Pilot overview

Pilot overview

Geographical location: governorate of Mednine, the Smar region, located at 12km north-east Mednine in South-East Tunisia.

Irrigation Problem: sedentism, a highly vulnerable rain-fed olive cultivation system, lack of underground brackish water resources for the irrigation of food crops grown in between olive trees, soil salinization, weak agricultural production. In fact, the entire region of the Djeffera plain displays an unsustainable agricultural system.

Theme: The adoption of a production system combining supplemental olive irrigation, intensive greenhouse cultivation, and irrigated winter field crops. Good-quality irrigation water could be obtained through partial  desalination of water (from 4 to 0.2g/l) with the possibility of mixing the fresh water obtained with the brackish water to obtain a different quality of water (from 1 to 2g/l) for the irrigation of salt-tolerant crops.

Agricultural production system: to move from a rain-fed olive farming system to an intensive, irrigated, mixed farming system combining both olive and field crops with the possibility of integrating livestock breeding destined to commercialization.

Agricultural System: an irrigated off-season mixed agricultural system “olive -food crops”.

Water resources used for irrigation: a surface well exploiting the surface water table.

Availability of irrigation water: limited to 50 m3 per day.

Water Quality: well water that has an average salinity of 4g/l.

Water resources management:  the well is used individually and water pumping is ensured by electrical energy.

Threats: rain-fed olive framing is usually subject to climate problems as drought and rain scarcity, which explains the continuous recourse to the use of brackish water.

System Evolution: traditional agricultural systems that are gradually abandoned.