Advertisement

Agronomy for Sustainable Development

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 777–787 | Cite as

Unexpected N and K nutrition diagnosis in oil palm smallholdings using references of high-yielding industrial plantations

  • Sylvain RafflegeauEmail author
  • Isabelle Michel-Dounias
  • Bertrand Tailliez
  • Benjamin Ndigui
  • François Papy
Research Article

Abstract

The rising demand for vegetable oil is inducing an expansion of oil palm cultivation in the tropics. In southern Cameroon oil palm smallholdings have been growing fast since the mid-1990s. Now, industrial plantations and smallholdings exist side by side. The current technical advice given to smallholders originates from agroindustrial practices. However, industrial plantations were created by planting on previous forest cover with no food intercrops, whereas for smallholdings food crops are a common previous cover and an intercrop during the juvenile phase. Technical advice used for industrial plantations may therefore not apply to smallholdings. Huge yield differences are observed in oil palm smallholdings, ranging from 2 to 14 t·ha−1 of fresh fruit bunches, while in industrial plantations yields average 14–16 t·ha−1. As no agronomic evaluation to date had explained those variations, we carried out a regional agronomic diagnosis of N and K nutrition on smallholder plots planted with selected oil palms. To prepare leaf samples and determine mineral contents, we used the same standardised method and the same laboratory as the regional industrial plantations. We compared smallholder leaf N and K contents with reference models of critical mineral contents, previously built with data from the high-yielding industrial plantations. Statistical links were also established between nutritional status and practices. Our results showed two groups of oil palm plantations: a group with N deficiencies ranging between 80 and 90% of the reference and K deficiencies ranging from 45 to 90% of the reference, and another group with satisfactory N and K status. The N deficiency was statistically linked to food cropping as the previous cover or as an intercrop, whilst K deficiency was qualitatively linked to an absence of K fertilisation. N deficiency is a specificity of oil palm smallholdings that had never been encountered in African industrial plantations. To conclude, the current technical advice given to smallholders is not well adapted.

