Page 1

Cultivating biodiversity

CIRAD is a French research centre working with developing countries to tackle international agricultural and development issues. With those countries, it works to generate new knowledge, support agricultural development, and contribute to the debate on the main global issues concerning agriculture, food and rural territories. CIRAD has a global network of research and training platforms in partnership and regional offices, through which it works hand in hand with more than 90 countries. It has a staff of 1800, including 800 researchers. It has an annual budget of 218 million euros, with two thirds provided by the French government.. CIRAD, Communication Service Avenue Agropolis 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France

Cultivating biodiversity Contents Multi-purpose landscape mosaics Integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services into rural areas UR Annual Cropping Systems Agrosilvopastoral management of Sahelian lands Role of animal production in agroforest and natural forest management – UR BSEF Ecosystem services Unique economic and policy instruments – UMR ART-DEV, Selmet, Tetis; UR BSEF, GREEN Inter-TROP, the French network of tropical plant biological resource centres – UMR AGAP Geographical indications to promote local products – UMR Innovation

Participatory breeding in Sahelian Africa and in situ sorghum biodiversity – UMR AGAP Geographical distribution of allelic diversity To preserve and make use of the agrobiodiversity of root and tuber crops – UR HortSys Regulating pests and diseases in tropical agrosystems Diversifying plant species in cropping systems – UMR AGAP Agro-ecological management of fruit and vegetable crops Intensifying biological regulation processes so as to control pests and diseases UR HortSys

Improving agroforestry systems in the humid tropics The example of cocoa and coffee – UR Performance of Tree Crop-Based Systems The return of trees to cultivated tropical zones Assisted natural regeneration – UR BSEF Bushmeat in central Africa A structured supply chain and a resilient resource – UR BSEF The fruits of Amazonia Biodiversity worth exploring with a view to new uses – UMR QualiSud

Making optimum use of biodiversity through aquaculture Domestication of indigenous species in multi-trophic systems – UMR Intrepid Ecology of disease transmission… and of contacts between wildlife and domestic animals – UR AGIRs Vector-borne animal diseases and the environment Understanding the biological factors in emergence – UR AGIRs, UMR CMAEE

Multi-purpose landscape mosaics Integrating biodiversity and ecosystem services into rural areas

Conservation has long been seen as a specific scientific field, different from land management approaches such as agriculture or silviculture. For some years now, the scientific community has been working to integrate these various approaches. The way in which man has changed ecosystems to meet increasing food, water, wood, fibre and fuel requirements over the past 50 years has resulted in a considerable, and often irreversible, loss of biodiversity. The world’s poorest populations are particularly hard hit. Kenya Š E. Torquebiau, CIRAD


Mixed cropping in an agroforestry plot in Cameroon. Š E. Torquebiau, CIRAD

onventional agronomy and forestry centred on separate types of land use. In the wake of concerns about the future of forests and environmental problems, the distinctions between the world of forests and that of agriculture have become blurred. Priority is now given to hybrid solutions: trees on farms, agroforestry, domesticated forests, and multi-storey farming. We no longer merely expect fields and forests to produce, we also expect them to provide services such as carbon sequestration, erosion control or the provision of genetic resources. These ecosystem services are under threat in the same way as the ecosystems themselves. It is not possible to reconcile production and protection in a simple, two-dimensional area such as a monoculture plot. Volume and heterogeneity are required. This is the role now assigned to multi-purpose landscape mosaics.

The multi-purpose landscape concept Multi-purpose landscapes produce several types of things at the same time, for instance wood and agricultural crops. However, the concept can go further than this. These landscapes are also expected to provide services that have not traditionally been taken into account in economic calculations, notably ecosystem services, or to compensate for external environmental factors such as pollution. Such landscapes are also the appropriate place for collective action and the scale on which certain public goods such as water or biodiversity can be managed.

Contact Emmanuel Torquebiau CIRAD Climate Change Officer Annual Cropping Systems Research Unit 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France

Adopting an approach on this scale makes it possible to design rural areas that satisfy various aims, such as: > a balance between tree production and other types of agricultural production; > a combination of production and service activities, such as ecotourism; > diversification of production over time and space; > improved resilience as regards climatic and socioeconomic hazards.

Integrating conservation objectives into cultivated areas

Ecoagriculture landscape, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. © E. Torquebiau, CIRAD

Protected areas are not sufficient to address the challenges of global ecosystem degradation. It is now widely recognized that rural areas that are not part of a protected area must be taken into account, as logging and agricultural practices have an impact on natural resources and biodiversity. Integrating biodiversity into cultivated areas modifies the conflictual relationship between nature and rural activities. In particular, it helps to: > provide poor populations with new sources of income, through using natural resources and payment for ecosystem services; > solve conflicts surrounding the relationship between man and nature; > show that rural development and biodiversity management are not necessarily incompatible.

Chameleon in an agroforestry homegarden, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa © E. Torquebiau, CIRAD

The concept of ecoagriculture

CIRAD is working to spread the concept of multi-purpose landscapes, in partnership with farmers and other stakeholders. Its expertise enables it to come up with solutions in the following fields: > assessment of “landscape performance” in terms of ecosystem services; > studies of rural landscape labelling mechanisms, with a view to generating added value so as to reward the stakeholders who shape and maintain those landscapes; > mobilization of stakeholders concerned by such multi-purpose areas; > formulation of how the inhabitants of rural landscapes see their future > drafting of public policy and governance rules appropriate to concerted management of multi-purpose landscapes.

Partners • South Africa: Centre for Environmental Studies, University of Pretoria • United States: Ecoagriculture Partners, Washington DC • Zimbabwe: Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Zimbabwe

For further information • On landscape labelling: Perspective N° 16 : / publications-ressources/ publications/perspectivepolicy-brief • On approaches that reconcile production and conservation on landscape scale: Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, Vol. 36, N° 3, Mars 2012.

© CIRAD, March 2013

“Ecoagriculture” ( is one form of ecological intensification. It refers to “landscapes that associate agricultural production and biodiversity protection objectives”. This may mean conventional multi-purpose landscapes including conventional components (fields, forests, protected areas, etc), but also innovative practices, either improved or newly developed, for instance agroforestry (trees on farms), conservation agriculture (cover crops or no-till systems), integrated pest and disease management (biological control), fallow and wilderness areas, organic farming, sustainable logging, biodiversity corridors, tree hedges, windbreaks, ecological infrastructures (for instance grass strips around fields), enrichment planting in natural environments, growing crops under shade trees, etc.

Ecosystem services Unique economic and policy instruments

Throughout history, economic development has often resulted in the degradation of ecosystems, a phenomenon that has gained pace since the 1970s. However, ecosystems are the mainstay of life on Earth and contribute to the wellbeing of mankind. The ecosystem service concept was introduced in the 1990s to make this clear. In a world in which more than six billion people are looking to feed themselves and fulfil their hopes of a better future, CIRAD faces a major challenge: satisfying demand through crop and animal production while conserving the ecosystems that underlie our very existence. One of the fields CIRAD is working in with a view to solving this problem is research on ecosystem services.

©R. Peltier, Cameroun

An environmental, economic and policy issue


he ecosystem service concept was developed to satisfy the need to understand the interdependence of ecosystems Collecting bark from Diospyros mespiliformis, a tree and society. Ecosystem services are with many medicinal properties, Ivory Coast defined as the benefits people obtain © D. Louppe, CIRAD from ecosystems. For instance, the leaves and roots of trees control erosion, limit biodiversity losses and maintain river water quality while reducing the cost of water treatment. Tropical forests play a role in the formation of precipitation on a regional level, in the Amazon, the Congo Basin and Indonesia. Genetic biodiversity is a source of medicines, contributes to disease control and sustains genetic potential for the future. Naturally, the aim of the ecosystem service approach is not to reduce nature to its role as a support for mankind. On the contrary, it is intended to help in developing an interdisciplinary approach in which aspects linked to socioeconomic governance and knowledge of biophysical processes are taken into account in a coordinated way, enabling the implementation of strategies on a national, regional and local level, for each and every type of stakeholder.

