The Sustainable Banana Plan, a Driving Force for Progress
« Working for Earth, Mankind and the Economy »
The Sustainable Banana Plan was signed on December 5, 2008 by the Guadeloupe & Martinique Banana Producers’ Group, the Ministry of Agriculture and local authorities. Our group is determined to reassert our commitment to a sustainable agriculture. The Sustainable Banana Plan II was thus set up to maintain the work achieved during the last seven years. Sharing skills is also provided within a European cooperation plan, INTERREG IV. Our group is definitely focused on the agriculture of the future.
Protection of the Environment and of BiodiversityOur group is continually updating existing practices with the objective of upgrading air, water, and land preservation, and of supporting biodiversity in the banana plantations. As a result, many species are back in the plantation! These less environmentally harmful practices are essential to preserving the natural qualities of the land in the departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Today, we must act on all fronts: energy, transport, waste processing, production and consumption patterns… In France, an increasing number of farmers are moving to change their work practices and to enhance their environmental impact. In Guadeloupe and in Martinique, around 10,000 men and women are engaged in the scheme, and innovate to build the most ethical banana production system, which strictly adheres to European standards. These efforts are paying off, and contribute to enhanced biodiversity in the French West Indies. The Sustainable Banana Plan, alongside with the creation of IT2, the collaboration with Cirad and the work of producers, has drastically altered our work practices and changed our vision of agriculture.
Here are the first outcomes
- 50% decrease in the use of phytosanitary products from 2006 to 2012
- Development of the Cirad 925 banana, a variety tolerant to sigatoka, achieved
- through plant varietal breeding and natural hybridization
- Widespread soil remediation by means of fallowing
- Use of weevil traps to control the issue without affecting the environment
- Use of cover plant and of service plants
- Sanitary deleafing to fight black sigatoka
- Quality improvement, 80% of the production is Banagap certified
- Inventory and protection of our endemic species, enhancement of biodiversity
- Return to natural predation and to biological balance
« Train our producers in sustainable agriculture »
Training sessions in best farming practices are provided to producers, giving focus on regional cooperation and knowledge sharing, with the assistance of the IT2 (Institut Technique Tropical), CIRAD, and INRA. In addition, during the last five years, the industry co-financed 500,000 hours of vocational training with the joint body Fafsea. These programs are essential to promote career development and skill building among producers and employees.