CIRAD - Résultats de recherche / Research results - adresse site = - Langue = eng-GB eng-GB Pl@ntNet: botany in the digital age <p class="MsoNormal"> Describing, identifying and naming plants is no simple matter for amateurs hoping to venture into the challenging, complex world of botany. To help them, researchers at CIRAD and their colleagues have spent several years developing digital tools to make this discipline accessible to all. Their project is particularly innovative: plant identification is based on a system that automatically analyses photos of plants. With almost four million users in 150 different countries since its launch in 2013, their mobile application, Pl@ntNet, is a success. It is also driving the science forward, since its users can add photos to the database. The story is just beginning. </p> Mon, 29 May 2017 11:17:44 +0200 Fifteen years of participatory sorghum breeding in Burkina Faso: addressing farmers’ needs through collaboration <p class="MsoNormal"> In the mid-1990s, sorghum plant breeders started to apply a new breeding approach in Burkina Faso: participatory plant breeding. It is based on a simple principle: involving producers in all stages of variety development. This was to be a turning point in sorghum improvement in this country. Combined with the decentralised production of certified seed managed by local farmers’ organisations, participatory plant breeding has proved to be highly effective in creating and disseminating varieties that meet the needs of farmers. It has led to a broader dissemination of improved varieties, the development of seed production capacity and the professionalisation of a large number of farmers. A review of an innovation that is rewriting the rules for farmers and researchers. </p> Tue, 21 Mar 2017 11:41:05 +0100 Guiana Shield: world gold prices determine the extent of deforestation <p> That old safe haven, gold, could well seal the destiny of at least part of the forests of the Guiana Shield. This is what emerged from work by researchers from CIRAD, the CNRS and the University of Guyana, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters . For the first time, the scientists involved used maps of annual deforestation based on high-resolution satellite images to examine the impact of gold mining on the tropical rainforests of the Guiana Shield between 2001 and 2014. This new analysis, which covered Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana and the Brazilian state of Amapá, showed that when gold prices rise, deforestation increases, and that when they fall, deforestation decreases. It also revealed subtantial disparities from one country to another, which would warrant drafting more coordinated regulatory policies on the scale of the Shield, and casts doubt on the relevance of global deforestation control mechanisms such as REDD+. </p> Mon, 06 Mar 2017 14:27:33 +0100 Upland rice varieties are flourishing in the highlands of Madagascar <p class="MsoNormal"> In the highlands of Madagascar, the lack of land available means farmers are obliged to grow rice on hillsides. In 1985, researchers from the University of Antananarivo, CIRAD and FOFIFA joined forces to create varieties suited to this upland production, which did not previously exist in Madagascar at altitudes of more than 1 300 metres. Around 20 varieties were created and disseminated from the 1990s onwards. They made it possible to push back the boundaries for upland rice cultivation to more than 1 800 metres and to ensure better food self-sufficiency for farmers. Thirty years after this process began, the researchers returned to the area to measure the impacts of their research. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <em> </em> </p> Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:19:38 +0100 Amazonia: mapping carbon storage after logging <p class="MsoNormal"> An international team from the <a href="" target="_self" rel="self" rev="width:100_height:100">Tropical managed Forests Observatory</a> including researchers from CIRAD's UMR ECOFOG and Forests &amp; Societies research units has for the first time established a predictive map of aerial carbon stock dynamics after logging in Amazonia. It will enable more accurate estimâtes of the carbon recovery potential of disturbed Amazonian forests. </p> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 15:46:32 +0100 In Madagascar, Rift Valley fever follows trade routes <p> Rift Valley fever is an emerging viral disease that is threatening public health and has already had a substantial economic impact. Two publications in PNAS and Scientific Reports have revealed that in Madagascar, cattle trading is the main trigger factor for epidemics, and that between two outbreaks, the virus persists in some parts of the island. This research, by researchers from CIRAD, the Institut Pasteur in Madagascar and the University of Oxford, with their partners from the veterinary and public health services in Madagascar, the