Contacts Denis Pesche CIRAD, UMR ART-DEV, 73 rue Jean-François Breton 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France Driss Ezzine de Blas CIRAD, UR BSEF Aurélie Botta CIRAD, UPR GREEN Céline Dutilly-Diane CIRAD, UMR SELMET Muriel Bonin CIRAD, UMR TETIS Campus international de Baillarguet 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France

Interdisciplinarity, a source of excellence CIRAD’s specificities, in terms of its history, professional profile and operations (agriculture, development, conservation) and its global partnerships, mean that it has access to scientific expertise and technical solutions in the fields of both biophysics and socioeconomics. That expertise tallies with the various social and spatial scales on which solutions may be found to issues relating to conservation and development in tropical regions. It centres on three main lines of research: - The assessment, conservation and restoration of ecosystem services

Assessing ecosystem services in highland forest agro-landscapes © D. Ezzine-de-Blas, CIRAD

Integrated approaches are being developed to tackle the processes of erosion and of soil fertility maintenance; measuring carbon and carbon flux in tropical forests, agroforests and other cropping systems (including plantations); hydrological regulation in forests and farming systems; and use of biodiversity for pest management. These scientific advances form the foundations of innovative crop management techniques aimed at boosting agricultural and forest production (projects: Acaciagum, TropSoil&Biol&Fertility, Funcitree, Innovkar, Intensifix, Floresta em Pê, Floagri, etc). – Analyses of policies and instruments to promote ecosystem services CIRAD has global expertise in terms of analysing the scientific and policy issues that surround the ecosystem service concept: conception and implementation of environmental and rural development policies for the promotion of environmental services; and methodological tools applied to multi-criteria measurement of the socioeconomic and environmental impact of such policies. It also studies stakeholder networks and coalitions involved in promoting such approaches, their alliances and the resulting changes in the different international arenas and the public development aid sector (projects: Serena, Pesmix, Invaluable, Payer pour l’environnement ?, Prigou, Impact certification, etc).

Installation to study rainwater flow, Congo © D. Louppe, CIRAD

– Modelling and foresight exercises

An essential approach for sustainable agro-ecosystem management This expertise, at the interface between targeted and fundamental research, enables CIRAD to help develop and implement new crop management techniques, draft guides to good practice and design agro-ecosystem management plans on a local, regional and global level.

Partners CIRAD is involved in numerous projects on every continent.

For further information Project websites: © CIRAD, March 2013

The science-policy interface is a priority line of research for CIRAD. To this end, CIRAD studies the socio-ecological systems behind the maintenance and restoration of ecosystem services. It addresses and explores the functioning and dynamics of such systems using modelling tools and participatory and foresight techniques (projects: EcoAdapt, Regreening Sahel, Prospective Bassin du Congo, Spiral, etc).

Agrosilvopastoral management of Sahelian lands Role of animal production in agroforest and natural forest management © R. Peltier/CIRAD

In the past, the natural vegetation of Sahelian landscapes comprised wooded grasslands on the slopes and various types of forest in the valleys. Nowadays, in every inhabited zone, most of the deep soils have been cleared and are now cultivated. Cohabitation between crop farmers and other users of these areas (particularly stock farmers), who often have conflicting interests, is sometimes fraught. However, through various projects, CIRAD researchers have shown that these groups can organize themselves and come up with land management solutions that optimize any possible synergies


unes, hills and dry plateaus, which are often stony and difficult to cultivate, serve as collective areas for grazing, hunting and gathering, particularly of wood. Copses and small areas of bottomland forest have in some cases been preserved around ponds and on riverbanks. The farmers, for their part, have almost all kept in their fields a few trees they see as useful and not too much of a problem for their crops.

Young shepherd leading his herd through a forest area used for fuelwood production, in Niger. © R. Peltier/CIRAD

Livestock is led into uncultivated areas during the rainy season, and as harvesting progresses, into fields to eat straw and other crop residues. Throughout the year, the animals thus eat both herbaceous plants and “aerial fodder” on trees (leaves, bark and young shoots, flowers and fruit). The latter is particularly important towards the end of the dry season, once all the herbaceous biomass has dried: the animals need the nitrogen in the aerial fodder to digest straw. However, free livestock movements within these landscapes are increasingly hindered, if not prevented, by the densification of crops and animals and the specialization and privatization of various areas. This has adverse effects on the functioning of the various agrosilvopastoral systems, and can cause very serious socioeconomic problems.

Contact Régis Peltier CIRAD, UPR BSEF Tropical Forest Goods and Ecosystem Services Campus international de Baillarguet 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France

Integrating animal production into harvested forests Certain areas are steadily being appropriated by woodcutters’ organizations. This is the case in Niger and Mali, where CIRAD has supported the introduction of a local natural resource management policy and the creation of woodcutters’ associations and rural fuelwood markets. Unfortunately, those groups sometimes have a tendency to exclude stock farmers, claiming that their animals damage trees, particularly stump sprouts. However, scientists have shown that livestock in fact has a very limited impact on tree survival and growth in the Sahel. On the contrary, grazing during the rainy season primarily concerns the herbaceous layer and in fact reduces dry season fire damage to trees. Lastly, stock farmers are objective allies of forest users in the fight against excessive clearing.

Could access to fodder be traded for fertilizing fields?

Faidherbia albida parks are a perfect example of a positive combination of animal and crop farming and wood production. © R. Peltier/CIRAD Partners

Some stock farmers have settled partially and are practising agriculture. At the same time, crop farmers have acquired animals and are increasingly claiming exclusive ownership of their plots and keeping straw and tree products solely for their own animals, particularly in densely populated areas. However, there are still regions in which farmers have very few animals, and any agrosilvopastoral areas are still under-used for animal production. In such areas, untrimmed trees may become a hindrance to crops and be logged. It is thus crucial to recommend introducing as widely as possible management methods that encompass the many uses of areas and of their resources, Discussion between stock and crop farmers concerning joint land based on traditional service and product exchange management in a village in northern practices (fodder for manure, also cereals for milk, Cameroon. © R. Peltier/ CIRAD etc).

Preserving stock farmers’ access to springs and bottomland water points Riverside and bottomland forests are often cleared to plant market garden or floodrecession crops, orchards or timber trees, which deprives animals of access to water points in the thick of the dry season, or causes the water points to dry out. This intensification of fertile and irrigable zones may be legitimate as far as the crop farmers are concerned, but the traditional, administrative and political authorities also need to take account of the irreplaceable value of these unique landscapes and their key role for wildlife and livestock.

Bottomland Acacia nilotica forest, which is key to the animal production system practised in a valley in Niger. The system is under threat from uncontrolled clearance for farming. © R. Peltier/ CIRAD

Setting up negotiating platforms for multi-use land management

Partners • European Union (EuropAid) • IRAD, Institut de recherche agricole pour le développement, Cameroon • INRAN, Institut national de la recherche agronomique du Niger © CIRAD, March 2013

Cohabitation between the different users of a given area, who often have conflicting shortterm interests and customs, is not easily managed. Through various projects, researchers from CIRAD have shown that these groups can organize themselves, begin talks, come up with scenarios and find land management solutions that optimize any possible synergies. This involves creating and supervising negotiating platforms and conducting multi-stakeholder modelling. Generally speaking, taking account of the pastoral value of trees helps to ensure management methods that preserve biodiversity, and indeed biomass carbon stocks, more effectively, while providing local people with more diversified sources of income and helping to keep the peace between the different human groups concerned.

Inter-TROP, the French network of tropical plant biological resource centres © Inter-TROP

CIRAD, INRA and the IRD have joined forces within Inter-TROP, a network of tropical plant biological resource centres (BRCs) in the West Indies, French Guiana, Réunion and Montpellier. Its role can be summed up as follows: to conserve the collections built up over several decades by research organizations, and to supply plant material to users who request it: research, development and agricultural training establishments, and professional organizations.

What plants are we talking about?


rimarily cultivated species, along with their wild cousins: pineapple, groundnut, tropical garlic, banana, cocoa, coffee, sugarcane, fonio, rubber, yam, under-used vegetables, mango, rice, sorghum and vanilla. They are supplied in the form of plantlets, scions or seeds. The network also manages a herbarium containing most of the plant species found in Guadeloupe and Martinique. Propagating pineapple from suckers © Inter-TROP

Who are the users? The list is not exhaustive. Potential users could be people, firms, groups or organizations keen to use the plant material or information we make available for economic, educational or scientific purposes.

Yam collection in the field, staked crop on ridges © Inter-TROP

Contacts Claudie Pavis INRA Centre des Antilles-Guyane UR1321 97170, Petit-Bourg Guadeloupe Marc Boisseau CIRAD, UMR AGAP Station de Roujol 97130 Petit-Bourg Guadeloupe

What are the benefits for the regions concerned? Three examples: > A firm is planning to develop a procedure for marketing yam chips. The network can provide its expertise, and supply the firm with promising varieties for a project to develop the product. > A nursery wants to supply a producer network with mango plants. The network can provide it with scions of varieties that would make it possible to spread production, hence ensure more efficient marketing. The nursery subsequently propagates the material. > A technical institute is keen to diversify banana production. The network has accessions that have been used to create hybrids, which the institute can test and use for breeding.

How are we organized? The Inter-TROP network involves the tropical plant BRC (French West Indies), tree crop BRC (French Guiana), VATEL BRC (La Réunion), coffee BRC (Montpellier and Réunion) and tropical BRC (Montpellier). It covers a range of technical and scientific expertise in terms of phytotechnics, in vitro culture, cryopreservation, phytosanitary diagnosis, and computer science. A quality approach has been adopted to guarantee the authenticity and origin of the material, and ensure the traceability of exchanges.

Banana variety conserved in the field © Inter-TROP

How can users find out about our resources and request material? A web portal, for the moment limited to the West Indies BRC, can be used to surf the collections, via searches by species name, variety and agronomic characters. Results sheets are provided, generally with photographs. For each species, an e-contact form is available for users to identify themselves and explain their request, which is then assessed.