mineral nutrition regional agronomic diagnosis oil palm smallholdings Elaeis guineensis Cameroon nitrogen potassium nutritional status trends in oil palm plantations 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bakoumé C., Jannot C., Rafflegeau S., Ndigui B., Weise S. (2002) Revue du secteur rural: Études complémentaires sur la relance des filières hévéa et palmier à huile, Rapport Palmier, CIRAD, Montpellier, France.Google Scholar
  2. Barral H., Boulet J., Cabot J., Champaud J., Courade G., Diziain R., Franqueville A., Fréchou H., Hallaire A., Tissandier J. (2004) Vingt ans de cartographie régionale au Cameroun 1955–1975, Institut de recherche pour le développement, Paris, France.Google Scholar
  3. Bockstaller C., Guichard L., Keichinger O., Girardin P., Galan M.B., Gaillard G. (2009) Comparison of methods to assess the sustainability of agricultural systems. A review, Agron. Sustain. Dev. 29, 223–235, DOI: 10.1051/agro:2008058.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bonvalet A. (1981) L’analyse minérale des plantes oléagineuses à l’IRHO, Oléagineux 36, 83–89.Google Scholar
  5. Caliman J.P., Daniel C., Tailliez B. (1994) Oil palm mineral nutrition, Plantations, Recherche, Développement 1, 36–52.Google Scholar
  6. Caliman J.P., Dubos B., Tailliez B., Robin P., Bonneau X., De Barros I. (2003) Oil palm mineral nutrition management: current situation and prospects, in: XIV International Oil Palm Conference, 23–26 September 2003, Cartagena de Indias, Columbia, 33 p.Google Scholar
  7. Caliman J.P., Widodo T., Suyanto S., Tailliez B. (2002) Importance of palm growth during immaturity and impact on yield at an early stage, in: International Oil Palm Conference, July 8–12, 2002, Nusa Dua, Bali. IOPRI, Medan, Indonesia, pp. 392–406.Google Scholar
  8. Chew P.S., Khoo K.T. (1977) Growth and yield of intercropped oil palms on a coastal clay soil in Malaysia, in: Earp D.A., Newal W. (Eds.), International developments in oil plam. Kuala Lumpur: Incop. Soc. Planters, pp. 541–553.Google Scholar
  9. Cheyns E., Rafflegeau S. (2005) Family agriculture and the sustainable development issue: possible approaches from the African oil palm sector: the example of Ivory Coast and Cameroon, Oléagineux, Corps Gras, Lipides 12, 111–120.Google Scholar
  10. Cochard B., Adon B., Kouame Kouame R., Durand-Gasselin T., Amblard P. (2001) Intérêts des semences commerciales améliorées de palmier à huile (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.), Oléagineux, Corps Gras, Lipides 8, 654–658.Google Scholar
  11. Corley R.H.V., Tinker P.B. (2003) The oil palm, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Doré T., Clermont-Dauphin C., Crozat Y., David C., Jeuffroy M.H., Loyce C., Makowski D., Malézieux E., Meynard J.M., Valantin-Morison M. (2008) Methodological progress in on-farm regional agronomic diagnosis. A review, Agron. Sustain. Dev. 28, 151–161. DOI: 10.1051/agro:2007031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Doré T., Sebillotte M., Meynard J.M. (1997) A diagnostic method for assessing regional variations in crop yield, Agr. Syst. 54, 169–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fèvre E. (2003) The oil palm sector in Cameroun: Re-investing in small-holder farming systems, BUROTROP Bull. 19, 51–52.Google Scholar
  15. Foster H.L. (2003) Assessment of oil palm fertilizer requirements, in: Fairhurst T., Hardter R. (Eds.), Oil Palm: Managment for large and sustainable yields, PPI/PPIC and IPI, Singapore, pp. 231–257.Google Scholar
  16. Foster H.L., Prabowo N.E. (1996) Variation in the potassium fertiliser requirements of oil palm in North Sumatra, in: PORIM International Palm Oil Congress, 23–28/09/1996, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, PORIM, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, pp. 143–152.Google Scholar
  17. Foster H.L., Prabowo N.E. (2002) Overcoming the limitations of foliar diagnosis in oil palm, in: International Oil Palm Conference, July 8–12, 2002, Nusa Dua, Bali, IOPRI, Medan, Indonesia, pp. 269–281.Google Scholar
  18. Hartley C.W.S. (1988) The oil palm (Elaeis guinensis Jacq.), Longman Scientific and Technical Ed., Essex. (Tropical Agriculture Series).Google Scholar
  19. Hirsch R. (2000) Dynamique récente des plantations individuelles de palmier à huile au Cameroun, Oléagineux, Corps Gras, Lipides 7, 172–174.Google Scholar
  20. Lamanda N., Malézieux E., Martin P. (2006) Structure and dynamics of coconut based agroforestery systems in Melanesia: a case-study from the Vanuatu archipelago, in: Kumar B.M., Nair P.K.R. (Eds.), Tropical homegardens, a time-tested example of sustainable agro-forestry. Springer, Berlin, pp. 105–120 (Advances in Agroforestry).Google Scholar
