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Development of "low-tech" tools for managing insect pests of perennial tropical horticultural crops

Ratnadass A., Andrianantoandro A., Grechi I., Normand F., Ravaomanarivo L.H.. 2022. Annapolis : ESA, 1 p.. Annual ESA International Branch Virtual Symposium. 5, 2022-04-25/2022-04-27, s.l. (Etats-Unis).

Innovation in agricultural equipment currently focuses on incorporation of digital technology, while ¿low tech¿ equipment, useful, sustainable and accessible/adoptable by all, may be more in favor of farmer technological sovereignty in an agroecological transition context. Here we evaluate the potential of such equipments to manage pests of perennial horticultural crops in the South West Indian Ocean region, namely: i) a telescopic branch pruner against the boring caterpillar ("Andretra"), a major clove tree pest in Madagascar; ii) an inverted leaf blower-vac against the mango plant bug, a major pest of mango tree inflorescences in Réunion; iii) a rolling nut harvester for prophylactic collection/disposal of early dropped small mangoes against the oriental fruit fly (OFF), a major mango pest in Réunion. The branch pruner was found highly efficient by 92% of Malagasy farmers surveyed, including because it could be locally manufactured and repaired, and used for other purposes, e.g. litchi and breadfruit harvest. In Réunion, many mango bugs were sucked out of Brazilian peppertrees growing in the vicinity of mango orchards, highlighting the potential of the modified leaf blower-vac against this pest, in an assisted trap cropping strategy. The potential of the rolling nut harvester technique to help prophylactic elimination of small fallen mangoes infested by the OFF was confirmed. Whereas none of the fruits too small to be collected (mean weight 2.5 g) were infested, 4.5% of those large enough (mean weight 10.0 g) and selected by the rolling nut harvester were infested.

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