Eliminating viruses by heat therapy and in vitro culture, in yam © Inter-TROP


For further informations © CIRAD, March 2013

Geographical indications to promote local products In the face of globalization, greater competition on the major export markets, and price instability, promoting reputed, highly specific local products is an approach worth exploring. It responds to consumer demand in the North and also, increasingly, in the South. It serves to guarantee outlets and allows producers to move into increasingly profitable niche markets. Darjeeling Š B. Bridier, CIRAD


he recognition of geographical indications (GIs) by the World Trade Organization in 1994 led many countries to establish a legal framework to protect their traditional local agricultural and craft products.

In Europe, and particularly in France and Italy, where they go back a long way, GIs and designations of origin (PDOs) have allowed many products to be recognized and appreciated for their specificity. They have helped Oku honey, Cameroon Š D. Chabrol, CIRAD sustain activities and jobs in less favoured areas. Contrary to other specific quality approaches (organic, fair-trade, etc), in this case, it is the producers who determine the relevant specifications. Unlike brand names, it is not necessary to go to court to ensure those specifications are respected (at least in the EU, but also in many other countries). However, to what extent is the approach suited to developing countries, and is it useful in alleviating rural poverty? How can the target products truly be protected and promoted?

Tackling the challenges of rural development and poverty alleviation CIRAD has worked in a range of situations and with various partners, enabling it to acquire substantial experience, which is also the object of research work and training operations. Its Innovation Joint Research Unit (UMR Innovation) is continuing with its dual approach of analysing and supporting innovation processes, which is allowing family farmers to gain a foothold on agrifood markets and helping to build new relations between food and territories. It has participated in research projects, and produced or supervised theses on the range of GIs worldwide: India, East Africa, Brazil and Southeast Asia.

Contact Didier Chabrol UMR Innovation 73 rue Jean-François Breton 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France

This work has shown that the “geographical indication” legal device is not suited to some situations and that certain conditions are required if it is to benefit sustainable rural development. For instance, there are several vital stages when building a GI: > the prior reputation of the product and awareness among producers of its specificity and value; > the identification and construction of dialogue between producers, leading to the founding of a representative organization; > the collective drafting of specifications, supervised by such an organization, taking care not to exclude the poorest or most disadvantaged farmers (technical support, schedules, etc); > the implementation of an internal auditing system, validated by external audits, so as to generate and sustain confidence among producers

Tour of a cooperative producing PDO pélardon cheese in the Cévennes © D. Chabrol, CIRAD

Tailor-made training courses Each year, in partnership with the Swiss REDD team, UMR Innovation organizes a twoweek training course for staff responsible for recording GIs at the authorities in charge of intellectual property, professional leaders from the supply chains concerned, and rural development leaders and experts ( The course covers legal as well as economic, social and organizational aspects. It centres on interactive methods: the participants present their experiences and work in groups on case studies. They visit two GIs during each session and benefit from contributions from top-level European and international experts. The course is held in English and has attracted participants from many countries, including Brazil, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, China and Vietnam. Other courses could be organized on the same bases, maybe shorter or for specific audiences (notably French speakers).

Project support CIRAD’s expertise has been put to good use in several ways: > support of Kintamani coffee in Bali (20052009), which became the first Indonesian GI; > leadership of a GI pilot project in Laos (2007-2010): a law has been drafted and two products are ready to be registered for GIs; > technical support of the 16 AIPO member countries: training, communication, Bolovens coffee, Laos © B. Sallée, CIRAD recording GIs (Oku honey and Penja pepper in Cameroon, Ziama Macenta coffee in Guinea) (2010-2013); projects under way in Tunisia (Gabès pomegranates, Tunisian Deglet Nour dates, Tebousouk olive oil) and in Kenya (coffee); > training, research, project support (Brazil, Vietnam); > supervision of PhDs or Masters.

Partners • Indonesia, Laos, Tunisia: relevant ministries • Africa: AIPO, African Intellectual Property Organization • Kenya: Coffee Research Council • France: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture; AFD, Agence française de développement; FFEM, Fonds français pour l’environnement mondial; INAO, Institut national de l’origine et de la qualité •Switzerland: REDD, Sharing knowledge for ethical and tasty food

For further information To download: CIRAD, 2012. Perspective No. 17. Geographical indications for agricultural and handicraft goods: the strength of a link to the origin as a criterion FAO, 2009. Linking people, places and products 189 pp. AFD, FFEM, 2010. Indications géographiques : qualité des produits, environnement et cultures. 104 pp. CTA – Origin, 2011. Manuel pratique sur les IG pour les pays ACP. 67 pp.

© CIRAD, February 2013

Participatory breeding in Sahelian Africa and in situ sorghum biodiversity In Sahelian Africa, sorghum is a staple food crop in the diet of rural populations. To cope with population growth, urban food requirements and climate change, agricultural production needs to increase, particularly that of sorghum, whose substantial diversity helps ensure the resilience of local farming systems. CIRAD and its African partners are working to tackle this challenge, by making optimum use of that biodiversity and of related knowledge among farmers. Š A. OualbÊogo

Characterizing sorghum agrobiodiversity and understanding its evolution


Discussion with a group of women of the criteria for choosing sorghum plants, Burkina Faso Š G. Trouche, CIRAD

x situ collections are a major source of variability for adaptation and quality characters. Breeders initially explored ex situ collections of sorghum varieties from Sahelian Africa, to assess the range of adaptation characters and the yield potential of the varieties: plant adaptation to different soil types, adjustment of the crop cycle to the rainy season as a result of photoperiodism, resistance to the main pests and diseases, grain to straw ratio, drought tolerance, and straw and grain quality for a range of food and non-food uses.

Knowledge of the in situ dynamics of diversity in both spatial and temporal terms is of use in drafting biodiversity management strategies. Most African farmers still use traditional varieties that are well suited to their environment and different uses. However, changing lifestyles and the spread of cash crops and of maize are a threat to the current diversity of sorghum varieties. The risks of genetic erosion could also be exacerbated by the multiplication of climatic hazards and current changes in seed supply systems. Most of the agro-ecosystems in which sorghum is grown include wild sorghum varieties, which play a role in the evolution of the diversity of cultivated varieties. Identifying these wild populations, which are under threat from increased land use pressure, and conserving them in situ, is a major priority, since they have potentially useful unique genes.

Contact Kirsten Vom Brocke CIRAD UMR AGAP, Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Mediterranean and Tropical Plants Avenue Agropolis 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5

In the course of their research on sorghum agro-biodiversity, the various partners have developed new methods, knowledge and genetic material: > The constitution of unique collections in various countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Guinea), and the compilation of a substantial amount of related information (local knowledge, production ecology of different varieties, uses, genetic markers, morphological characterization, etc), will be of use in eco-geographical zoning of wild and cultivated varieties and modes of conservation. > A clearer understanding of how traditional seed supply systems (seed exchange and access networks) function and of their impact on in situ diversity. In Mali, for instance, the situation varies considerably, from maintenance of traditional varieties to regular adoption of new ones, whereas in Niger, there have not been any major varietal changes in the last thirty years, in spite of environmental and manmade pressure. > Better knowledge of farmer practices, particularly in terms of varietal choices and seed recycling, and of their influence on the dynamics of diversity. Local varieties are “population-varieties” that probably have an advantage over pure lines in terms of adaptation, at least in marginal environments.

Establishing participatory breeding programmes Participatory breeding means involving farmers and other stakeholders in the supply chain fully in the varietal development process, so as to satisfy their requirements better. In the case of sorghum, the aim is to make optimum use of the rich local biodiversity in breeding programmes established jointly by researchers and farmers. The skills this builds serve to: > work with farmers, both men and women, to identify and rank the different breeding criteria, and then to assess and breed varieties based on those criteria so as to satisfy their immediate requirements; Training producers in Zikiémé, Burkina Faso > create populations that encompass © K. Vom Brocke, CIRAD the local genetic diversity farmers want; > develop participatory recurrent selection methods based on those genetically diverse populations, for use in farmers’ fields; > organize training and consultation workshops to exchange experiences and share decision-making throughout the process; > help farmers’ organizations produce and distribute seeds (training, handbooks).

Participatory evaluation of sorghum lines, Burkina Faso © K. Vom Brocke, CIRAD

Partners • Burkina Faso: AMSP, association Minim Song Panga innovative farmers’ network), Sanmatenga; INERA, Institut de l’environnement et de recherches agricoles; UGCPA/ BM, Union de groupement pour la commercialisation des produits agricoles, Boucle du Mouhoun • Mali: AOPP, Association des organisations paysannes professionnelles; IER, Institut d’économie rurale • CGIAR: ICRISAT, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics • Donors: ANR, Agence nationale de la recherche, FFEM, Fonds français pour l’environnement mondial, France; McKnight Foundation, CCRP, Collaborative Crop Research Program, USA; European Union (EC-IFAD, ECOWAS); Fondation Agropolis

For further information Vom Brocke K., Trouche G., Weltzien E., Barro-Kondombo C.P., Gozé E., Chantereau J. 2010. Participatory variety development for sorghum in Burkina Faso: Farmers selection and farmers criteria. Field crops research, 119 (1) : 183-194.

