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Association of hevea with other tree crops can be more profitable than hevea monocrop during first 12 years

Snoeck D., Lacote R., Keli Z.J., Doumbia A., Chapuset T., Jagoret P., Gohet E.. 2013. Industrial Crops and Products, 43 : p. 578-586.

The association of hevea with other tree crops was investigated with the aim of providing guidelines for farmers who wish to diversify their sources of income and maximize their land use. We compared standard hevea monocrop with hevea intercropped with coffee, cacao, lemon or cola in a field trial in south-western Côte d'Ivoire. In crop associations, hevea trees were planted in a double hedgerow with wide inter-rows (16 m) to favour the growth and yields of lower-stratum tree crops. Yields and the different inputs for each crop in each treatment were recorded for 17 years. The results showed that the yield of individual hevea trees was not affected by the intercropped trees. Thanks to the 16-m inter-rows, the productivity of the intercropped trees improved and the competitive effect of shading by hevea was delayed three years. In the conditions of the trial, the hevea-coffee and hevea-cacao associations were significantly more profitable than other associations until the 12th year. The additional gross margins were positive from the third year on for the hevea-coffee association and from the fourth year on for hevea-cocoa association. Grown as a monocrop, hevea only reached the breakeven point in the eighth year. During the 17-year observation period, both the hevea-coffee and hevea-cacao association were more profitable than the standard hevea monocrop; but after the 13th year, the difference was no longer significant. By contrast, the hevea-lemon association was not profitable due to the low price of lemon fruits, and the hevea-cola association was not profitable because the cola-trees only started yielding from the seventh year. Taken together, in the associations, hevea revenues accounted for 88% of the total revenues and intercrops for 4% (cola) to 25% (coffee). (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : citrus; cola; theobroma cacao; coffea; rentabilité; rendement des cultures; plante de culture associée; culture intercalaire; système de culture; hevea brasiliensis; côte d'ivoire

Thématique : Systèmes et modes de culture; Economie de la production

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