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Agroecological practices in oil palm plantations: examples from the field

Bessou C., Verwilghen A., Beaudoin-Ollivier L., Marichal R., Ollivier J., Baron V., Bonneau X., Carron M.P., Snoeck D., Naim M., Ketut Aryawan A.A., Raoul F., Giraudoux P., Surya E., Sihombing E., Caliman J.P.. 2017. OCL. Oilseeds and Fats, Crops and Lipids, 24 (3) : 16 p..

DOI: 10.1051/ocl/2017024

Palm oil is nowadays the first vegetable oil consumed worldwide. Given the world population growth and the increasing demand in fat for food and fuel, the increase in oil palm production is expected to continue. It is thus important to find ways of reducing the ecological impact of oil palm plantations at both the agroecosystem and the mill supply area levels, by improving agricultural practices and land uses. This is where agroecology can play a very critical role. The present article gathers short stories on agroecological practices currently taking place in oil palm plantations in South-East Asia. Such stories notably highlight the importance of the various palm co-products and how appropriate recycling strategies can allow for reducing external inputs to both the field and the mill. Besides limiting environmental impacts thanks to such savings, several co-products used as organic amendments can even help to maintain or enhance soil quality. Other stories explored agroecological practices developed for biological controls. Although integrated pest management has been applied in palm plantations for a long time, the underlying mechanisms are still not fully deciphered and practices still need to be improved. More knowledge is needed in order to better account for the holistic role of biodiversity and arbitrate trade-offs between practices and ecosystem services, at both plantation and landscape levels.

Mots-clés : elaeis guineensis; plantation; impact sur l'environnement; matière organique; sous-produit; engrais vert; agroécologie; utilisation des terres; agriculture durable; services écosystémiques; biodiversité; paysage; lutte biologique; utilisation des déchets; déchet agricole; fertilité du sol; compostage; recyclage des matières organiques; asie du sud-est; malaisie; indonésie

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