A field survey suggests changes in oasis characteristics in the Kebili region of southern Tunisia

Since their establishment, “traditional” oases have been known to be three-layered, while modern oaseshave been organized from their outset with one layer only of ‘Deglet Nour’ date palm cultivars. However, these definitions may no longer apply for Kebilian oases. A survey was therefore carried out on a random sample of 52 plots in Kebilian oases (“traditional” n=26 and “modern” n=26) to investigate the current situation. The data collected were analysed by the Pivot Tables method and a Chi-2 test of independence, and by a Multiple Component Analysis completed by an Ascending Hierarchical Classification analysis to characterise and classify each oasis type. Our results showed that “modern” oases have greater crop diversity than expected and can be organized in two or three-layer oases. In contrast, high crop diversity and the three vertical layers were found to be less frequent than expected in “traditional” oases. Our investigation found water availability in the oases, and irrigation frequency, to be the key factors of Kebilian oasis layout and typology changes. Agro-biodiversity losses could jeopardize the sustainability of the oasis system in “traditional” oases.

Comparing the uses of available labor and capital in diversified farming systems in Drâa oases (Morocco)

In this study, uses of labor were characterized using the ‘Work Balance’ method in a sample of 17 oasis farms. The results showed that almost 44% of total uses of labor are devoted to livestock, while the remainders 56% are used for crops. The labor required to raise livestock was almost entirely (92%) provided by family member, whereas that required for crops was mostly provided by hired laborers. Date palms are the pillar of the oasis farming system and enable the positive synergies of this mixed crop/livestock system. Date wastes and cereal straw are used to feed the animals, while the livestock supplies the farmers with milk and meat, and their sale ensures the purchase of agricultural inputs in the period preceding date harvest. Our results show that labor is an essential component of oasis farming systems, as it provides opportunities to achieve a circular economy. Otherwise, on farms specialized in crops that have no livestock, the economic efficiency of labor is higher, thanks to higher investments. Taken together, these results suggest that there are ways to improve the efficiency of the uses of labor on oasis farms.

Reinventing the wheel: adapting a traditional circular irrigation system to ‘modern’ agricultural extensions in Algeria’s Sahara

One of the most elaborate community initiatives for the management of groundwater consists of managed aquifer recharge and use. In the oases in the M’zab valley in the Algerian Sahara, the collective action that upholds these initiatives has been challenged in past decades by the development of intensive groundwater use with individual pumps in new agricultural areas. However, faced with water shortage and inspired by the more circular irrigation practices in oases, farmers are increasingly creating local use loops in these extension areas by installing recharge devices and using water more carefully. This
study analyzes the functioning of the circular managed aquifer recharge and use system in Beni Isguen oasis, and how farmers have reinvented it in agricultural extensions, creatively combining it with modern technologies to engage in market-oriented agriculture. Reinventing circular practices in new agricultural extensions can contribute to more environmentally sustainable forms of agriculture.

Farmers’ perceptions of water management in Jemna oasis, Southern Tunisia

Groundwater resources are a crucial driver of development. Since the 1970s, the expansion of irrigated land on the margins of the existing ‘traditional’ oases has been encouraged by the Tunisian authorities to enhance local development. As a result, oases in Southern Tunisia are currently facing sustainability concerns. This situation requires alternative water management approaches, in which local actors collaborate and contribute to the design of new rules. To understand Tunisian oasis farmers’ perceptions of water rules and public organisations, in 2021, we conducted an online survey in Jemna, an oasis in the Kebili region in Southern Tunisia.
The picture that emerged from the online survey is that farmers in extension areas have distinctive characteristics but also similarities with farmers in the traditional oasis. Both types of farmers mainly cultivate date palm (monoculture), and, like farmers in the extensions, many farmers in the traditional oasis have a private borehole.
All farmers in the Jemna oasis clearly perceive the limited availability and poor quality of the groundwater resource. However, they do not believe these problems cause conflict among farmers. They consider that, to solve possible conflicts and to ensure better water management in the oasis, collaboration among farmers is more effective than changes to rules issued by existing organisations. These preliminary results, if confirmed, can have important policy implications, as the farmers’ perceptions of water rules and organisations, as well as farmers’ willingness to collaborate, are crucial for a possible new approach to water management in the oasis.

