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Coffee leaf rust (Hemeleia vastatrix) risk management in Central America: contribution of remote interactive simulations

Abstract : Central America has experienced numerous coffee leaf rust (CLR) epidemics that have led to severe crises that threaten the sustainability of coffee growing territories. The project Procagica (2016-2021) established a regional early warning system to prevent CLR-related socio-economic crises. We present the co-design of a CLR forecast model and its use in interactive simulation (IS) participatory workshops aimed at raising awareness among coffee stakeholders in Central America about the complexity of managing CLR epidemics. Based on a coffee shrub growth model integrating the CLR life cycle, the model makes the coffee-CLR system evolve according to climatic factors. To reflect the stressed context of family farming, the participants have limited economic capacities, which forces them to make parsimonious decisions when fighting the CLR disease. Territorial aspects are addressed through the dissemination of spores over long distances, and through the debate between the institutions of different countries. Initially planned as a face-to-face regional workshop, the IS had to be virtualized due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Videoconferencing required compromises on the flexibility of the process and the quality of verbal and non-verbal communication between participants. However, the learning and awareness objectives of the workshop were achieved. Virtualization enables an extended participation (40 participants from 8 countries) and substantial savings, better time management, better consideration of individual opinions, debriefing during the simulation, and traceability of decisions. On the other hand, multi-directional communication between participants was reduced, which could be compensated for by parallel virtual exchanges in small groups. While more constraining, virtualization is also an opportunity to improve our practices of IS.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 9:18:34 AM
Last modification on : Friday, May 20, 2022 - 9:04:21 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - 6:11:26 PM

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Grégoire Leclerc, Pierre Bommel, Natacha Motisi, Rémi Vezy, Edwin Treminio, et al.. Coffee leaf rust (Hemeleia vastatrix) risk management in Central America: contribution of remote interactive simulations. Agronomie, Environnement & Sociétés, Association Française d'Agronomie (Afa), 2021, 11 (2), ⟨10.54800/roc535⟩. ⟨hal-03531784⟩

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