A participatory approach to involve winegrowers in pesticide use reduction in viticulture in the south-western region of France

Published: 13 February 2024
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  • Mickaël Perez mickael.perez@vinovalie.com VINOVALIE R&D, Saint-Sulpice-la-Pointe; ABSys, University of Montpellier, INRAE, CIRAD, Institut Agro, Ciheam-IAMM, Montpellier; AGIR, INRAE, INPT, ENSAT, EI-PURPAN, University of Toulouse, Castanet-Tolosan;, France.
  • Laure Hossard Department of Innovation, University of Montpellier, INRAE, CIRAD, Institut Agro, Montpellier, France.
  • Christian Gary ABSys, University of Montpellier, INRAE, CIRAD, Institut Agro, Ciheam-IAMM, Montpellier, France.
  • Pauline Lacapelle VINOVALIE R&D, Saint-Sulpice-la-Pointe, France.
  • Marie-Hélène Robin AGIR, INRAE, INPT, ENSAT, EI-PURPAN, University of Toulouse, Castanet-Tolosan, France.
  • Aurélie Metay ABSys, University of Montpellier, INRAE, CIRAD, Institut Agro, Ciheam-IAMM, Montpellier, France.

Viticulture involves high pesticide use. While methods to reduce this use have been proposed by researchers, they have not yet been widely implemented by winegrowers. Involving winegrowers in the participatory design of new management strategies could encourage the adoption of these methods to reduce pesticide use. In this study, we designed and tested a participatory approach to reducing pesticide use that would be acceptable to winegrowers from a South-Western cooperative (i.e., not ‘pioneering’ winegrowers). The approach was composed of three main steps: A) co-design of the management strategies, B) implementation of the management strategies, and C) co-evaluation of the performances of the implemented management strategies. Winegrowers, researchers, advisors and engineers were involved in the study. The application of this participatory approach enabled the co-design and testing of two management strategies: IPM for Integrated Pest Management [50% reduction of pesticide treatment frequency index (TFI) as compared to the French High Environmental Value reference (HEV)], and ORG2kgCo for organic farming system with a maximum of 2 kg of copper/ha/year. These two management strategies were implemented by 11 winegrowers in three vineyards in South- Western France. In both management strategies, two main technical levers were selected to reduce pesticide use: a Decision Support System to optimise the use and substitution of pesticides by biocontrol products. The implementation of the IPM management strategy resulted in a significant reduction of TFI (from -14% to -57%, with an average of -25%, for all pesticides combined) compared to HEV, and the winegrowers who tested ORG2kgCo managed to not exceed the limit of 2 kg of copper per year. This original participatory approach, combining co-design workshops, on-farm experimentation and co-evaluation workshops, highlighted the benefits of involving winegrowers in the reduction of pesticide use.



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How to Cite

Perez, M., Hossard, L., Gary, C., Lacapelle, P., Robin, M.-H., & Metay, A. (2024). A participatory approach to involve winegrowers in pesticide use reduction in viticulture in the south-western region of France. Italian Journal of Agronomy, 18(4). https://doi.org/10.4081/ija.2023.2209