Evaluation of panicles suitable for beer production, Burkina Faso © K. Vom Brocke, CIRAD

© CIRAD, March 2013


Regulating pests and diseases in tropical agrosystems Diversifying plant species in cropping systems By cultivating varieties that make different demands on the soil and climate, diversifying species or varieties in agrosystems reduces the risks of harvest losses, especially in the context of climate change. Likewise, cereal and legume combinations or use of cover crops that reduce erosion bolster food security. However, little is known about the effects of such plant diversification on populations of pests and diseases, and the damage they cause. With a view to economic and environmental sustainability, it is therefore important to gain a clearer understanding of interactions and use them to minimize any negative impacts and limit synthetic pesticide use. © A. Ratnadass, CIRAD

Specific plant diversification


wide diversity of plant species, or specific plant diversity (SPD), characterizes natural ecosystems, which suffer much less from pests and diseases than cultivated ecosystems. Using cultivated plant varieties that Fodder radish in a mulch-based cropping system. are resistant to pests and diseases, and © A. Ratnadass, CIRAD defining optimum spatio-temporal deployment methods for such resistance, play a key role in crop protection. Over and above mere genetic diversification, SPD maximizes ecological pest and pathogen regulation processes, such as the preservation of natural enemies. In this context, CIRAD and its partners implemented a project in the tropics to optimize the ecological mechanisms of pest and disease management, for sustainable improvement of agrosystem productivity (OMEGA3 project). It analysed how pest and disease populations are affected by the introduction of spatial and temporal diversity of plant species in cropping systems. Several systems representing a range of pests and diseases and host-plants in tropical zones were studied: coffee-based agroforestry systems in Costa Rica, cocoa-based agroforestry systems in Cameroon, upland ricebased direct seeding mulch-based cropping systems in Madagascar, okra- and tomatobased food/market garden crop systems in Niger, tomato-based market garden systems in Martinique and cucurbit-based systems in Réunion, etc.

Contacts Alain Ratnadass CIRAD, HortSys Research Unit Boulevard de la Lironde 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France Jacques Avelino CIRAD Controlling Pests and Diseases in Tree Crops Research Unit IICA/PROMECAFE Apartado postal 55 2200 Coronado San José Costa Rica jacques.avelino@cirad.f

Pest and disease regulation processes Introducing specific plant diversity induces different pest and disease regulation processes (insects, pathogens or parasitic plants), which are analysed: > sanitizing effects of service plants as the previous crop cover in relation to tomato bacterial wilt in Martinique, > allelopathic effects of cover crops in relation to white grubs and Striga on upland rice in Madagascar, > the luring effects of trap plants, combined with barrier effects and conservation biological control on the tomato fruitworm and on whiteflies of market garden crops in Martinique and Niger, > the same effects «assisted» by food attractants combined with biological insecticides on cucurbit attacking fruit flies in Réunion, > the effects of combining trees and bushes on mirid bug dynamics and the epidemiology of black pod rot on cocoa in Cameroon, > the effects of landscape fragmentation on the epidemiology of coffee leaf rust and on coffee berry borer dynamics in Costa Rica.

Unshaded coffee plantation in Papua New Guinea, devastated by leaf rust. © J. Avelino, CIRAD

Novel cropping systems An inventory is proposed of service plants that can be used for agro-ecological management of pests and diseases in horticultural systems (in Martinique) or in direct seeding mulch-based systems (in Madagascar). For instance, the benefits offered by the fodder radish, Raphanus sativus, have been discovered, be it for its antibacterial effects against Ralstonia solanacearum in tomato crops, or for its suppressive effect on white grubs in mulch-base rice crops. Some contradictory effects of shade have also been discovered on the incidence of leaf rust in coffee agroforestry systems: shade reduces disease incidence compared to full exposure to sunlight Hypotheses regarding SPD Adding to the by reducing the fruit load, but increases it by effects on pests and diseases creating humid conditions more conducive knowledge generated by observation base to infection and disease development. Experimental checking of suspected SPD effects


Scenarios and decision-making rules

After formalizing the ecological processes studied, and depending on the major types of pests and diseases, plants and Parameterization of existing models plant diversification methods, CIRAD defines indicators to construct predictive models that can serve as generic tools to improve our understanding of the functioning of systems that correspond to Validation of models through the above case studies. The models are used observation and to elaborate novel cropping systems experiments that are resilient to pests Ideotypes of and diseases, based on SPD-based cropping the introduction of SPD in systems resilient to pests and diseases agrosystems.

Construction of mechanistic models

Shaded coffee plantation in Costa Rica: shading reduces rustrelated risks. © J. Avelino, CIRAD

Hypothèses sur les effets sur les bioagresseurs gén par l’observation


Alimentation de la base de connaissances

• CATIE, Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza, Costa RicaParamétrage

de modèles existants • FOFIFA, Centre de recherche agronomique de Madagascar

• ICRISAT, International Crops de modèles Research Institute forValidation the Semipar l’observation Arid Tropics, India/Niger et l’expérimentation

• INRA, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, France Idéotypes de

• INRAN, Institut national dede culture systèmes recherche agronomique à basedu de DVS résilients Niger vis-à-vis des bioagresseu • IRAD, Institut de recherche Construction agricole pour le développement, de modèles mécanistes Cameroon Scénarios • Universities in Cameroon, et règles Costa Rica, Madagascar and de décision Niger Indicateurs

For further Vérification expérimenta information:

© CIRAD, March 2013

Agro-ecological management of fruit and vegetable crops Intensifying biological regulation processes so as to control pests and diseases Horticultural systems currently need to change in order both to boost their productivity and prevent risks to human health and the environment. Controlling pests and diseases without using synthetic pesticides is a priority for the horticultural systems of tomorrow. Improving the diversity of cultivated and sub-wild plants in cropping systems, notably by fostering the development of beneficials (viz. predators, parasitoids and pollinators) serves to control pest populations more sustainably.

© F. Le Bellec, CIRAD

Reducing the impact of bio-aggressors


Push-pull system in Niger. © A. Ratnadass, CIRAD

IRAD is studying the mechanisms and conditions for reducing the adverse effects of bio-aggressors (crop pests and pathogens) through the planned introduction of plant diversity into cropping systems and the rational arrangement of landscape structures (live hedges, unweeded field borders, crop distribution in space and time, etc):

> inventory and dynamics of the fauna and flora in horticultural systems, including neighbouring natural and cultivated plots; > identification and characterization of service plants used in crop rotations and intercropping systems; > testing of new combinations of crops and service plants; > development of field layout designs that draw pests away from crops and attract them to trap plants or plants that attract pests’ natural enemies (push-pull systems); > modelling of interactions and regulation between plants, bio-aggressors and natural enemies in cropping systems.

Contacts Alain Ratnadass CIRAD, HortSys Research Unit Boulevard de la Lironde 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France Eric Malézieux CIRAD, HortSys Research Unit Boulevard de la Lironde 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France

The entomofauna of market garden cropping systems in the West Indies In the market garden cropping systems of the West Indies, trials are under way with a view to optimizing biological regulation of tomato fruitworm (Helicoverpa zea) populations by planting trap plants such as maize, either inside or outside crop plots. In particular, a spatially explicit individual-based model comprising three interacting modules has been developed, which takes account of the relative attractiveness of the trap plant and the commercial crop (tomato), their spatialtemporal implantation, and pest behavioural traits.

Helicoverpa armigera on okra © A. Ratnadass, CIRAD

Helicoverpa caterpillar on a green tomato fruit © A. Ratnadass, CIRAD

The entomofauna of intercrops in West Africa

In the Niayes horticultural region in Senegal, the physical effects (shade, humidity, temperature) of intercropping fruit and market garden crops on pest and natural enemy communities are being measured directly on farms. The University of Dakar offers a UCAD-CIRAD Masters in horticultural agro-ecology based on this approach.

Partners • ICRISAT, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Niger • INRAN, Institut national de recherches agronomiques du Niger • UCAD, Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal

For further information Master Gedah :

© CIRAD, March 2013

Okra, cassava and oil palm in the Niayes region, Senegal. © H. De Bon, CIRAD

In Niger, pest communities and their auxiliaries have been studied in a range of complex cropping systems combining food (millet, cowpea), fruit and market garden crops (jujube, melon, moringa, tomato, okra, etc). Assessments have been conducted of the attractive effects of plants (pigeon pea, sorghum), plant-based repellents and biocides (neem, physic nut) and a food attractant combined with a biological insecticide (GF-120®) that can be used in such systems

Geographical distribution of allelic diversity To preserve and make use of the agrobiodiversity of root and tuber crops Now that yields of the main cereal crops have peaked, root and tuber crops (cassava, sweet potato, yam, taro, cocoyam, etc) offer interesting prospects in terms of food security. They are grown in small plots by the poorest farmers, and are found throughout the countries of the intertropical zone, from equatorial Africa to Southeast Asia and Melanesia, through the lowlands of South America. There Š J. Sardos, CIRAD are few germplasm collections representative of the existing genetic diversity, and the complexity of managing such collections means that it is impossible to conserve every variety. However, genetic erosion is gaining pace, requiring a new form of agro-biodiversity management. Geographical distribution of allelic diversity has so far given interesting results.

