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Planting dynamics and management of oil palm smallholdings in Cameroon: limiting factors and reason for practices

Abstract : In southern Cameroon, oil palm "smallholdings" contribute to rural development and meeting national oil and fat requirements for human consumption and soapmaking. From 1978 to 1991, 13,000 ha of selected oil palm smallholdings were set up with technical and financial support from a project. Selected oil palm smallholdings then trebled and now occupy around 40,000 ha. The latter plantations, set up without supervision or financial backing, display widely varying practices, raising two questions: the agronomic value of smallholdings and adaptation of standard technical advice. This work took a dual agronomic approach. Firstly a regional agronomic diagnosis to identify yield-limiting factors and practices from which they arose, in order to trace plot evolution patterns. Secondly a comprehensive analysis of field make-up, tracing back planting conditions in each plot and repositioning farms in their supply region. A new limiting factor specific to oil palm smallholdings was found: nitrogen nutrition in mature palms. A spatial and temporal analysis of field make-up helped to explain the variability in practices, enabling links to be made between planting conditions, juvenile palm management and mature plot characteristics. Technical advice was revised to adapt it to the new situations in plots, on farms and in the supply chain environment.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 8:00:00 AM
Last modification on : Monday, October 19, 2020 - 11:04:02 AM
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Sylvain Rafflegeau. Planting dynamics and management of oil palm smallholdings in Cameroon: limiting factors and reason for practices. Sciences of the Universe [physics]. AgroParisTech, 2008. English. ⟨NNT : 2008AGPT0038⟩. ⟨pastel-00004759⟩

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