  21. Le Bissonnais Y., Martin P. (2004) Dynamique du ruissellement et de l’érosion diffuse: caractérisation des états de surface des parcelles agricoles et intégration à l’échelle du bassin-versant, in: Monestier P., Lardon S., Seguin B. (Eds.), Organisation spatiale des activités agricoles et processus environnementaux, INRA, Paris, France, p. 357.Google Scholar
  22. Martin G. (1977) Préparation et conditionnement pour le diagnostic foliaire du palmier à huile et du cocotier, Oléagineux 32, 95–99.Google Scholar
  23. Nesme T., Lescourret F., Bellon S., Plenet D., Habib R. (2003) Relevance of orchard design from growers’ planting choices to study fruit tree cropping systems, Agronomie 23, 651–660, DOI: 10.1051/agro:2003043.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ng S.K. (1977) Review of oil palm nutrition and manuring scope for greater economy in fertilizer usage, Oléagineux 35, 197–209.Google Scholar
  25. Ochs R., Olivin J. (1977) Le diagnostic foliaire pour le contrôle de la nutrition des plantations de palmier à huile, Prélèvement des échantillons foliaires, Oléagineux 32, 211–216.Google Scholar
  26. Oil World (2008) Oil World Annual 2008, Vol. 2 Up to 2007/08, Eds. ISTA Mielke GmbH Mielke T., Hamburg, Germany.Google Scholar
  27. Okpala-Jose A. (1995) Relating the performance of oil palm to microclimatic changes at varying distances the palms and adjacent cassava stands, in: Jalani B.S. et al. (Eds.), PORIM Int. Palm Oil Congr. — Agriculture, Kuala Lumpur: Palm Oil Res. Inst. Malaysia, pp. 603–613.Google Scholar
  28. Ollivier J., Daniel C., Braconnier S. (1994) Cultures vivrières associées à de jeunes cocotiers, exemples au vanuatu, Oléagineux 49, 91–108.Google Scholar
  29. Pacheco A.R., Tailliez B., Rocha de Souza R.L., Lima E.J. (1985) Les déficiences minérales du palmier à huile (E. guineensis Jacq.) dans la région de Belem, Para (Brésil), Oléagineux 40, 295–309.Google Scholar
  30. Phalan B., Fitzherbert E.B., Rafflegeau S., Struebig M.J., Verwilghen A. (2009) Conservation in Oil-Palm Landscapes, Conserv. Biol. 23, 244–245, DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.01151.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Quencez P. (1996) La culture du palmier à huile en Afrique intertropicale: les conditions du milieu physique, Oléagineux, Corps Gras, Lipides 3, 116–118.Google Scholar
  32. Rafflegeau S. (2008) Dynamique d’implantation et conduite technique des plantations villageoises de palmier à huile au Cameroun: facteurs limitants et raisons des pratiques, Agro Paris Tech, Paris, France.Google Scholar
  33. Sheil D., Casson A., Meijaard E., van Nordwijk M. Gaskell J., Sunderland-Groves J., Wertz K., Kanninen M. (2009) The impacts and opportunities of oil palm in Southeast Asia: what do we know and what do we need to know? Jakarta: CIFOR, VIII, 67 p. (CIFOR Occasional Paper, 51), http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/Publications/Detail?pid=2792.Google Scholar
  34. Tampubolon F.H., Daniel C., Ochs R. (1990) Réponse du palmier à huile aux fumures azotées et phosphorées à Sumatra, Oléagineux 45, 475–486.Google Scholar
  35. Turner P.D., Gillbanks R.A. (2003) Oil palm cultivation and managment, The Incorporated Society of Planters, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Google Scholar
  36. Valantin-Morison M., Meynard J.M. (2008) Diagnosis of limiting factors of organic oilseed rape yield. A survey of farmers’ field, Agron. Sustain. Dev. 28, 527–539, DOI: 10.1051/agro:2008026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wey J., Guillaume J., Kolie D., Soumah Y., Niale A. (2002) Agriculture durable et recherche participative: les systèmes de production fondés sur le riz pluvial en Guinée forestière, in: CIRAD (Ed.), Mémento de l’agronome, CIRAD, Montpellier, France, p. 1691.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer S+B Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sylvain Rafflegeau
    • 1
    Email author
  • Isabelle Michel-Dounias
    • 2
  • Bertrand Tailliez
    • 1
  • Benjamin Ndigui
    • 3
  • François Papy
    • 4
  1. 1.CIRAD, UPR Systèmes de PérennesMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.IRC SupAgro, UMR InnovationMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.IRAD, CEREPAH de La DibambaDoualaCameroon
  4. 4.INRA, UMR SADAPTThiverval-GrignonFrance

Personalised recommendations