Tunisian ‘Hanging Backyard’ farms caught regardless of drought

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Excessive within the hills of northwestern Tunisia, farmers are rising 1000’s of fig bushes with a singular roof system they hope will save them from eternal drought.

Excessive within the hills of northwest Tunisia, farmers are planting 1000’s of fig bushes with a singular system of roofs they hope will save them from eternal drought.

However the “Hanging Gardens” of Jibba el Olia have been put to the take a look at this 12 months because the North African nation swept via its warmest July because the Nineteen Fifties.

It has exacerbated a protracted drought that has left Tunisia’s reservoirs at solely a 3rd of their capability.

The gardens are provided with water from two springs excessive within the mountains.

Water is provided to the gardens by a community of canals that are opened and closed at mounted instances in line with the dimensions of the backyard.

Importantly, all kinds of crops present resilience and inherent pest management in distinction to monocultures that dominate trendy agriculture and require huge inputs of pesticides to outlive.

“We develop figs, but additionally different bushes reminiscent of quince, olives and pomegranates, and underneath them we plant a variety of greens and legumes,” mentioned activist Farida Jibby as bugs among the many flowers of thyme, mint and rosemary .

Jibby pointed to some channels that irrigate the steeply sloping orchards in 300 hectares (740 acres) of the realm.

In 2020, the Meals and Agriculture Group acknowledged the system for example of “revolutionary and resilient agroforestry”, including it to a particular record of solely 67 “globally essential agricultural heritage methods”.

"hanging garden"  Jabba L'Olia has been tested this year as a rapid growth in the North African country.

The “Hanging Gardens” of Jibba el Olia have been put to the take a look at this 12 months because the North African nation swept via its warmest July because the Nineteen Fifties.

The UN company mentioned the system is “able to adapting and benefiting from an inhospitable topography”.

“By means of the usage of pure geological formations and the usage of stones, native communities are in a position to rework the panorama into fertile and productive land.”

The FAO praised the variety of native crop varieties grown by space farmers, in addition to the usage of wild vegetation to “remedy” potential pests and livestock and fertilize the soil.

rising with figs

Whereas nobody is aware of how previous this technique is, human habitation within the area predates the Carthaginian civilization established within the ninth century BC.

However whereas it has been round for generations, the system is underneath menace within the type of local weather change.

Activist Tawfiq Al Rajehi, 60, says the circulation of water from the springs that irrigate the realm has decreased, particularly within the final two years.

A unique system of terracing aims to protect the fig trees from ever harsh droughts

A singular system of terracing goals to guard the fig bushes from harsh droughts eternally.

In contrast to in earlier years, the encompassing peaks are now not lined with snow each winter, and the leaves of many bushes on the backside of the jabba are yellow and sick.

Rajehi, a instructor at a neighborhood college, mentioned local weather change and fewer rainfall have led to a different issue: farmers are in favor of money crops.

“Some farmers are rising extra figs as a substitute of much less water-intensive crops as a result of figs have develop into extra worthwhile in recent times,” he mentioned.

“We have to have an excellent steadiness and number of vegetation.”

Nonetheless, residents say they’re happy with their heritage.

Farmer Lotfi El Jarmani, 52, mentioned there may be additionally rising demand for the jibba fig, which was granted a Protected Designation of Origin by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2012 – the one Tunisian fruit nonetheless to take pleasure in certification.

  • The jibba fig was given a Protected Designation of Origin by the Ministry of Agriculture of Tunisia in 2012.

    The Jibba fig was given a Protected Designation of Origin by the Ministry of Agriculture of Tunisia in 2012.

  • A young man rides a donkey in the Tunisian city of Jibbak

    A younger man rides a donkey within the Tunisian metropolis of Jibba.

  • Women work in a cooperative to produce essential oils from wild plants

    The ladies work in a cooperative to provide important oils from wild vegetation.

“They’re gaining a repute, plus they’re simpler to export, plus they bring about increased costs,” Jarmani mentioned, including that the majority exports go to the Gulf or neighboring Libya.

Rajehi’s daughter, Chaima, a college pupil, was carrying protecting gloves when she went out to reap fruit from her household’s small.

The 20-year-old mentioned, “Figs are greater than a fruit to us. We’re born right here amongst fig bushes and we develop up with them, we be taught from a younger age learn how to handle them.”

JBB is working to influence farmers to protect conventional strategies of processing produce harvested within the area.

She is working with 10 different ladies in a cooperative that extracts essences from wild flowers, dries figs, and produces fig and mulberry jam.

“The merchandise we discovered to make from our moms and grandmothers have gotten standard as a result of they’re of such top quality,” he mentioned.


Hemipiphytic figs cut back phosphorus competitors by killing host bushes.


© 2022 AFP

Quotation: Tunisian ‘Hanging Backyard’ Farms Battle Regardless of Drought (2022, 18 September) Retrieved 18 September 2022 from https://phys.org/information/2022-09-tunisian-garden-farms-drought.html

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