OIE, the FAO and the WHO, should serve to pinpoint the most vulnerable populations and improve human and animal surveillance networks. </p> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 15:39:00 +0100 In Brazil, the “Vales da Uva Goethe” geographical indication is boosting wines from Santa Catarina State <p class="MsoNormal"> In the 1990s, smallholder farmers in Santa Catarina State in southern Brazil sought to promote the traditional crops grown in their terroir, emphasising the quality and originality of their products. Goethe wines are one of these, and were protected by a geographical indication in 2012. Researchers at CIRAD, who supported the producers throughout the process, have analysed the impact of their involvement, as well as its economic and professional benefits for producers. </p> Mon, 19 Dec 2016 12:38:15 +0100 A group of actors for innovation: the management of organic fertiliser in the mixed crop-livestock farming systems of western Burkina Faso <p class="MsoNormal"> How can soil fertility be maintained in the mixed crop-livestock farming systems of western Burkina Faso, when traditional practices are no longer sufficient? By rethinking the management of organic fertiliser produced on farms. This was the idea behind a research programme that took place from 2005 to 2012 in Tuy province. A programme associating researchers, producers and stakeholders in the design of new practices, which is still being reproduced three years after it ended. </p> Fri, 16 Dec 2016 12:30:39 +0100 Overview of a lengthy process: a huller to boost the fonio sector in West Africa <p class="MsoNormal"> Fonio, a traditional crop grown in West Africa, has been in inexorable decline since the 1980s. Hulling by hand is onerous, and whitening and cleaning are very time-consuming; this small grain was thus doomed to disappear. The only solution was therefore to mechanise its processing. Teams from CIRAD and its African partners turned their attention to this problem and developed a specific huller, which would revolutionise fonio processing and boost its production. The key to this success: involving all stakeholders from the outset in the design and evaluation of equipment. </p> Thu, 15 Dec 2016 16:26:08 +0100 Control of the sugarcane white grub in Réunion: a success story <p class="MsoNormal"> From 1981, when it first appeared in Réunion, to 2007, the white grub was the focus of research teams at CIRAD. To reduce the economic impact of this sugarcane pest, every effort was made to achieve effective, operational biological control, ensuring sustainable protection of the sugarcane industry, which was under threat. An overview of 15 years of control. </p> <p> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"> <em> </em> </p> Thu, 15 Dec 2016 16:16:45 +0100 The coffee berry borer trap in the Dominican Republic: a game changer <p class="MsoNormal"> In 1997, CIRAD launched research on trapping coffee berry borers. In 2000, the BROCAP trap was finalised and, several years later, simple agricultural techniques were implemented to supplement the system. Integrated management was adopted throughout the world to protect plantations. In the Dominican Republic, coffee farmers began using traps in 2002, with a positive impact on both producers’ living conditions and the environment. A review of a successful experiment. </p> Thu, 15 Dec 2016 15:43:41 +0100 Cerrado, Brazil: what sort of conservation agriculture for polyculture-livestock systems? <p class="MsoNormal"> Conservation agriculture is seen as an effective way of combining ecological sustainability and economic viability while maintaining or even increasing agricultural productivity. However, for small-scale farmers in the South, it is often difficult to implement, since during the transitional phase, it calls for financial means that they do not have. Under these conditions, how can they adopt such systems and what types of soil cover may be economically worthwhile for them? Researchers from CIRAD and their Brazilian counterparts have designed a simulation model to answer these questions in the case of the mixed family farms of the Cerrado. </p> Thu, 15 Sep 2016 12:22:29 +0200 The live poultry trade in Mali: impacts on the spread of avian influenza and Newcastle disease <p class="MsoNormal"> <strong>In Mali, live poultry markets are supplied by a multitude of small village farms. Their poor hygiene standards and animal overcrowding are highly conducive to the transmission of diseases such as Newcastle disease and avian influenza. How can the risks be limited? Based on a vast survey of markets in the country, researchers from CIRAD and their Malian partners</strong> <strong>have <strong><strong>come up with</strong> </strong> simple, inexpensive measures to remedy this situation</strong> . </p> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 09:56:55 +0200 An improved banana reference genome sequence <p class="MsoNormal"> After publishing the complete sequence