MOM 2013-2015: sustainable management of soil fertility of prairies for forrage production in Guyana
The population growth in French Guiana (anticipated to double in less than 20 years) raises the question of the sustainable development of local agricultural products. For example, for beef, local needs are only 20% satisfied by local production, and the only local sources for animal feed are grassland; most of the imports (meat and raw materials for compound feed) come from metropolitan France, with well-known difficulties in the movement of goods and a significant increase in costs. Imports from neighbouring countries (Brazil and Suriname) are now limited, but could become more important in the future. In this context, the development of local production with quality is an option selected by professional managers and local politicians.
Livestock production in French Guiana has been developed over the last twenty years, particularly in the framework of the Green Plan (Vivier et al., 1995). Since 2010, the IKARE association, which groups together the livestock sector, has been carrying out applied research activities in breeding aimed at improving the technical-economic performance of livestock farmers, transferring and popularizing the research results and innovative practices with breeders.
The main challenge of this project is therefore to aid in the provision of effective methods for French Guianese farmers to optimize soil management. This involves the development of innovative technical itineraries for soil management methods that make it possible to maintain or improve the fertility of cultivated soils, while remaining economically and socially attractive for agriculture. This optimization of soil management also reconciles production with the preservation of the quality of water and soil resources.