Banana Project

Decision support tool for piloting a phytosanitary strategy against black Sigatoka.

Crop modellingBanana cropBlack Sigatoka

A dreadful disease

Identified for the first time in Fiji in 1963, this microscopic fungus (Pseudocercospora fijiensis) made its appearance in Guadeloupe and Martinique in the years 2010-2012. It is one of the biggest threats to banana production worldwide today.

The attacks are primarily on young, freshly deployed leaves which, if left unchecked, dry out within a few weeks. These necroses lead to significant yield losses and early ripening of the fruits which reduce the possibilities for export.




Vers une stratégie de lutte raisonnée

Chemical control methods exist, but the high frequency of treatment in countries under high pressure makes the operation more and more expensive and causes the emergence of resistant strains. Aware of this impasse and concerned about their impact on the environment, some producers are now opting for reasoned control based on biological warning systems.

Developed by CIRAD since the 1980s, these expert systems make it possible to detect the appearance of the first symptoms as early as possible thanks to a network of reference plots on which observations are made every week. Fungicide applications are thus positioned at the most relevant time and not systematically as is the case with conventional control strategies.

This method has been proven in a wide variety of production contexts (Cameroon, Ivory Coast, West Indies, Dominican Republic, Belize, etc.), where it has enabled both a reduction in the number of treatments and an increase in their effectiveness. Its implementation in an operational framework, however, comes up against the lack of a dedicated tool adapted to the constraints of the field, which represents a significant source of observation errors and loss of information.

Objectives of the DSS

itk actively participates in the transfer of knowledge and resources to production sectors. Developed in collaboration with CIRAD, OAD BANANA provides an improved version of the warning systems developed against black Sigatoka. Easy to use, it promotes the dissemination of good phytosanitary practices on a territorial scale.

Make the recording of observations in the field more reliable by avoiding any counting error

Secure and perpetuate the history of epidemiological data

Automate the calculation of indicators used to trigger or not the treatments

To facilitate the interpretation of the state of the disease

Visualize the level of fungal pressure on a territorial scale

First users

In Martinique, the BANAMART cooperative has its own technical service in charge of treatment recommendations and the distribution of fungicides to producers: SICA CERCOBAN. Its technicians have been using the CIRAD warning method for several years, but until now had no powerful tool enabling them to secure their observations. Assisted by teams from CIRAD and itk, SICA CERCOBAN is currently testing the BANANA tool in its very first version. This first deployment will validate and improve the user experience.

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