|International Society for Horticultural Science|
Horticulture Research International
The climate is Mediterranean ranging from humid and sub-humid in the north to semi-arid in the central areas and arid (desert) in the south. The coastal areas are influenced by the Mediterranean (cooler during summer and warmer during winter than the interior zones). The yearly average precipitation ranges from 1000 mm in the north to 50 mm in the south. Most of the precipitation occurs during the fall and winter seasons. The average temperature is 11.4 °C in December and 29.3 °C in July.
Tunisia has about 1.200 km coast all along the Mediterranean sea in the north and the west. The Dorsale Tunisienne is a mountains chain (up to 1.200 m elevation) crossing the country from north east (Cap Bon) to central west. Soil type is diversified ranging from sandy to loam to clay. Red Mediterranean soil is largely present.
Many horticulture activities can be found in Tunisia : fruit growing (olive tree represents about 80% of the total fruit acreage); vegetables; protected crops (including geothermal heating practices); flowers.
Distribution of Horticulture
All around the country. Olive tree (rainfed) is largely spread in the country. Citrus and grape production is located mainly in the Cap Bon area and dates in the oasis located in the south. Other fruit species are cultivated in the northern and the central areas. Vegetables are spread along the coast and the inland irrigated perimeters in the north and central zones. Protected vegetables production is located along the coast and the geothermal water for early vegetables production is used in the southern areas.
The major research thrusts are the Ministry of Agriculture, the Secretary of State for Scientific Research and Technology. Private enterprises are associated to research for the transfer of new technologies (seed production, technical practices packages).
Nature of Institutes
Horticultural research is mainly oriented to breeding and cultivar selection, sustainable practices (water economy and IPM programs). The research is conducted by two types of institutions:
1. Public Research Institutes under the Ministry of Agriculture (INRAT, INGREF, IO) and the Secretary of State of Scientific Research and Technology (IRA), and
2. Education Institutes under the Ministry of Agriculture (INAT, ESHE) and other departments of the University under the Ministry of Higher Education.
Organisations / Institutes:
Ministry of Agriculture, IRESA
Secretary of State of Scientific Research and Technology (SERST)