The RITA-GUYAFER Program 2013-2015

 In Agriculture/Agroforestry, News 2013

Project funded by: CIOM, EAFRD and The Regional Council of French Guiana (Le conseil Régional de la Guyane)

Partners: CIRAD, Solicaz

The GUYAFER program was created under the RITA French Guiana framework. It aims to promote and support the transition to organic farming (biological or not) to ensure the sustainability of soil resources and systems of production.

The experience accumulated in other tropical countries shows that the sustainability of agriculture under these conditions is highly dependent on the recovery of certain ecosystem functions present in the original soil-plant-climate system. Among these ecosystem functions, those whose relevance and adaptability can be better ensured for the socio-economic conditions of French Guiana are mainly related to the entry and preservation of nutrients and to organic restoration. In this sense, the practices the project will target are:

• Introduction of legumes (herbaceous and woody), in order to recover the natural entry of nitrogen into the system (symbiotic fixation) and its provision for cultivated plants (including transference, green manure, recycling after pruning or grafting);
• Organic amendments (composts, terra preta or biochar, BRF), partly to ensure the supply of nutrients with a progressive and less leachable source of decomposition and, secondly, to improve the physical-chemical properties of soils.

These practices will be developed within current agricultural systems (e.g. market gardening, orchards, giblets, etc.) and/or in systems to be promoted gradually (e.g. agroforestry). These agroforesty systems would be intended in the medium term to “mimic” the original system of nature and would thus be able to recover a greater number of functions in comparison to other systems.

This broader aim is divided into three specific objectives:

1- To carry out a diagnosis of the potentials and the constraints of the main agricultural soils of French Guiana, – in particular their chemical, physical and biological properties.

2- Improve soil fertility through practices adapted to the pedoclimatic, socio-economic and agronomic conditions of each region and / or sector.

3- Integrate all these practices in the context of improvement.

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