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Recent advances in organic cultivation of chayote (Sechium edule) in Reunion Island

Deguine J.P., Atiama-Nurbel T., Vanhuffel L., Cresson C.. 2020. Organic Agriculture, 10 : p. 135-143.

DOI: 10.1007/s13165-019-00255-5

In Reunion Island, chayote cultivation is a heritage culture which has been practiced intensively in recent decades with broad use of mineral fertilizers and pesticides. This situation paradoxically led to significant production losses due to fruit shedding and fruit flies damage (Tephritidae). For the last 10 years, agricultural professionals in Reunion Island have worked to assist in the transition from agrochemical to agro-ecological chayote cultivation, compatible with organic farming regulations. In 2017, more than 60% of the chayote growing areas are under organic agriculture standards. New and original knowledge has been acquired on the biology and ecology of fruit flies. Fruit damage was limited, resulting in increased yields. This protection is cheaper, and protection time has been reduced. The experience organic chayote cultivation has contributed to the development of organic farming in other crops (e.g., mango, citrus) and to adaptations of these agro-ecological practices in neighboring countries in the Indian Ocean.

Mots-clés : sechium edule; agroécologie; lutte biologique; tephritidae; réunion; france

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