PLANTAIN (MUSA SPP.) CROPPING SYSTEMS OF SOUTHERN CAMEROON
Plantain (Musa spp.) cropping systems of Southern Cameroon can be separated into those based on forest clearing and those based on land already used. Plantain is a major crop starting the forest clearing cycle. It is more than other food crops grown for commercial reasons. However, varietal choice for auto-consumption is different from that for sales. Nevertheless, farmers prefer to plant mixtures of cultivars. All systems rely on the use of natural resources with purchased inputs virtually absent. Labor is mainly provided by household members, capital use is limited to specific operations such as tree felling, digging holes, planting and harvesting. Knowledge on pests and diseases is very limited. Farmers are unaware of infection pathways of nematodes such as Radopholus similis. Contrary to that, farmers are very aware of the causes of yield loss with an overall realistic assessment of totals yield losses, estimated at 50%. The systems could be improved by simple agronomic measures such as regular planting distances to increase densities, separation of cultivars into early versus later producing types to reduce weeding labor. Most important appears to be raising awareness of the major pests and diseases and simple measures to reduce or eliminate nematode and banana weevil (Cosmopolites sordidus) infestation. Research is required to determine fertilizer response curves, response of different plantain cultivars to planting density, response to weeding frequency and other agronomic measures to increase yields and to increase profitability.
Hauser, S. and Amougou, D. (2010). PLANTAIN (MUSA SPP.) CROPPING SYSTEMS OF SOUTHERN CAMEROON. Acta Hortic. 879, 495-508
constraints, perceptions, plantain systems, yield losses