I Sweet potatoes in Vanuatu Š V. Lebot, CIRAD

n many countries of the humid tropics, root and tuber crops are the foundations of food crop systems. When translated into production per unit of area and time, the performance of such crops is comparable to that of cereals grown in much more intensive systems. On small areas, these crops provide real environmental protection. The many possible combinations and the fact that these plants have extremely flexible cropping calendars make them very attractive to small-scale producers.

A new approach to diversity in Vanuatu Geographical distribution of allelic diversity means conserving diversity in the form of alleles rather than fixed varieties (genes rather than genotypes). The principle is simple, since it means distributing those alleles as widely as possible, rather than setting up centralized ex situ germplasm collections, as is usually the case.

Contact Vincent Lebot CIRAD, Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Mediterranean and Tropical Plants Joint Research Unit BP 946 Port Vila Vanuatu

This type of approach is split into four stages: > composition of a sample representative of the usable diversity of the species; > geographical distribution of the genotypes in the sample, in the form of clones; > gene distribution in the form of clones produced from segregated progenies (F1s); > local adaptation of clones selected by the producers themselves. The initial sample must contain different individuals from distant geographical origins, that are genetically distinct, with good quality corms, tubers or roots, good agronomic performance and functional sexual reproduction. Based on the hypothesis that recombination between introduced and local gene pools will occur during sexual reproduction, it is possible to introduce genes for Taros, Vanuatu © V. Lebot, CIRAD resistance to various types of environmental change into local populations of root and tuber crops, hence conserving a part of the local genetic resource in case of major changes. In fact, this means betting on the adaptive potential of the genotypes selected by producers. A five-year project funded by the FFEM (Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial) tested the merits of this methodology in ten villages on the ten main islands in Vanuatu, proving its efficacy. The results showed that producers now have substantial allelic diversity for the main food crops, which is not a threat to existing varieties, in fact quite the opposite: it is enriching their varietal portfolio.

An international programme The International Network for Edible Aroids, funded by the European Union, is now testing the approach in 21 countries throughout the humid tropics, from Nicaragua to Samoa. In this case, the project Melanesian garden (taro) © H. Vandenbroucke, CIRAD is concentrating on just two species, Colocasia esculenta and Xanthosoma sagittifolium. While the principle is simple, implementation is a complex business and calls for modern technologies to guarantee the genetic distances between varieties likely to be distributed internationally, and also their sanitary condition, ie they must be free of viruses (this is checked in a transit centre, where varieties are conserved and multiplied in vitro.


The hope is that once this work is completed, producers will have substantial allelic diversity at their disposal, and a broader varietal portfolio. This will allow them to anticipate on future environmental changes.

Harvesting taros in Burkina © E. R. Traoré

National: research centres and universities: Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Cuba, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Portugal, Samoa, Slovenia, South Africa, Vanuatu, etc Regional: CePaCT, Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (Fiji); CARDI, Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Trinidad & Tobago) International: Bioversity International (EU); PestNet (Australia)

For further information

© CIRAD, March 2013

Improving agroforestry systems in the humid tropics The example of cocoa and coffee In humid tropical zones, agroforestry systems (AFS) combine forest trees with cash crops (coffee, cocoa, rubber, oil palm, etc), fruit trees (cola, avocado, orange, etc) or food crops, or animal production. These AFS are generally natural forests in which some of the original vegetation has been replaced by other perennial species af© D. Snoeck, CIRAD ter slash-and-burn clearing of the forest to plant food crops. After a few years, such development results in production systems with multiple outputs, which are managed depending on the cash crops being grown, since they generally provide the major share of farmers’ income. Against a backdrop of reduced cultivable land availability, increasing population pressure, food crises, climate change, and the fact that conventional intensification of agriculture has now reached its limitations, agroforestry practices offer interesting prospects. Improving management of such systems and ensuring their environmental, technical and social sustainability is a major issue for research and development.

Contacts Understanding how multi-functional AFS work...


ocoa- and coffee-based AFS are traditional production systems, which function in much the same way as forest. Compared to monoculture systems, they produce less cocoa or coffee, but they are more sustainable and environmentally friendly, since they are less intensive in terms of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Farmers also produce other goods for “Nacional” cocoa tree, Ecuador their own consumption or for sale (various fruits, © M. Dulcire, CIRAD palm oil and wine, medicinal products, fodder, timber and craft products). AFS also provide a range of important environmental services, such as biodiversity conservation, soil fertility preservation, and carbon sequestration. They also play a social and cultural role (family, national and international heritage, landscape appearance and sacred sites).

Didier Snoeck CIRAD, Performance of Tree Crop-Based Systems Avenue Agropolis 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France Patrick Jagoret CIRAD, UMR SYSTEM 2 place Viala - Bât. 27 34060 Montpellier Cedex 2 France Philippe Vaast CIRAD, UMR Eco&Sols ICRAF – United Nations Avenue Gigiri, PO Box 30677 00100 Nairobi - Kenya Michel Dulcire CIRAD, UMR Innovation 73 rue J.-F. Breton 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France

Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) and coffee (Coffea canephora and Coffea arabica) are understorey species, hence the shade provided by other species in AFS is naturally favourable (regulation of the microclimate, supplies of organic matter). However, shade can also have adverse effects, for instance by creating conditions that favour disease development. In cocoa-based AFS, shade reduces attacks by insects such as mirids, but favours black pod disease, while in coffeebased AFS, it lengthens the cherry ripening period, which improves coffee quality but reduces yields. It is thus by adjusting the degree of shade in a plot that farmers can balance the positive and adverse effects of combining other trees with cocoa or coffee.

... so as to boost their performance and sustainability

The aim is also to develop tools and methods, on the one hand to assess the ecosystem services provided by AFS, and on the other hand to design agroforestry intercropping models capable of stabilizing or even increasing incomes among rural households. Understanding and supporting the development of AFS means analysing local knowhow and strategies and practices among the different stakeholders involved in the cocoa and coffee supply chains. Research is also looking at innovation processes, changes in supply chains, and the landscape impact of AFS.

Research in response to change CIRAD is analysing how agroforestry can contribute to the viability of household activity systems in a context of economic, climate and environmental change. Comparative analyses of different local histories allow researchers to: > measure the impact of AFS on household economics, land ownership and the environment; Intercropping coffee with Erythrina, Costa Rica > assess the flexibility of household © P. Vaast, CIRAD activity systems in the face of change (diversification of outputs, biodiversity management methods, use of environmental services); > question the development models promoted by public policy.

Coffee trees on the leeward coast of Guadeloupe © M. Dulcire, CIRAD

Partners • DP Agroforesterie, Cameroon (IRAD, University of Dschang, University of Yaounde 1) • DP Agroforesterie, Central America (CATIE, INCAE, Bioversity International, PROMECAFE, CABI) • Cameroon: IRAD, Institut de recherche agricole pour le développement • Costa Rica: CATIE, Centro Agronomico tropical de Investigacion y Ensenanza • Ghana: Kwame Nkrumah University • Ivory Coast: CNRA, Centre national de recherche agronomique; University of Cocody • Kenya: ICRAF, World Agroforestry Centre; CRF, Coffee Research Foundation • Uganda: University of Makerere

For further information AFS4Food project, agroforestry for food security:

© CIRAD, March 2013

CIRAD is conducting research in several countries aimed at enhancing these complex cropping systems, whose maintenance and multi-functionality depends on the management choices made by farmers. AFS performance is being assessed to understand the compromises farmers have to strike between the products and the different services provided by such systems, to identify the levers that could be used to improve them. Solutions are being tested in response to specific constraints and objectives. The work currently under way is aimed at developing innovative systems in a context of ecological intensification and climate change.

The return of trees to cultivated tropical zones Assisted natural regeneration

© R. Peltier, CIRAD

Assisted natural regeneration (ANR) has been used in the Sahel region for more than 20 years. With the assistance of Cirad, this method has made it possible to reconstruct complex agroforestry systems covering hundreds of thousands of hectares in countries such as Niger and northern Cameroon. The system can also be used in humid tropical zones, where the forest has been cleared by large-scale slash and burn. Following this method of clearance and the growing of crops, the resulting fallows are vulnerable to the invasive weed Chromolaena odorata and are very low in biodiversity. On the Batéké plateau in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the European project Makala has been working with the local population to test ANR methods in the last remaining sections of gallery forest.

