Environmental and market constraints are increasingly restraining the banana sector in Costa Rica. This chapter reports on the development of a decision support system to enhance a more environment-friendly and economically viable production of banana. The system has been developed in close cooperation with a banana producer and the National Banana Corporation (CORBANA; CORporación BAnanera NAcional). The system is based on the principles of precision agriculture, a practice that is being promoted as an alternative form of land management resulting in an economically feasible and environmentally friendly type of agriculture. In precision agriculture spatial and temporal variation in cropping conditions govern farm management. The objective is to obtain maximum quantities of high quality produce without exceeding threshold values of certain environmental indicators. Although precision agriculture is often based on advanced equipment, information technology and deterministic simulation models, in tropical environments and for perennial crops advanced equipment and simulation models are not always available. The decision support system that has been developed is therefore based on information technology in combination with the knowledge of the owner and manager of the farm. Yield maps are being created and linked to other available information for the plantation, including detailed soil maps. Next, areas are identified that have a relatively low production compared to their potential. On the basis of additional analysis, crop management for those sites is modified.
|Title of host publication||Tools for land use analysis on different scales|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|