Social Soil

Dec 02 2021

The project is funded by GIZ as part of the PROSOL global program, and carried out alongside partners such as Tunisia’s national agriculture research institutions,  Direction générale de l’aménagement et de la conservation des terres agricoles (DGACTA), and Tunisian farmers associations.

The newly launched project researches and designs a sociotechnical package of affordable and scalable soil and water conservation technologies (SWTC) to improve soil fertility in diverse farming agroecosystems in North and Central West Tunisia.

Soil health is vital to food systems, yet we are dangerously complacent about its value and resilience. Factors such as climate change and water scarcity, combined with local unsustainable practices such as overgrazing, excessive plowing, and monocropping, are inflicting severe damage to this precious, and finite, resource, especially in vulnerable dry countries such as Tunisia.

The new project aims to reverse this trend in Siliana governorate, Northwest Tunisia, where land degradation is advanced due to inappropriate agronomic practices. Building on previous ICARDA projects and following existing national SWCT practices, the project serves crop-livestock production systems at individual farmer level, and it develops restoration practices on larger areas of communal land, primarily used for agro-silvopastoral production systems (cultivation of trees, shrubs, crops, and livestock within the same site). Land types in the region are highly diversified along with farm sizes and the genders of farmers, so sociotechnical context is essential to identifying targeted approaches.

Source: ICARDA