Epidemiological Modelling and Control for Tropical Agriculture
Samuel Bowong, University of Douala, Cameroon
EPITAG gathers French and Cameroonian researchers, with a background in dynamical systems and control and with an interest in crop diseases. Crop pests and pathogens are responsible for considerable yield losses. Their control is hence a major issue, especially in Cameroon, where agriculture is an important sector in terms of revenues and employment. To help design efficient strategies for integrated pest management, mathematical models are particularly relevant. Our main objective is to study the epidemiology and management of tropical crop diseases, with a focus on Cameroon and Sub-Saharan Africa. Our approach consists in developing and analysing dynamical models describing plant-parasite interactions, in order to better understand, predict and control the evolution of damages in crops. To ensure the relevance of our models, “end users” will be closely associated. We will focus on three pathosystems: cocoa plant mirids, coffee berry borers and plantain plant-parasitic nematodes.
Key words: mathematical models; dynamical systems; control theory; epidemiology; tropical crops; crop pests; integrated pest management