Vanilla producers – forest users, are trying to conciliate production and forest conservation in order to improve their livelihoods (multifunctional value-enhancement). They operate in a context which is characterized by the fact that agricultural production in the forest undergrowth has been poorly if not at all addressed by research and development institutions and projects in Guadeloupe. As a consequence, there is presently neither technical references available that address the specificities of those agro-ecological and agro-biodiverse systems nor adequate financial mechanisms to sustain those multifunctional systems.
Since 2011, the failure of monocultural vanilla production has led the Union of Guadeloupean agricultural vanilla producers (SYAPROVAG) to reflect upon and develop sustainable diversified agricultural production in the forest undergrowth. This iS the first stage of a more global vision that seeks to optimize forest multifunctionality for the Union members, the future new entrants to vanilla production and the local population.
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA – National Institute for Agronomic Research), Parc National de la Guadeloupe (PNG – Guadeloupe National Parc), Etablissement Public Local d’Enseignement et de Formation Professionnelle Agricoles de Guadeloupe (EPLEFPA – Agricultural Higher Education College of Guadeloupe), GDA Eco Bio Guadeloupe (Association of Guadeloupe Organic Producers), Chambre d’Agriculture de Guadeloupe (Chambre of Agriculture of Guadeloupe), Université des Antilles (University of Antilles), INDESSA SASU (Consultant)
The social innovation is expected to lead to changes such as successful collective action of farmers engaging in the project, a shared vision of the forest creation of added value to agricultural products from the forest, increased income for the farmers, creation of employment for the rural youth, maintenance or increased level of biodiversity in the forest (providing sustainable agricultural production and forest management and). In the short to medium term, it should lead to the creation of new mecanisms: governance, Charter of Good Practices for sustainable organic agricultural production in the forest undergrowtn, evolution of existing or policy mechanisms or creation of new frameworks aimed at supporting forest actors by, recognizingthe multifunctionality of the forest (ecological, social, economic and cultural functions).
Outputs: In 2016, SYAPROVAG has answered a call for proposal under the European Partnership Innovation Program (Sub-measure 16.1 of the Guadeloupean Rural Development Rural Programme – FEADER fund (Fonds Europeen Agricole de Developpement Rural) in order to evaluate the feasibility of the project.
“Expected impacts of this project are: consolidation of the actors of the forest undergrowth, job creation for the future actors (potential of 40 000 ha of private forest), awareness of the local population to the forest”
A.VINGLASSALON Président du Syaprovag
* Information at the level of NUTS 3 or local regions.