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Water Management

„It is necessary to provide the crops with the necessary quantity of water, without excess, depending on the climatic conditions and the characteristics of the soil. Water stress causes crops to be more sensitive to bio-aggressors (mealybugs, xylophagous insects, etc.) and to physiological disorders (apical necrosis of tomatoes, etc.). To improve the water retention capacity of the soil, limit losses by evaporation and promote infiltration, it is advisable to:

  • to provide basic and maintenance organic manure;
  • to mulch the crops;
  • to associate cultures;
  • to practice hoeing.


Favoring a drip-type localized irrigation system or overhead spraying rather than overhead spraying reduces the risk of developing fungal diseases. Conversely, plots that are too humid promote the development of certain fungal diseases (phytophthora, anthracnose, Sigatoka, Rhizoctonia solani , Sclerotium rolfsii ) and bacteriosis. The following actions help to reduce humidity in the fields:

  • manage irrigation and drainage;
  • cultivate on a raised bed or on a ridge;
  • respect planting density;
  • prune trees;
  • in humid areas, stake root and tuber crops.

„„Giving back a place to trees on agricultural plots leads, among other things, to better management of water flows, especially for plots suffering from permanent or temporary excess humidity. Trees can also have their place in less humid areas (windbreaks, soil improvement allowing better exploration of the profile).


Management of organic inputs

„To reason the contribution of an organic product, it is necessary to carry out a soil analysis beforehand to know the rate of organic matter and to take into account the C/N ratio (carbon-nitrogen ratio) of the soil. With a few exceptions, most soils are deficient in organic matter, here are some recommendations to compensate for them.

  • Choice of the type of organic product and the dose to be applied: refer to the existing guides on organic fertilization in the overseas departments.
  • Example of organic products available in the French overseas departments:
    • products of agricultural origin (sorting of crushed bananas, slurry, manure, droppings, manure compost, slurry compost, green waste compost, geranium compost, organic fertilizer from Grand Ilet in Reunion);
    • by-products of urban or industrial origin (sewage sludge, fresh foam from sugar mills, distillery vinasse),
    • locally produced organic amendments (Fertigwa in Guadeloupe, Madin'compost in Martinique),
    • agricultural supply products, in compliance with the regulations in force – articles L.255-1 et seq. of the rural and sea fishing code.
  • Period of organic inputs: in general, it is not recommended to do this during the dry period (February-March in the West Indies, September-October in Reunion and Guyana) unless the plot is irrigated. For slurry and droppings, do not fertilize during very rainy periods (September to November in the West Indies, January to March in Reunion, April to June in Guyana) because of the risk of leaching.
  • Mode of supply of organic products: in general, in the most homogeneous way possible over the entire surface of the plot and without burying (except regulatory constraint). On very poor soils, the application can be concentrated in the planting holes.
  • Introduction of green manure in the rotation: the destruction of the canopy is an important source of organic matter input to the soil. Green manures improve the availability of fertilizing elements quantitatively and qualitatively and limit nitrogen leaching. In addition, they have a competitive power against weeds.
Last change : 07/07/22
Figure 1