Vegetable cropping systems in Southern Benin: cultivated plant diversity, agricultural practices and implications for better production

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Anicet Dassou Naesse Adjahossou Cyrille Tchakpa Sena Vodouhe Alexandre Dansi

Abstract

In the context of urban agriculture, cropping vegetables constitute an important economic activity for farmers and food source for a population. Few studies have investigated in how these systems are organized. The objective of this study is to determine the diversity of vegetables cultivated in south of Benin and to assess the structure of the production systems in terms of soil fertilization and pest management. In the three most important vegetable producing zones (Cotonou, Seme, Grand-Popo), in southern Benin, we surveyed vegetable farmers. The results showed 26 vegetable species in producing systems. Vegetable producing sites, sociolinguistic groups and education of farmers didn’t influence the vegetable diversity but influenced the density of vegetable species. The majority of vegetable farmers (45%) did not receive training on vegetable agricultural practices. Some farmers were trained by agricultural trainers (18%) and neighboring farmers on the sites of vegetable production by their colleagues (5% at Seme and 5% at Houeyiho). Capsicum amum, Solanum macrocarpon, Allium cepa, Solanum licopersicum were the main cultivated plants with the highest cropped surfaces. These cropped plants were followed by the Lactuca sativa and Daucus carota. The aromatic plants were lowest cropped in these vegetable cropping systems. Vegetable farmers used mainly organic fertilizers and few mineral fertilizers. Pest management remains a challenge and pesticides were used on 80% chemical products. It is necessary to train the vegetable farmers on innovate pest management using few chemical pesticides.  

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Dassou, A., Adjahossou, N., Tchakpa, C., Vodouhe, S., & Dansi, A. (2018). Vegetable cropping systems in Southern Benin: cultivated plant diversity, agricultural practices and implications for better production. Advances in Agricultural Science, 7(2), 01-13. Retrieved from http://aaasjournal.org/submission/index.php/aaas/article/view/135
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