Advertisement

Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 189–204 | Cite as

Semi-wild palm groves reveal agricultural change in the forest region of Guinea

  • Cécile Madelaine
  • Eric MalézieuxEmail author
  • Nicole Sibelet
  • Raphaël J. Manlay
Article

Abstract

In West Africa, natural regeneration of oil palms (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) can be favoured by agricultural practices. The structure of palm groves may thus reflect the history of land use. In this study, we examined the connection between biophysical factors, land use and the structure and dynamics of semi-wild palm groves in the village of Nienh, in the forest region of Guinea (Forest Guinea), in order to determine to what extent semi-wild palm groves could be considered as an ecological indicator of the history of regional landscapes. Grove management strategies of farmers were also determined and related to farm characteristics. In Nienh, semi-wild palm groves were found in three cropping systems with differing characteristics in each. Palms were scarce in lowland agricultural areas (8 palms ha−1), while they were significantly taller (15.8 m on average) and less dense (36 palms ha−1) in agroforests than in slash-and-burn cropping systems (9.4 m and 55 palms ha−1 respectively). Interviews with farmers showed that it was possible for a farmer to have a global strategy of semi-wild palm grove densification combined with oil palm elimination on a plot scale. The lack of regeneration of palms in agroforests resulted from the almost systematic elimination of young palms by farmers. Conversely, in slash-and-burn cropping systems, young palms were often preserved. As the structure of semi-wild palm groves was partly explained by agricultural practices, it could be used as an ecological indicator of changes in practice in relation to socio-economic context.

Keywords

Agricultural innovation Elaeis guineensis Farmer practices Grove structure Oil palm West Africa 

Notes

Acknowledgment

We thank the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for financial support through the Fonds de Solidarité Prioritaire project 2003-015. We are grateful to A. Camara and K.K. Zoumanigui from the Institut de Recherche Agronomique de Guinée. We greatly appreciate the help of numerous farmers from Nienh for granting access to their fields and providing information, and the help of J. Théa and F.C. Kolié for surveys.

