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Glossary of Terms

Aflatoxin: Naturally occurring mycotoxins (toxic secondary metabolite), produced by a fungus known as Aspergillus (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus). Mycotoxin is reserved for the toxic chemical products produced by fungi that colonize crops. One mold species may produce many different mycotoxins and/or the same mycotoxins as another species. [FR: Aflatoxine]

Agro-ecological zone: A land resource mapping unit, defined in terms of climate, land form and soils, and/or land cover, and having a specific range of potentials and constraints for land use. Essential elements in defining an agro-ecological zone are: growing period, temperature regime and soil units. [FR: Zone agro-écologique]

Biennial plant: A plant that completes its life cycle in two years. [FR: Plante bisannuelle]

Bio-pesticide: Are substances derived from plants or animals  which allow to limit and manage pests. They consist of beneficial micro-organisms, and can be bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa, beneficial nematodes or other safe, biologically based active ingredient. [FR: Biopesticide]

Certified organic: Refers to a product that has been produced in accordance with specific regulations and that has been inspected and approved by an accredited certifying agent. Rules governing organic certification require that an organic production system is managed “to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity” (USDA, 1990). [FR: Certifié biologique]

Conventional agriculture: Refers to an industrialized agricultural system characterized by mechanization, extensive monocultures, high and indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, with an emphasis on maximizing productivity and profitability. [FR: Agriculture conventionnelle]

Crop diversity or agro-biodiversity: The variety and variability of plants and other micro-organisms used directly or indirectly for food and agriculture. It comprises the diversity of genetic resources (varieties, landraces, and breeds) and species used for food, fodder, fibre, fuel and pharmaceuticals. It also includes the diversity of non-harvested species that support production (soil micro-organisms, predators, pollinators), and those in the wider environment that support agro-ecosystems and their diversity. [FR: Diversité des cultures ou agro-biodiversité]

Crop rotation: A repetitive cultivation of an ordered succession of crops (or crops and fallow) on the same land, helping to prevent pests and diseases and providing additional nutrients. One cycle often takes several years to complete. [FR: Rotation des cultures]

Cultivar: Is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable characteristics that can be maintained by propagation. Most cultivars, also called landraces, have arisen in cultivation but a few are special selections from the wild. Popular ornamental garden plants like roses, camellias and daffodils are cultivars produced by careful breeding and selection for flower color and form. The world's agricultural food crops are almost exclusively cultivars that have been selected for characteristics like improved yield, flavor, and resistance to disease. [FR: Cultivar]

Food security: Exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for a healthy and active life. The concept is built upon three pillars, such as food availability, food access, and food utilization. [FR: Sécurité alimentaire]

Genetically Modified Organisms: An organism whose genetic characteristics have been altered by the insertion of a modified gene or a gene from another organism using the techniques of genetic engineering. [FR: Organismes génétiquement modifiés]

Hybrid variety: Organism that is an offspring of two parents that differ in one or more inheritable characteristics. In agriculture, hybrids are bred to combine the favourable characteristics of the parents. [FR: Variété hybride]

Improved fallowed: Farming practice adopted to increase soil fertility, and to control weeds, diseases and pests. It consists of a period when a piece of land is set aside and is ploughed to improve the micro-biological, chemical and physical condition of soil.  [FR: Jachère améliorée]

Inter-cropping: Growing of two or more crops on the same field per year, either simultaneously or, in the case of relay intercropping, with an overlapping period. Simultaneous systems refer to the cultivation of two or more crops either intermingled or with distinct row or strip arrangement. [FR: Culture intercalaire]

Inorganic compounds: Are chemicals used for pest control, such as application of sulphur, lead arsenate, copper and lime mixtures, borax and chlorates, and mercury compounds. Inorganic pesticides are based on chemical elements that do not break down, and therefore many of them have very severe environmental and toxicological effects in their use. [FR: Composé inorganique]

Organic agriculture: Refers to a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved (IFOAM, 2008). [FR: Agriculture biologique]

Organic farming standards: Established national standards governing the methods used to grow, process, and market organic agricultural products. Standards prohibit the use of genetically modified ingredients, irradiation to decontaminate products, and sewage sludge as fertilizers for any food sold as an organic product. [FR: Normes de l'agriculture biologique]

Push-pull method: A technique involving intercropping silverleaf desmodium, a fodder legume, with maize, napier and Sudan grass to provide both immediate and long term benefits. Aromas produced by the desmodium repel (push) pests like the maize stem borer while scents produced by the grasses attract (pull) the stem borer moths and encourage them to lay eggs in the grass instead of in the maize. Napier grass produces a gummy substance that traps the stem borer larvae reducing the population. Desmodium roots produce chemicals that stimulate germination of Striga seeds, but preventing them from attaching successfully to maize roots. The Striga dies and the number of seeds in the soil is also reduced. Desmodium is ground cover and a nitrogen-fixing legume. [FR: Méthode push-pull ("pousser-tirer")]

Pesticide: A pesticide is a substance intended to prevent, destroy, repel or control any animal pest or disease caused by micro-organisms, as well as unwanted weeds. Pesticides can affect harmful pest animals and micro-organisms through direct contact, feeding or other kinds of effective exposure during stages of growth. [FR: Pesticide]

Recycling (seeds): Practice to select seeds of particular plants for the next farming season. [FR: Recyclage (semence)]

Rhizobia and mycorrhiza: Rhizobia are bacteria that form symbiotic associations with legumes. The bacteria form nodules on the roots of the host plant in which they fix nitrogen. Rhizobia supply the plant with nitrogen and in turn the plant supplies the bacteria with essential minerals and sugars. Mycorrhizas are fungi that form symbiotic associations with plant roots.  [FR: Rhyzobia et mycorhize]

Sap-sucking insects: Insects that insert their beaks into stems, leaves, or roots to suck plant juices. Insects can also be a virus carrier. Above ground examples are: aphids, chinch bugs, and scale. They can be controlled with predatory insects. A below ground example are nematodes which requires fumigation for immediate termination. [FR: Insectes suceurs de sève]

Synthetic organic chemicals: Are chemically derived from mineral oil products. After the introduction of insecticides and herbicides in the 1940s, their use spread rapidly throughout the world and continued to increase during the 1950s and 1960s.  [FR: Substance organique de synthèse]

Tillage: Manipulation of the soil with tools to obtain optimum environmental conditions for seed germination and seeding establishment. [FR: Labour]

Threshing: Separation of grain or seeds from the husks and straw. [FR: Battage]

Weevils: Any beetle from the Curculionoidea superfamily, characterized by the head of the adult, more or less prolonged by a beak, generally curved, and larvae that is legless and curved. Adults or larvae of many species are serious enemies for our crops. Weevils are less than 6mm (0.24in) long. [FR: Coléoptères]

Wind winnowing: Method for separating grain from chaff. It is also used to remove weevils or other pests from stored grain. Winnowing is the complementary operation of the threshing. [FR: Vannage au vent]

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