Oscar Alberto Burbano Figueroa

Thesis title

Yield, productivity and technical gaps that limit the cotton agricultural production system in the Colombian Caribbean

Thesis abstract

The agricultural system in the Colombian Caribbean region exhibits low yield and high production cost compared with other production systems in the country. Multiple causes have been used for explaining these problems, mainly biophysical factors (directly related with yield) and socioeconomic constraints as a result of national policies or inherent to the regional context. Climate change has provoked changes in the rainfall pattern leading to extensive droughts and floods in the region resulting in serious damage to agriculture and (the extensive) cattle sector. Additionally, during the last decades the impact of pest and diseases have increased causing yield losses and increasing production costs. The most dramatic event is the occurrence of cotton boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) which is responsible for high yield losses requiring in the Sinu Valley up to 15 insecticide sprays per crop season with management purposes compared to only 5 sprays in the Upper Magdalena Valley. However, there is limited knowledge of the main causes for the low productivity that needs to be tackled immediately and where the research efforts of the Colombian institutions have to be concentrated. The purpose of this study is to estimate the effect of main causes limiting the cotton agricultural production system in the Sinu Valley. The cotton-maize rotation is the largest agricultural production system in the region and the main provider of rural employment. A stochastic approach was selected for addressing this problem of understanding scenarios at different levels of complexity (environmental, biological and socioeconomic aspects) and identifying uncertainties and main causes specific to each complexity level.

Doctoral research funded by

BMZ via DAAD, Foundation fiat panis

Supervisors of
doctoral work

Prof. Dr. Eike Lüdeling, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Bonn

Advisor at ZEF

Dr. John Lamers


Burbano-Figueroa, O., J.A. Sierra-Monroy, L. Grandet Martinez, C. Borgemeister and E. Luedeling.  2021.  Management of the Boll Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in the Colombian Caribbean: A Conceptual Model.  Integrated Pest Management Reviews, 12 (1)   : 15-16   .

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Oscar Alberto Burbano Figueroa

Junior Researcher

Department :
ZEF C: Department of Ecology and Natural Resources Management