Multi-criteria assessment of innovative cropping systems in French West Indies
In order to meet the challenges of sustainable agriculture, innovative cropping systems (iCS) are needed. In the French West Indies (FWI), innovation plans for the modernization and agro-ecological conversion of the banana production sector have been implemented since 2008. In order to check that pressures on the environment are decreasing thanks to innovative cropping systems, and to ensure that interaction effects of proposed changes do not bring unwanted or unexpected outcomes, a multi-criteria assessment phase will be conducted, addressing FWI specific features. The goal of this paper is to draw conclusions from the existing approaches in order to feed this assessment process adapted to the FWI context. First, we report challenges characterizing environmental and social impacts through the presentation of the impact mechanism. We illustrate the existing diversity of methods focusing on three representative methods. Then we discuss challenges faced by FWI that involve specific questions in terms of assessment. We develop five of them and associated ways to address these concerns through current multi-criteria assessment methods. We conclude that there is no ideal and perfect method available, and a clear approach is necessary to clearly define the goals and the users of the assessment.
Feschet, P., Loeillet, D. and Risède, J.M (2018). Multi-criteria assessment of innovative cropping systems in French West Indies. Acta Hortic. 1196, 187-194
banana, impact mechanism, innovation, multi-criteria method, sustainable development