number of sprays in 5 village-years out of 17 (total number of villages for 2006 and 2007). The number of sprays was larger than in the calendar-based programme in nine village-years, mainly due to poorly controlled infestations of Diparopsis watersi (Rothschild). However, this larger number of sprays led to a greater (seven village-years) or equal (two village-years) seed-cotton yield than that obtained with the calendarbased programme. When the number of sprays was equal or smaller, seed-cotton yield was greater (two village-years) or equal (six village-years) to LPD. Lastly, income increased proportionally to seed-cotton yield. An analysis of decisions made by farmers using the pegboard, as well as an a posteriori evaluation test, showed that users successfully learned the method and were confident in its diagnosis. This new method is not hampered by the constraints experienced with the former LEC ('targeted staggered control') spraying decision method - sequential sampling reduces the number of plants to be monitored, spraying decisions are made for individual plots, income rises and the role of supervisors is reduced. However, large-scale dissemination of this innovation is being hampered by the collective management of cotton production and the need to train a large number of farmers.

Mots-clés : gossypium; helicoverpa armigera; lutte anti-insecte; système d'aide à la décision; lutte intégrée; pulvérisation; petite exploitation agricole; méthode de lutte; cameroun

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