Agroecological crop protection in organic farming: relevance and limits

Deguine Jean-Philippe, Penvern Servane. 2014. Agroecological crop protection in organic farming: relevance and limits. In : Organic farming, prototype for sustainable agricultures. Stéphane Bellon, Servane Penvern (eds.). Dordrecht : Springer, pp. 107-130. ISBN 978-94-007-7926-6

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Abstract : Plant protection is one of the major issues in organic farming. Organic crop protection (OCP) strategies often rely on a limited number of methods that provide only partial control of pests and that induce lower yields and economic performances. As a result, farmers hesitate to adopt these strategies and doubts are cast on the ability of organic agriculture to feed the world. This chapter questions how agroecological concepts may contribute to OCP, while taking the different alternative schemes already developed to manage, integrate and design crop protection strategies into account. As demonstrated by a bibliographic analysis, Integrated pest management (IPM) remains the leading paradigm in crop protection. It also provides its foundational basis, giving priority to bioecological processes and alternative techniques to reduce pesticide use. Beyond IPM, agroecology is characterised by a holistic approach and the importance given to the design of a "healthy" agroecosystem. In practice, all these concepts are subject to various interpretations, and organic farming includes a variety of practices, ranging from intensive input-substitution to a comprehensive integrated approach. This paper provides key elements for crop protection in OF on the basis of the adaptation of the agroecological crop protection approach. Based on a successful case study of fruit fly management in OF in Reunion Island (France), we highlight three major pillars to design pest management strategies: sanitation, habitat manipulation and conservation biological control. Finally, in the field of crop protection, this paper shows that organic farming can be both a prototype for designing innovations and a source of practices to be extended to other types of agroecosystems. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : agroécologie, Agriculture biologique, Protection des plantes

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Réunion

Classification Agris : H01 - Protection of plants - General aspects
F62 - Plant physiology - Growth and development

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 4 (2014-2018) - Santé des animaux et des plantes

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Deguine Jean-Philippe, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR PVBMT (REU)
  • Penvern Servane, INRA (FRA)

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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