for the banana <em>Musa acuminata</em> four years ago, CIRAD and its partners have now produced an improved reference sequence. Using semi-automatic bioinformatics tools, they conducted high quality assemblies that will serve to study this species, which is the origin of all edible banana varieties, in greater detail. </p> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:25:08 +0200 Coffee-based systems in Costa Rica: striking a balance between pests, diseases, yields and ecosystem services <p class="MsoNormal"> To understand the complex relationships between the different components of coffee-based agroecosystems in Costa Rica, CIRAD’s teams and their partners have used a systemic agronomy approach which takes into account diseases, pests, production and other ecosystem services. This is a first, since this kind of approach has not previously been applied to tropical perennial crops. </p> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 10:43:22 +0200 Victoria pineapples from Réunion: models for fruit quality management <p class="MsoNormal"> In Réunion, Queen Victoria pineapples are grown under different climatic conditions, and with different fertilization and irrigation practices. In these conditions, their development and especially fruit quality are highly variable. Their sweetness, which is very popular with consumers, may therefore be difficult for producers to predict. To enable them to manage their plots and the quality of their fruit better, a team from CIRAD recently simulated pineapple growth and sugar content at harvest according to climate and to cultural practices. </p> Thu, 09 Jun 2016 12:26:38 +0200 Heat treated wood: quality control suited to the industrial context <p class="MsoNormal"> Heat treatment of wood consists in heating the material at a high temperature for several hours. This process gives wood new chemical and mechanical properties, especially better resistance to decay. But these properties differ according to treatment methods: it is therefore essential to control the quality of treated wood. CIRAD and its partners have conducted a vast bibliographic review of methods for analysing the quality of heat treated woods, their advantages and disadvantages and, above all, their potential for industrial use. </p> Thu, 26 May 2016 10:57:38 +0200 Web-based disease surveillance: a tool to prevent the spread of animal diseases <p class="MsoNormal"> Animal disease surveillance, especially early detection of emerging disease outbreaks worldwide, is one of the means of preventing diseases from being introduced into France. Against this backdrop, CIRAD, ANSES and the French Directorate General for Food have created a web-based automatic disease surveillance system within the national epidemiological surveillance platform for animal health. The system, which has been under development since 2013, retrieves textual data, extracts relevant information from it and reinterprets that information as spatiotemporal series and maps. Five tropical animal diseases are currently being monitored, but others could easily be integrated. </p> Thu, 26 May 2016 10:38:18 +0200 Wildlife and infectious diseases: Bayesian models serve to decipher the links <p class="MsoNormal"> How can the reliability of biological screening tests for animal diseases be assessed? This question is critical for the evaluation of diseases status in wildlife and domestic animal populations when reference tests are not available. Such situations occur when experimental approaches to assess test performances are too cumbersome to implement and/or when the only available tests have been developed for species other than the one whose disease status needs to be determined. Teams from CIRAD use Bayesian statistical models to overcome this difficulty. Their work has confirmed that in the absence of reference tests, it is nonetheless possible to assess the performance of screening tests. The condition for doing so is to have access to the results of at least two distinct tests applied to two categories of animals that differ markedly in terms of the frequency of their epidemiological status as regards those tests. </p> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 11:48:47 +0200 Organic waste recycling: how to reduce the risks for market gardening systems in Dakar <p class="MsoNormal"> In Africa, ever-increasing numbers of people live in cities, generating ever-greater amounts of organic waste. That waste, which results from urban, agricultural and agroindustrial activities, can be recycled to fertilize soils. However, it sometimes contains substances such as trace metals that can be toxic to crops and consumers. Researchers from CIRAD and their partners recently tested the toxicity of such waste on soils around Dakar, where market gardening is particularly widely practised. Their study resulted in recommendations as to the types of waste and doses to be used to keep the risks to a minimum. </p> Mon, 18 Apr 2016 11:32:49 +0200