Selecting which trees to preserve


he first advice given to a farmer wanting to grow crops in a section of forest or fallow land containing trees is to clear the undergrowth. With the help of a project agent, the farmer can quickly evaluate the potential of the trees present. Central to this is the consideration of the species Selecting trees before clearing a plot on the edge on the plot and their potential role of the Batéké plateau in DRC. © R. Peltier, CIRAD in providing fertiliser or useful products such as caterpillars, fruit, firewood, timber or use in pharmaceutical products. Farmers evaluate the abundance of each species and consider which individual trees will be preserved during the felling, burning and subsequent growing of crops. As a result of this process, the farmer selects the trees to be preserved, seeking to ensure they are distributed to best effect across the land available and to ensure at least one tree of each useful species is kept. This has to be balanced with the need to avoid excessive shade (depending on the crown of the trees involved, a density of 60 trees per hectare will provide cover of around 20%). Each tree to be preserved is identified by a cord or a painted ring.

Contacts Régis Peltier CIRAD, UR BSEF Tropical Forest Goods and Ecosystem Services Research Unit Campus international de Baillarguet 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France Emilien Dubiez Projet Makala 57, Avenue des Sénégalais Kinshasa-Gombé R.D. Congo

Selective clearing and growing of crops Unmarked trees are felled and then sawn or cut for charcoal production. Around the base of each preserved tree, the land is cleared to a radius of two metres. Residual branches are only burnt after two or three rainfalls (around 50mm). The felling and burning reduces tree density to around 30 trees per hectare. The plot can then be sown with cereals, such as maize. Three months later, the cereal crop is harvested and cassava cuttings are sown to produce a root crop. The farmer will then consider which of the trees that have grown back (seeds, shoots or suckers) will be kept. These are marked with a stake. It is a particularly important step in areas where there are no large trees. The young preserved trees are thinned and pruned by a weeding team. Following the harvesting of the cassava, these trees are then left to grow during the fallow period (lasting six to 12 years), during which the land is reserved for pasture, the gathering of wild foods, hunting and beekeeping etc.

The project therefore aims to create a system where trees and crops can successfully coexist. This system, inspired by ancient practices but adapted to the current possibilities and needs of farmers, best preserves the soils and biodiversity, while increasing the resources available to local populations. In DRC, some 40 different species, including a large proportion of leguminous plants, have been preserved using the system. Overcoming the exhausting transportation of firewood, often the job of women and children. © R. Peltier, CIRAD

Effects and encouraging this innovative system The engineer-researchers from the Makala project are studying the effects of ANR in a number of areas: specific diversity, the growth of species, the rate at which biomass is reconstructed, carbon stocks, the spontaneous sowing of species not originally selected for preservation and the perceptions of local people. Example of ANR It remains necessary to evaluate how ANR is disseminated: on an anti-erosion strip how farmers adapt it to their needs and what land tenure in northern Cameroon. © R. Peltier, CIRAD problems it generates between rights holders and farmers. An estimation of the medium-term impacts on biodiversity and carbon, the sustainability of the agricultural and forestry systems, and the economy of local households and of the region is being conducted. It is being compared with a scenario ‘without Makala’, in other words with no protection of trees among crops. We also have to consider how farmers can be encouraged to continue these efforts beyond the life of the current project. One of the areas being explored is that of forestry funds, such as those available in Europe, which could be financed by carbon credits such as CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) or REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).

Limiting the destruction of forests due to itinerant slash and burn. © R. Peltier, CIRAD

Partners • CIFOR, Center for International Forestry Research, Cameroon • CRDPI, Centre de recherche sur la durabilité des plantations industrielles, Congo • European Union (EuropAid) • Hanns Seidel Foundation,Germany and DRC • Jardin botanique de Kisantu, DRC • Services nationaux du reboisement, DRC and Republic of Congo • University of Liège-Gembloux/ Agro-Bio Tech, Tropical Forestry Laboratory, Belgium • Université de Kisangani et ERAIFT, Ecole régionale post universitaire d’aménagement et de gestion intégrée des forêts et territoires, DRC

For further information

© CIRAD, March 2013

The progressive introduction of an agroforestry system

Bushmeat in central Africa A structured supply chain and a resilient resource

In sub-Saharan Africa, hunting provides a major share of the food consumed by rural populations. However, population growth and urbanization mean evergrowing demand. Assessing and regulating hunting pressure is thus a major challenge that CIRAD’s expertise could help to meet. For some 20 years now, CIRAD has been studying African wildlife, from management of protected areas to the different types of hunting and wildlife uses. It has come up with a set of biological and economic indicators for use by projects aimed at ensuring sustainable management of hunting. © CIRAD

Bushmeat, a vital source of animal protein


n forest and humid grassland regions, bushmeat provides a vital share of the protein consumed by villagers. Livestock farming is largely unproductive, due to sanitary issues and social traditions, and fish stocks are often limited. Farmers set traps around their fields to protect their crops against pests and provide their family with protein.

When urban markets are accessible, commercial hunting may become the main activity for some young rural inhabitants. CIRAD has monitored Bushmeat market in Galafondo, Central African markets in both large cities and Republic. © CIRAD smaller towns and observed that fresh bushmeat prices are generally comparable to those of farmed meat or fresh fish. However, smoke-dried bushmeat is often the cheapest sources of protein, allowing for the weight loss caused by drying. Died bushmeat is thus a staple, very widely consumed product. Indeed, in urban areas, it is often the protein of the poor.

Contact Christian Fargeot CIRAD, UR BSEF Tropical Forest Goods and Ecosystem Services 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France

Commercial hunting, a structured supply chain As a result of inappropriate legislation, bushmeat supplies to urban markets are often pushed into the informal sector, and the activity is even sometimes considered illegal. However, it serves to create jobs and circulate wealth from urban centres to the countryside. Contrary to popular belief, wildlife is not a freely accessible resource. Each village controls a hunting area, the extent of which is more or less fixed depending on population density. Group of hunters in the forest. © CIRAD

The supply chain is structured, beginning with village hunters within the hunting area covered by their village. They sell to collectors who transport the meat to central markets on the edges of towns, at the terminus of road or rail links. Retailers come to buy supplies and subsequently sell to consumers and restaurants.

Roadside bushmeat stall. © CIRAD

While hunting is an entirely masculine activity, the rest of the chain, from village to end consumer, is largely dominated by women.

Sustainable use of common wildlife Studies of both hunting areas and urban markets have shown that the chain primarily concerns small to medium-sized species (rodents, small ruminants, pigs, etc). These animals reproduce quickly, have limited ecological requirements, and can thus withstand increasing human occupation of their environment and pressure from hunting. This common wildlife can be classed as “ordinary biodiversity”. Current observations in countries with very different human population densities, and historical data, confirm that the resource is highly resilient.

To help its partners draft and implement such policies, CIRAD has expertise that could be used to: > conduct the biological studies that are vital for common wildlife management; > analyse bushmeat production chains; > introduce territory management tools and identify resource sustainability indicators; > pinpoint the institutional reforms required for participatory management of wildlife and animal biodiversity.

Partners • CIFOR, Center for International Forestry Research, Indonesia • CRDPI, Centre de recherche sur la durabilité des plantations industrielles, Congo • FFEM, Fonds français pour l’environnement mondial, France •IGF, Fondation internationale pour la gestion de la faune, France • MEEF, Ministry of the Environment, Rivers and Forests, Central African Republic

© CIRAD, March 2013

Wildlife management policies unfortunately give precedence to emblematic species classed as remarkable biodiversity. They concentrate scientific and financial resources on these species and on a small number of protected areas, and marginalize commercial hunting. Such policies have resulted in a social and ecological stalemate, and it is thus important to think about new wildlife management strategies that really take account of local people, their hunting practices and their material needs.

The fruits of Amazonia Biodiversity worth exploring with a view to new uses The Amazon Basin has a huge wealth of fruit and oilseed genetic resources. Commercial gathering of these non-wood natural resources from the Amazonian forest – extractivism – is a major issue for the region in terms of economic and social development and environmental conservation. Many Amazonian fruits have remarkable nutritional, medicinal and even tinctorial properties, which are undeniable assets that could be promoted on the “health foods” market as both functional and natural. UMR Qualisud is working to characterize and promote these resources.

© G. Coppens d’Eckenbrugge

Extractivism, a source of income


Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa) at two stages of ripeness © D. Pallet, CIRAD

or the people of Amazonia, the income generated by extractivism is often greater than that from agriculture or small animal rearing. Moreover, extractivism of fruits and oilseeds is environmentally friendly: it is not a threat to either individual trees or species. On the contrary, trees, which are sources of income, are protected. However, too few products obtained by extractivism are economically important for the Amazon Basin, the main ones being Brazil nuts, latex and acaí, in the form of palm hearts or juice.

