Agronomy Research Expertise in Montpellier and Languedoc-Roussillon (South of France)

Agronomy : crops and cropping systems

UPR PSCPP Performance of Tree Crop-Based Systems

Member institutes and partners  : Cirad


The internal research unit (UPR) Performance of Tree Crop-Based Systems (CIRAD) focuses research on agronomic aspects of tropical tree crops, e.g. oil palm, natural rubber, cocoa, coffee and coconut, while dealing with technical agricultural production systems on different scales: cropping system, production system, farm, commercial plantation, agroindustrial site, processing unit supply area, agroecosystem, etc.

Sustainable increases in income and agricultural production are required to meet the challenges of this new millennium, but in a setting of shrinking cropland, growing populations and global warming.

The unit aims to fulfil these needs, while taking the environmental and social impacts of recommended systems into account for both family smallholdings and agroindustrial plantations.

In response to these challenges, the unit is striving to sustainably increase the productivity of tropical tree crop-based production systems. It is thus developing a multidisciplinary scientific project, with research focused simultaneously in the fields of physiology (plant functioning), ecophysiology (plant interactions with biophysical and climatic environments), agronomy (optimization of cropping practices and effective use of genetic gains), ecology (environmental service impact assessment) and socioeconomics (conditions in which stakeholders adopt systems, farm functioning).


Overall, the unit aims to develop knowledge and tools that will ultimately help farmers streamline their production systems on the basis of combined sustainability criteria:
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  • agronomic (technical-economic optimization of production)
  • socioeconomic (economic profitability and social acceptability)
  • environmental (ecological impacts and services).


The unit carries out its targeted research activities in partnership with public and private sectors. Research is undertaken in collaboration with research units of CIRAD, INRA and IRD, universities, national agricultural research structures partner developing countries and private partners (farmers’ groups, agroindustrial groups).

Engineering and expertise operations are also conducted to meet the demands of private and institutional operators, thus generating substantial autonomous resources for the unit and CIRAD. These expertiseconsulting activities account for around seven senior scientist fulltime equivalents a year.

The unit plans to continue its activities in the coming years, while focusing its project on two main lines of research:

  • Line 1: Agroeconomic performances of technical production systems
  • Line 2: Environmental and social performances of technical production systems.



Director: Eric Gohet

20  scientists

Unit website





List of research examples/projects for the resarch unit UPR PSCPP Performance of Tree Crop-Based Systems on Agronomy: crops and cropping systems topics

Diagnostic methods to improve tropical tree crop productivity

Tall mature palm trees (12 m and taller): skilled labour required for pole use (Ecuador).- © B. Dubos

In humid tropical areas, the expansion of oil palm, natural rubber, coffee and cocoa cropping to meet growing world demand raises environmental issues. It is thus essential to enhance the productivity of established plantations by targeting higher sustainable crop yields using environment-friendly cropping practices.

Researchers of the UPR Performance

 (...)


Diagnostic methods to improve tropical tree crop productivity

Tall mature palm trees (12 m and taller): skilled labour required for pole use (Ecuador).- © B. Dubos

In humid tropical areas, the expansion of oil palm, natural rubber, coffee and cocoa cropping to meet growing world demand raises environmental issues. It is thus essential to enhance the productivity of established plantations by targeting higher sustainable crop yields using environment-friendly cropping practices.

Researchers of the UPR Performance

 (...)


Ecological intensification of cocoa- or coffee-based agroforestry systems

Agroforestry cocoa plantation in central Cameroon. - © P. Jagoret

Agroforestry stands in which cocoa and coffee trees are grown alongside many different woody, forest or fruit species are complex systems with high environmental and socioeconomic value. These sustainable systems require few chemical inputs and, in addition to coffee and cocoa, they provide farmers with a range of self-consumed or marketed fruits, timber and (...)


Environmental impact indicators in oil palm plantations

Example of Iphy-palm (‘pest and disease control’ indicator of the Ipalm method) indicator results.

It is essential to understand and measure the environmental impacts of agricultural production in order to optimize cropping systems and thus ensure sustainable production. This is becoming a crucial issue with respect to oil palm cropping. The growing global demand for oil palm is rapidly increasing pressure on natural resources. Since 2004, CIRAD has been developing (...)


Participative research to support the development of smallholder natural rubber plantations

Tree crops, and especially smallholder plantations, which account for over 80% of the natural rubber growing area, have a key role for development and sustainable reduction of poverty, which is especially high in rural areas. Research and extension are essential for improving soil productivity and labour conditions on family farms. After an assessment phase, (...)



 
 

Update on 19/04/12


 




Extrait du site http://www.agropolis.fr/agronomy/research-unit.php?numunite=63