Design and assessment of innovative organic banana cropping systems - BANABIO
Martinique is a humid tropical zone with substantial levels of certain pests and strong island constraints on the supply of some inputs, especially organic. Moreover, production in the West Indies is restricted by stringent quality requirements for exports and an extremely competitive international market. Despite this, social and regulatory developments mean that organic agriculture could become a realistic and desirable framework of constraints in the French West Indies.
Today, the lack of technical and economic references on this mode of production limits its development within producers’ organizations. The goal of this project is therefore to assess the performance and impacts of such systems, aimed at both export and local markets.
The BANABIO project is divided into four parts:
- Setting up an experimental system at a research station associating researchers and stakeholders in the field of organic farming in Martinique. The goal is to assess under controlled conditions two prototype organic cropping systems for the Cavendish variety, which will then be compared with a conventional farming system.
- Producing technical knowledge about the performance of these systems, as well as about their disadvantages.
- Identifying new technical levers by monitoring pioneer farmers.
- Supporting the transfer of these organic farming systems to volunteer farmers, in order to assess their performance under real conditions and their uptake by producers of bananas for local and export markets.
- Development of a network of different actors concerned by organic farming in Martinique.
- Establishment of technical and economic references for farmers and decision-makers, which will help to better characterize organic banana production systems, and will be included in the national database Agrosyst.
- Assessment of the feasibility of and conditions for the potential conversion of planters to organic systems.
- Participation in training through research.
- Production of scientific publications on agronomy and ecology within organic cropping systems.
- Popularization and dissemination of results to a broad public.
Institut Technique Tropical (IT2)