The assets of Amazonian fruits Many Amazonian fruits have assets that could ensure new uses: > they have a wholly deserved “green”, ecologically correct image as production is entirely organic; > they offer new exotic flavours that are worth experiencing; > they have high micro-nutrient contents: carotenoids, phenolic compounds, selenium, etc that could have pharmaceutical or nutritional virtues for preventing disease; > they have tinctorial properties: they are rich in pigments that can be used as natural dyes

Contacts Dominique Pallet, Fabrice Vaillant UMR Qualisud 73 rue Jean-François Breton 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France

Potential that needs to be studied in order to make better use of it UMR Qualisud’s work, along with its South American partners, aims to characterize the nutritional and functional properties and biological activity of these fruits so as to find new uses for them. Several common species from eastern Amazonia are being studied, including: > acaí (Euterpe oleracea and Euterpe precatoria, family Arecaceae), which is popular among the people of Amazonia and widely gathered and consumed; > buriti (Mauritia flexuosa, family Arecaceae), also known as the moriche palm, whose fruits are bright orange and have proven biological effects; > camu camu (Myrciaria dubia H.B.K. and Myrciaria sp., family Myrtaceae), a small red berry very rich in vitamin C, from regions liable to flooding; > Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa, family Lecythidaceae), a traditional product of extractivism in Amazonia that is very rich in selenium. It is important to know about the biodiversity in the region, insofar as some botanical characteristics are correlated to fruit composition characteristics

Drying Brazil nuts © D. Pallet, CIRAD

Fruit pulp: acai and buriti © D. Pallet, CIRAD

New preservation and processing techniques Post-harvest and processing techniques have not yet been developed to preserve and store these fruits. Building infrastructures and adopting basic techniques at collection sites, such as sorting, storage, drying, and other stabilization methods, will help ensure end product quality. The techniques used to extract pulp or oil are traditional, but other, more innovative methods that have been tried and tested in other situations and are suited to the local environment could also be introduced.

Emerging markets Promotion of fruits and oilseeds from Amazonia is subject to the constraints on development in the region, particularly ecological and logistical factors. Their biodiversity is currently little used outside the Amazon, but new niche markets are emerging for these products,as functional and organic foods. Know-how and technologies for post-harvest, logistical and processing operations need to be developed to satisfy this demand.


• CIAT, International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Colombia • CITA, Centro Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos, Costa Rica • EMBRAPA, Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária, Brazil © CIRAD, February 2013

Making optimum use of biodiversity through aquaculture Domestication of indigenous species in multi-trophic systems


n Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean and the French overseas regions, CIRAD and IFREMER have opted to work on multi-trophic aquaculture systems and to domesticate indigenous species. This type of aquaculture makes optimum use of biodiversity and protects ecosystems, while recycling effluent. Rearing mullet, and omnivorous species, using sea lettuce-based feed. © P. Cacot/CIRAD

The three stages of domestication There are three natural domestication process:




• choice of worthwhile species from the natural resource; • control of their biological cycle (reproduction, juvenile production, fattening); • genetic improvement of suitability for farming.

Adult Platax orbicularis, an omnivorous Polynesian species currently being promoted. © E. Gasset/IFREMER

By adopting such an approach, CIRAD and IFREMER, through the Joint Research Unit on Integrated and Ecological Intensification for Sustainable Fish Farming (UMR Intrepid), are looking at three reservoirs of variability, whose relative importance varies according to the type of production chain or species: specific diversity, plasticity and genetic variability.

On each of these levels, the desire to contribute to rational, ecological intensification has led them to centre their research on developing multi-trophic systems. Exploiting specific diversity. This means choosing local species with a short food chain (mainly vegetarian omnivorous species, or plankton-eating species) suitable for Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA), which aims to reduce and recycle pollutant effluents. These species may be freshwater or sea fish, which have moderate protein requirements. They can make use of the plankton found in ponds or plant-based feed, and are of interest with regard to starch assimilation and protein digestibility. Sea species could also be combined with seaweed growing

Contacts Jean-François Baroiller CIRAD, UMR Intrepid Integrated and Ecological Intensification for Sustainable Fish Farming Campus international de Baillarguet 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5

Béatrice Chatain IFREMER, UMR Intrepid Integrated and Ecological Intensification for Sustainable Fish Farming Station expérimentale d’aquaculture Chemin de Maguelone 34250 Palavas-les-Flots France

Controlling the biological cycle. Farming methods are developed or modified with a view to minimizing their overall ecological impact : systems that recycle effluent, use of feeds that require little meal or marine oils, improved feed efficacy, development of biosecurity tools and procedures, and sex control without using hormones, to produce single-sex populations. Genetic improvement. By identifying possible genetic bases of suitability for farming, this stage makes a direct contribution to facilitating diversification (by identifying the best candidates for domestication) or to improving rational management of the natural resource in the event of restocking (by releasing candidates not suitable for domestication).

Towards new fields of application

Larva rearing pond on the Mekong, Vietnam. © P. Cacot/CIRAD

After extensive work in the Mekong delta, CIRAD has now switched its attention to Cameroon and to other Asian countries (Philippines, Thailand). IFREMER, for its part, is working in Polynesia, New Caledonia and the Indian Ocean (Réunion and Mayotte).

Partners • Cameroon: ISH, Institut des sciences halieutiques; University of Douala. • France: AquaMay, Mayotte; ARDA, Association réunionnaise de développement de l’aquaculture; APDRA, smallscale fish farming association; SPC, Pacific Community; ENSAIA, Ecole nationale supérieure d’agronomie et des industries alimentaires; GDR IFREMER-INRA AG; INRA, Institut national de la recherche agronomique; UMR Ecosym-MTPL; UMR ISEM-MTPL (IRD-CNRS) • Philippines: BFAR, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources; PCAMRD, Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development; UP Visayas, University of the Philippines

In Cameroon and sub-Saharan Africa, polyculture centres on a limited number of species (tilapia, catfish, etc), and does not make optimum use of the range of trophic possibilities of pond ecosystems. In particular, it does not use the strictly plankton-eating and macro plant-eating species that ensured the success of fish farming in China, despite the fact that the ichthyofauna of Africa comprises some 3000 of the 10 500 freshwater species found worldwide. Weaning tanks, IFREMER, Palavas-les-Flots, France. © B. Chatain/IFREMER

In the Philippines, coastal aquaculture is characterized by the range of systems and of species produced. Production is substantial (the country is the largest red seaweed producer), and several species with a short food chain are farmed (milkfish, tilapia, rabbitfish). The Philippines are thus a good place to learn about this type of production, and for experiments on the various IMTA systems. In the French overseas regions (Polynesia, New Caledonia, Réunion and Mayotte), aquacultural production is still limited, but has definite development potential. There is strong interest in local species with high market value, which can be produced in environmentally friendly conditions (to protect sites used by the tourist industry). Lastly, the relative conservation of fish resources makes it a reservoir of biodiversity that will be essential in terms of access to the “new species” targeted by research.

• Thailand: AIT, Asian Institute of Technology

Extensive green seaweed cultivation in a multi-trophic system in the Philippines. © L. Dabadie/CIRAD

In this context, CIRAD and IFREMER have chosen to target indigenous species. Controlling the biological cycle of such species will help to overcome the need to take juveniles from their natural habitat, which damages both the environment and natural populations. It will be backed up by programmes aimed at managing genetic variability. Moreover, the domestication of indigenous species will serve as a barrier against the introduction of exotic species, while favouring the diversification of production, a constant objective for fish farmers, particularly in developing countries where fish is a vital source of protein. The choice of target species for IMTA will be based on criteria aimed at “calibrating” different combinations of species and integrating them into various mixed farming systems, on land (tanks, ponds) or offshore (cages). Seaweed production will be an essential parameter in choosing between omnivorous and herbivorous species. The chosen species will have to adapt to the environmental characteristics, techniques and practices associated with fish farming, and in return, the farming system will have to take account of the characteristics of the species. Species will be chosen in association with partners in the production chains concerned, using a participatory approach. © CIRAD, February 2012

Fish market in Papeete, French Polynesia . © D. Covès/IFREMER

Ecology of disease transmission ... and of contacts between wildlife and domestic animals


ow can we anticipate and prevent the health risks linked to interactions between wildlife, domestic animals and the people who live alongside those animals? Wild animals carry diseases that are a health risk for both people and domestic animals. The role of CIRAD and its partners is to understand the ecological and manmade processes that govern transmission of such diseases, so as to come up with ways of preventing, monitoring and controlling them better. Buffaloes that have been marked and fitted with a GPS collar, Zimbabwe. Š D. Cornelis/CIRAD

Contacts Michel de GarineWichatitsky


ver the past 60 years, of the 300 infectious diseases that have emerged in man, more than 40% originated among wildlife: SARS, Ebola, avian influenza, etc. Conversely, the current biodiversity crisis is partly due to the emergence of diseases that originated in domestic animals or in man. As a result of global Cows at a water point, where wild and domestic animals come into contact during the dry season, Zimbabwe. change (population growth, climate, growing Š A. Caron/CIRAD land occupation by agriculture, globalized trade, etc), wildlife, livestock and man are set to come into contact increasingly frequently, hence increasing the risk of transfer of zoonoses. Contact between wild and domestic animals, in particular, depends on both biological factors (access to natural resources, physiological status, etc) and human factors (farming practices, protected area management, etc). Researchers at CIRAD and their partners are studying the ecology of disease transmission between wild and domestic animals. In particular, they are looking at bovids and birds. They are using the tools and methods of ecology (such as satellite tracking) and epidemiology (particularly modelling), backed up by their experience of animal production systems and wildlife management in southern countries, to analyse animal movements and come up with ways of managing the associated risks

