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The Knomana knowledge base - A tool to promote exchange of knowledge and identify local plants for adressing sanitary problems in EOA

Martin P., Keip P., Gutierrez A., Huchard M., Ilboudo Z., Sarter S., Tagne A., Silvie P.. 2019. In : Book of abstracts - The 5th West African Organic Conference. Organic agriculture : Life for all. Accra : West Africa Organic Network, p. 19. West African Organic Conference (WAOC 2019). 5, 2019-11-12/2019-11-15, Accra (Ghana).

In Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA), growers and breeders need alternatives to chemical pesticides or antibiotics lo protect their crops in the field or during grain storage, their livestock or to protect fishes, for better health management. Landscape and habitat management, trap crops, push pull system or other ecological infrastructures that maintain or reinforce natural regulation, or repel the crop pests, are alternatives tricky to implement. The usual alternatives in Africa, inherited from indigenous knowledge, are based on the use of local resources, including plants. This knowledge is site specific and rarely shared. Thus, knowledge exchange and adaptation to local conditions is the challenge addressed in this work. In a first step, descriptions of pesticidal and antimicrobial plants used in Africa were extracted from the scientific literature and collected in a knowledge base called Knomana. ln a second step, the development of a software was initiated (i) lo navigate tl1rough Knomana to extract existing plant use descriptions, and (ii) to explore Knomana to establish new pieces of knowledge, by combining existing ones. The latter allows lo elaborate new hypotheses on local plant uses to be experimented, e.g., Lantana camara against Fusarium oxysporum in Burkina Faso. In early July 2019, Knomana gathered 36,000 plant use descriptions for plant, animal, and human health from 260 documents, dated from 1957 to 2019. Ninety-six percent of the recorded descriptions concerned sub-Saharan African countries. An exploration method was elaborated to identify local plants to solve locally current or new sanitary issues. Among the identified plants, Knomana also informs on the ones treating human diseases to prevent the reduction of their effectiveness due to their excessive uses. By promoting local plants to reduce pesticides and antibiotics' uses, this work aims to promote indigenous knowledge and the local biodiversity in order to improve the quality of life of the growers and all citizens.

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