References

  1. Berthomé J, Bosc PM, Darde C (1999) Étude de capitalisation sur les dynamiques d’organisation paysannes en Guinée. CIRAD-TERA, Montpellier, France, 250 ppGoogle Scholar
  2. Beye M, Eychenne D (1991) La palmeraie de Casamance. Quel avenir ?… les paysans parlent. ENDA, Dakar, Sénégal, 103 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Boserup E (1965) The conditions of agricultural growth: the economics of agrarian change under population pressure. G. Allen and Unwin, London, 124 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Bouillon S (2002) Étude du système agraire du village de Konipara dans la sous-préfecture de Kobela, préfecture de N’Zérékoré, région forestière. MSc thesis, University of Paris I, INA-PG, Paris, France, 100 ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Boulvert Y (2003) Carte morphopédologique de la République de Guinée, vol 4. IRD Paris, France, pp 151, 26, 43, 234, +2 cartesGoogle Scholar
  6. Brasseur G (1956) Études agricoles et économiques de quatre villages de Guinée française. IV. Guinée forestière: village de Niehen. Mission démographique de Guinée 1954–1955. Haut commissariat de l’Afrique Occidentale Française. Service de la Statistique générale et Institut français d’Afrique noire, 48 ppGoogle Scholar
  7. Corley RHV, Tinker PB (2003) The oil palm, 4th edn. Blackwell Science, Oxford, 562 ppGoogle Scholar
  8. Dijon H (1986) Agroécologie du palmier à huile (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) en zones forestières centrafricaines-Lobaye. MSc thesis, CNEARC, Montpellier, France, 99 ppGoogle Scholar
  9. Fairhead J, Leach M (1996) Misreading the African landscape: society and ecology in a forest-savanna mosaic (African studies). Cambridge University Press, London, UK, 374 ppGoogle Scholar
  10. FAO (1998) World reference base for soil resources. FAO-ISRIC-ISSS, Rome, Italy, 109 ppGoogle Scholar
  11. Fournier S, Ay P, Jannot C et al (2001) La transformation artisanale de l’huile de palme au Bénin et au Nigéria. CIRAD, Montpellier, France, 140 ppGoogle Scholar
  12. Hartley CWS (1967) The oil palm and its environment. In: Hartley CWS (ed) The oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.). Longmans, London, UK, pp 71–136Google Scholar
  13. Konomou F, Imbernon J, Zoumanigui K et al (2002) Carte d’occupation du sol en Guinée forestière. CIRAD, IragGoogle Scholar
  14. Madelaine C (2005) Analyse du fonctionnement et de la dynamique de la palmeraie sub-spontanée en Guinée forestière. Cas du village de Nienh. MSc thesis, Agro.M—ENGREF, Montpellier, France, 80 ppGoogle Scholar
  15. Ministère de l’Agriculture et des Ressources Animales (1989) Étude des possibilités de valorisation de la palmeraie naturelle en Guinée forestière. Rapport provisoire. République de Guinée, BDPA-SCETAGRI, Conakry, Guinea, 131 ppGoogle Scholar
  16. Ochs R (1977) Ecologic constraints of perennial oil crops (oil palm and coconuts) in West Africa. Choice of crop in function of climate and soil. Oléagineux 32(11):461–466Google Scholar
  17. Olivin J (1986) Study for the siting of a commercial oil palm plantation. Oléagineux 41:113–118; 175–182Google Scholar
  18. Pillot D, Sibelet N (1994) Proximité de systèmes de production et reprises techniques. Examen de la pertinence d’un concept à partir d’un cas d’innovation aux Comores. In: Sébillotte M (ed) Symposium International Recherches Système en Agriculture et Développement Rural. AFSRE, CIHEAM, CIRAD, CNEARC, GRET, INRA, ORSTOM, Montpellier, France, pp 627–633Google Scholar
  19. Rees AR (1963) An analysis of growth of oil palm seedlings in full daylight and in shade. Ann Bot 27:325–337Google Scholar
  20. Rossi G (1993) Évolution politique, démographie et dynamique de l’environnement en Guinée Forestière. Cahiers d’Outre-Mer 46(183):253–272Google Scholar
  21. Sibelet N (1995) L’innovation en milieu paysan ou la capacité des acteurs locaux à innover en présence d’intervenants extérieurs. Nouvelles pratiques de fertilisation et mise en bocage dans le Niumakélé (Anjouan Comores). PhD thesis, 400 ppGoogle Scholar
  22. Souaré D, Traoré SG (1998) Systèmes agraires et dynamiques paysannes de la riziculture en Guinée forestière. Agric Dev 19:62–72Google Scholar
  23. Suret-Canal J (1970) La République de Guinée. Editions Sociales, Paris, France, 432 ppGoogle Scholar
  24. Sy MA (2002) Étude sur la filière artisanale de l’huile de palme en Guinée. MAE/BCEPA—PASAL, Conakry, Guinea, 114 ppGoogle Scholar
  25. Vanderhyst FH (1919) Contributions à l’étude du palmier à huile au Congo Belge. Vol 4. Origine des palmeraies du Myen-Kwilu. Bull agric Congo belge 10, 70 ppGoogle Scholar
  26. Zeven AC (1967) The semi-wild oil palm and its industry in Africa. Wageningen Agricultural University, 178 ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cécile Madelaine
    • 1
  • Eric Malézieux
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicole Sibelet
    • 2
  • Raphaël J. Manlay
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.UMR SYSTEM (SupAgro-Cirad-Inra) (Fonctionnement et Conduite des Systèmes de Culture Méditerranéens et Tropicaux)CIRADMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.UMR INNOVATION (SupAgro-Cirad-Inra), CIRAD TA60/15CIRADMontpellier cedex 5France
  3. 3.AgroParisTech-ENGREF, GEEFTMontpellier cedex 4France
  4. 4.IRD-SeqBioMontpellier cedex 1France

Personalised recommendations