Strengthening crop production in marginal areas through conservation agriculture

ca-tunisia-1Conservation Agriculture has the potential to enhance soil fertility and reduce erosion across 260,000 hectares of fragile and degraded cereal land in Tunisia, according to a joint study by the country’s National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRAT) and ICARDA, supported by PIM within the framework of the Global Futures and Strategic Foresight project. 

Conservation Agriculture (CA) – the practice of not plowing and leaving crop residue in fields for enhanced soil fertility and moisture conservation – was first introduced to Tunisia in 1999, where it was pilot-tested on 11 farms in the country’s North-East. While the area cultivated under CA has since grown, the practice is still applied on only 12,000 ha of agricultural land – an area distributed among 200 farmers and operated by some 102 seeders. The area currently under CA is shown in Figure 1 (41 percent is located in sub-humid, 30 percent in lower semi-arid, and 28 percent in upper semi-arid regions).

Cross-posted with permission from ICARDA 

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