Phytosanitary practices of apple growers in the Ifrane province of the Middle Atlas of Morocco and perspectives of improvement.



This study consisted of a survey of the phytosanitary practices of apple growers in the Ifrane province of the Middle Atlas of Morocco during the 2014-2015 growing season, in order to improve them to protect the human health and preserve the environment. The results of the survey showed that farmers do not have clear and defined strategies to control the pests and diseases, with only 52% of the cases contending with following weather forecasts on media before deciding to apply pesticides. The remaining 48% have no surveillance plan and engage in pesticide sprays after they observe pests and diseases in their orchards. Furthermore, the spraying equipment shares not properly calibrated in about half of the cases, which could lead to more pesticide input in orchards. Pesticide applications varied from a minimum of 8 treatments in the least treated fram to a maximum of 25 in the most treated farm, thus bringing pesticide input from 25 kg of active ingredients/ha in the less treated orchard to over 70 kg a.i./ha in heavily treated orchards. This stresses the importance of farmer education to a more rational use of pesticides to preserve human health and the environement. Concerning pest resistance, 74% of the interviewed farmers declared alternating active ingredients to avoid pest resistance, the remaining 26 % contended with alternating commercial products. The majority of apple growers (78%) declared respecting the safety period separating the last pesticide application from fruit harvest, while 22% remain ignorant of this safety standard.


Protection, apple, pesticides, Ifrane, Morocco.

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