Seed banks to safeguard Tunisia's peasant seed heritage

February 27, 2023

TAP)-The first seed banks for the deposit and exchange of local peasant seeds have just been set up in three regions in the south of the country: Tatouine, Djerba and Zarzis, in a bid to preserve Tunisia's living heritage.

This initiative launched by the Tunisian Association of Permaculture (ATP) and other Tunisian NGOs active in sustainable development and organic agriculture, aims to rehabilitate farmers' seeds to promote healthy agriculture and counter the pressure of agribusiness on the heritage and ancestral agricultural practices.

The first seed bank was created in the agro-ecology farm 'Oued el Khil domain' in the delegation of Ghomrassen in Tataouine.

'Our objective is to collect and recover local seeds threatened with extinction in Tunisia and all farmers' seeds to save them, redistribute them and reintroduce them into crops,' explained to TAP promoter of the Oued El Khil domain and civil society activist Radhouen El Tiss.

Farmers were trained with the support of ATP, in the collection, saving and reproduction of farmers' seeds.

They had been sensitised to the need to ensure traceability of cultivated seeds by compiling seed registers, he said.

Agreements had been signed for the creation of other seed banks with a view to generalising this initiative in all regions, he added.

In the current situation characterised by a sharp decline in the overall purchasing power of Tunisians, as well as an unprecedented increase in the food balance deficit due to exogenous shocks, according to a survey on the theme: ' Consolidating food security in Tunisia in 2022-2023' by the Tunisian Institute of Strategic Studies (ITES), Tunisia needs to invest in sustainable food systems.

This must start with regaining control over the seeds that are upstream in the food chain, say permaculture activists.


American Express Reveals 2023 Top Travel...
March 24, 2023
ThetaRay Reports Upswing in Demand for C...
March 16, 2023
Dinar depreciates against euro and dolla...
March 14, 2023