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BANAD: A farm model for ex ante assessment of agro-ecological innovations and its application to banana farms in Guadeloupe

Blazy J.M., Tixier P., Thomas A., Ozier Lafontaine H., Salmon F., Wery J.. 2010. Agricultural Systems, 103 (4) : p. 221-232.

The ex ante assessment of innovative agro-ecological innovations is a key step in the development of more sustainable crop management systems. To this end, models are useful tools because they make it possible to rapidly assess numerous innovations in different contexts. Whereas many farm optimisation models focusing on the farmer's strategic decision to adopt new crop management systems have been published, little attention has been given to the ex ante modelling of the dynamic operational impacts of innovation adoption at the farm level. BANAD, a mechanistic model for such applications, is proposed. It allows the ex ante assessment of innovative management systems including new agroecological techniques, while taking into account different farming contexts and policy and market conditions. It includes three components: (i) a crop management system model, (ii) a crop model (SIMBA) and (iii) a farming system model. Our results applied to the ex ante assessment of six innovative banana management systems for three contrasted farm types in Guadeloupe showed that the impacts of agroecological innovations, which include rotations, improved fallow, intercropping, pest-resistant cultivar, and an integrated organic system, can vary considerably according to (i) the farm type in which the innovation is integrated, (ii) the nature of the agro-ecological innovations, and (iii) the criteria considered and the temporal horizon of the assessment. Innovative intercropping systems that were effective at the field level in terms of the yield improvement and decreased pesticide use could be problematic at the farm level because they increased the workload and decreased income. The adoption of rotations or improved fallow seemed to be relevant for smallholders but could induce a critical period of 1.5- 2.5 years during which income decreased drastically. Under certain conditions of markets and subsidies, very environmentally friendly innovations that are less productive can however be economically effective. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : ferme pilote; expérimentation; innovation; agroécologie; musa; guadeloupe

Thématique : Systèmes et modes de culture; Méthodes mathématiques et statistiques

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