CIRAD, UPR AGIRs Animal and Integrated Risk Management Production and Conservation in Partnership Platform Harare, Zimbabwe

Nicolas Gaidet-Drapier CIRAD, UPR AGIRs Animal and Integrated Risk Management Campus international de Baillarguet 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5

Buffalo and cattle movements on the fringes of transborder protected areas in southern Africa The African buffalo is emblematic of African wildlife, but is also a reservoir of diseases that can be transmitted to livestock (foot-and-mouth, Theileria) and to man (bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis). Since 2007, CIRAD has conducted several studies Cow fitted with a GPS collar, in a village on the with a view to understanding the epidemiological fringes of the Gonarezhou Park, Zimbabwe. interactions between these species: in West Africa, © M. de Garine- Wichatitsky/CIRAD in the W Transborder Park (Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger) and in southern Africa, in the Limpopo (Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa) and Kaza (Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe) transborder parks. Several herds of buffalo and cattle living on the immediate fringes of these protected areas were fitted with GPS collars. Their movements and health status were monitored so as to pinpoint the ecological and manmade factors that affect how land and resources are shared and model the health risks linked to these contacts. The analyses showed that contacts between species increase significantly during the dry season, when access to water and pasture is more limited. Other factors, such as the presence of predators, also seem to modify the frequency of contact between species. Wild duck and swan flyways monitored by satellite These results will be used to devise management methods aimed at limiting the risks at the wild-domestic animal interface: control of access to water points or certain pasture zones, and targeted vaccination campaigns or treatment of livestock

Partners • International organizations: FAO; USGS, United States Geological Survey; Wetlands International; WCS, Wildlife Conservation Society; WWF • France: CNRS, Centre national de la recherche scientifique • Zimbabwe: NUST, National University of Science and Technology; national parks; veterinary services; University of Zimbabwe • South Africa: national parks; veterinary services; Universities of Cape Town and Pretoria • Mali: Direction nationale des Eaux et Forêts; central veterinary laboratory

Role of migrating ducks in the spread of the H5N1 avian influenza virus Following the rapid spread of H5N1 virus over Eurasia and Africa in 2005–2006 and concurrent reports of mortality events in some migratory ducks and geese these birds have been suspected of contributing to the geographic spread of the virus. These birds are indeed capable of flying rapidly over long distances, and have sometimes been seen to be infected with the H5N1 virus. However, their ability to spread the virus had always been a subject of controversy. A study by CIRAD as part of the international programme coordinated by the FAO shed light on the debate. By analysing the length, duration and frequency of the movements of 228 birds from 19 species, monitored by satellite, CIRAD showed that migratory ducks do have the ability to spread the virus over large distances (up to 2000 kilometres in just four days). However, the study showed that the likelihood of such a thing happening is very slight: for this to be the case, the period during which a migrating duck is infected by the H5N1 virus (four days on average) would have to coincide with the period during which the bird travels great distances (>500 km), an event that only occurs for between five and fifteen days a year on average, depending on the species. Locally, these contacts between wild and domestic birds play a key role in virus circulation. Satellite monitoring serves to characterize these contacts by overcoming the need for direct observations, which are often difficult. For instance, in Mali, satellite monitoring of wild African ducks showed that the end of the dry season is the period that most favours contact between wild ducks and poultry, since the two populations share the same habitat, on the edges of villages © CIRAD, February 2012

Blue-winged teal fitted with a satellite beacon in the Niger delta, Mali. © P. Poilecot/CIRAD


tell ith a sa fitted w ali. k c u d illed lta, M Knob-b the Niger de in n o c D a A e b IR ilecot/C © P. Po

Vector-borne animal diseases and the environment Understanding the biological factors in emergence


etween 1990 and 2000, almost a quarter of the 300 diseases that emerged in man were vector-borne. Vector-borne diseases, which are transmitted by arthropods such as insects (mosquitoes, midges, bugs, etc) or mites (ticks, fleas, etc), are particularly sensitive to their environment, and any changes in that environment may contribute to their emergence. CIRAD’s role is to explain the biological processes involved so as to come up with solutions for preventing, monitoring and controlling such diseases. Restraining a zebu before taking a blood sample, Madagascar . © V. Chevalier/CIRAD


Small ruminant trade flows from countries in the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea) to Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Source: Abdo-Salem S et al., 2010

isease emergence has a range of causes. Over the past 60 years, more than 300 infectious diseases have emerged in man, of which two thirds are of zoonotic origin (transmitted between man and animals). Over the decade 1990-2000, around a quarter of the diseases that emerged were vector-borne. In fact, vector-borne diseases are particularly sensitive to changes in their environment, in terms of host population levels, climate, plant cover or movements of people and animals. Modelling serves to explain the mechanisms at play, assess the importance of the various factors, test control scenarios and anticipate the future.

Rift Valley fever Role of animal movements in the spread of the virus Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic arbovirus caused by a Phlebovirus (Bunyaviridae), transmitted by mosquitoes (genera Aedes and Culex in particular). Domestic ruminants are the usual hosts of the virus, but humans may also be infected. Certain major epidemics have affected tens of thousands of people. In addition to direct economic loses (abortion and neonatal mortality in ruminants), RVF is a strong constraint on animal and animal product exchanges. The geographical distribution of the disease, which was hitherto restricted to Africa, spread suddenly to the Arabian Peninsula in 2000 and the Indian Ocean in 2008.

Contacts Véronique Chevalier CIRAD, UR AGIRs Animal and Integrated Risk Management Campus international de Baillarguet 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France

Hélène Guis CIRAD, UMR CMAEE Emerging and Exotic Animal Disease Control Campus international de Baillarguet 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 France

CIRAD, in collaboration with the Institut Pasteur in Madagascar and FOFIFA-DRZV, analysed the emergence factors and modelled the mechanisms by which RVF spreads, using social network analysis (SNA) methods. This work revealed that live ruminant trade contributed to the spread of the virus, on a local, regional and even continental scale. As the results of serological studies of small ruminants suggest, the RVF virus probably did not persist on the Arabian Peninsula after the 2000 epizootic. However, a risk analysis conducted in collaboration with Dhamar University and the veterinary services in Yemen showed that there was a real risk of its reintroduction via the trade in ruminants. The recent epizootic in northern Mauritania, in a particularly arid zone, demonstrated, if proof were needed, the virus’ significant capacity to spread. Spatial and dynamic modelling by CIRAD has served to pinpoint zones at risk of transmission in the event of the disease being introduced into previously unaffected areas – Europe, Asia. It is thus possible to optimize surveillance methods, which are essential in protecting animal and human populations against the disease.

Bluetongue Assessing the effect of climate change on the risk of transmission Climate change may cause modifications in disease distribution (extension or reduction) and contribute to the emergence of certain diseases. The many factors involved are intrinsically linked. To estimate future risk, it is vital to quantify their effects precisely and understand the mechanisms at play. In collaboration with climate scientists and epidemiologists from the University of Liverpool, CIRAD has developed an approach that serves to assess the effect of past and future changes in climate on the risk of transmission of an infectious disease. The approach has been applied to bluetongue, a viral disease of ruminants transmitted by certain midges of the genus Culicoides. Bluetongue, which was seen as an exotic tropical disease until 1998, subsequently caused one of the most extensive epizootics ever seen in Europe (more than 110 000 foci in 14 countries).

Partners • France: ANSES, Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire; Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Rural Affairs and Regional Planning • Madagascar: FOFIFA-DRZV, Centre national de recherche appliquée au développement rural; Institut Pasteur • United Kingdom: University of Liverpool • Yemen: veterinary services; Dhamar University

The modelling approach showed that the climate over the past Female Culicoides nubeculosus twenty years has favoured the gorged with blood. © JB Ferre/EID Méditerranée emergence of the disease, albeit via different mechanisms in northern and southern Europe. In southern Europe, the climate has favoured the spread of and increases in population levels of the Afro-Asian vector Culicoides imicola, whereas in the North, it has shortened the virus cycle within the vector and increased the daily biting rate of native Culicoides. The approach is also being used to simulate future changes in the risk of transmission in space and time and the uncertainty associated with such simulations.

Flock of sheep in Corsica. © H. Guis/CIRAD

Direct removal of Culicoides from a sheep to assess the biting rate. © T. Balenghien/CIRAD

© CIRAD, February 2012

Cultivating biodiversity cirad's expertise sia 2013  
Cultivating biodiversity cirad's expertise sia 2013  

Cultivating biodiversity: cirad's expertise 2013