Overview of the project
The Gabes Oases is known since Antiquity for their vegetable crops that historically conserved the seeds, their greatest source of resilience facing difficult climate conditions (dry land).
Howewer, since the past few decades, the oases are getting very damaged (over-exploitation of resources, urbanisation…) as well as a the transformation in farming practices.
The majority of young people and women are not interested in agriculture and the older populations that are, are turning to more profitable field crops.
Producing local seeds is forsaken for the benefit of improved hybride seeds that are often combined with the use of chemical fertilizers (highly polluting the soil).
- The lack of valorisation of local indigenous seeds
- The absence of a seed market or even laws restricting the commercialisation of local seeds…
…this all explains why farmers are discouraged and have difficulties guaranteeing their own production. The risk is that future generations that lose their capacity to adapt to climate change and no longer are able to guarantee food security for the population surrounding the Oases.
The current project is the continuation of an action led by Associative Network of Oases Sustainable Development (“Réseau Associatif de Développement Durable des Oasis RADDO”) which aims to conserve the Oasis’s richness/resource.
The Association for the Protection of the Chenini Oasis (“Association de Sauvegarde de l’Oasis de Chenini”) is a focal point for the Tunisian network and aims to support seed farmers in order to increase the number of them in practice.
The initiative consists in creating “seed homes” in governorates in South Tunisia such as Gafsa, Tozeur, Kebili and Gabès in order to envcourage the exchange of seeds from the Oasis zones and to reintroduce farmers seeds into daily practices of all.
The initiative also entails conserving the ancestral knowledge and know-how in terms of producing, selecting and concerving the seeds via the installation of trainings for farmers and knowledge capitalisation.
Guaranteeing the conservation of local seeds from Chenini thanks to the multiplication seed based farmers and the creation of a Farmers' seeds network.
Feasibility study, diagnosis
2018 - 2023
Presentation of the Association for the Protection of the Chenini Oasis (in Arabic)
Association for the Protection of the Chenini Oasis (“Association de Sauvegarde de l’Oasis de Chenini”) aims to strengthen the local associative fabric by working for the protection of the oasis.
They are attempting to create a tool for the local population to help them mobilise, identify and understand their concerns and ambitions and to contribute in satisfying them with the means available.
The association’s activities mainly consist in raising farmers’ awareness’ on the risks of using hybride seeds in the Chenin Oasis region as well as giving them trainings on the conservation of genetic heritage of the 165 hectares of Oasis.