The outward journey of a local innovation: the dissemination of an artisanal irrigation pivot from Algeria’s Sahara

User-led innovation is increasingly happening in a globalized context, connecting local experience to outside ideas, knowledge, and technologies. Alternatively, local innovations designed, manufactured and marketed for a particular context travel to other settings. We analyze the diffusion of a low-cost artisanal irrigation pivot from the Suf Valley (Algeria) to other Saharan regions and even to Saudi Arabia and Sudan. We conducted 27 semi-structured interviews with manufacturers, farmers, government agents, and made field observations on 18 farms in 2020/2021. The diffusion of the pivot was enabled by extending the innovation system to trusted innovation intermediaries in new settings, who played an active role in adapting the technology and support services to local agrarian systems. However, while the innovation homeland can be considered an open innovation environment, manufacturing and after-sales services in the new settings were tightly controlled by manufacturers to secure intellectual property and maintain a monopoly. This study contributes to the debate on the creativity of local innovation actors and their involvement in (supra)national agricultural development.

Farm Size and Productivity in Algerian Agriculture: A Contingent Relationship

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between farm size and farm performance in Algeria. Unlike most previous studies, this preliminary study uses a large dataset comprising 26 735 farmers in Biskra region. Two farming sectors are considered, namely: date palm sector (typically a traditional farming sector) and greenhouse vegetables sector (relatively a modernizing sector). The study employs two farm performance measures, farmland productivity (farm output per hectare) and land use intensity. A bivariate non-parametric regression (Nadaraya-Watson approach) and multivariate quantile regression are used to assess the IR in two farming sectors. The main findings show that the IR holds for a traditional agriculture and does not in a modernizing one. Then, when it holds, it follows a systematically monotonic smooth pattern, whereas in a highly input-intense modern sector, the relationship becomes, in the best cases, blurry. The consideration of the nature of the used technology in the underlying sector (i.e., its stage of development) is of crucial importance as a contingency factor in analyzing the IR for any farming system ignored in most studies.

Do Livestock Supports Increase Livestock Production? Province Based Panel ARDL Analysis for Turkey Example

In recent years, there has been a significant change in Turkey’s agricultural support policies, especially on livestock supports. The livestock support, with a share less than 5% in total has in early 2000s has reached up to 35% at the end of 2020. In order to understand the impact of increase in livestock supports, 11 years of livestock support and livestock presence in 81 provinces in Turkey were analyzed via Panel ARDL method. The results of the analysis revealed that support to livestock does not affect the number of livestock in the short term, but has a positive effect in the long run. Furthermore, both in the short and long term, the increase in prices in the livestock sector increases the livestock fund. Eventhough increases in feed prices harm livestock presence in short run as expected, this negative effect disappears in the long run. The production effect of minimum wage variable is added to the model considering the unique situation of Turkey, which effects the production negative in the short run, but positive in the long run.

Local partnerships for the development of coastal regions: a review of Fisheries Local Action Groups with focus on the Mediterranean

In the last programming period of the European Maritime Fisheries Fund, Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) have been in charge of meeting the objectives of Union Priority 4, aimed at boosting territorial cohesion and employment in European coastal areas. These local partnerships have hence received support for the elaboration of local development strategies that should promote both territorial and sectorial projects, balancing the interests of the different stakeholders involved. This article provides for a literature review of the scientific contributions on FLAGs, organizing the main findings according to the six dimensions of the Porter’s Diamond Model in the context of the cluster analysis on coastal communities’ competitiveness. Moreover, by focusing on FLAGs from Italy, Spain and France, the paper discusses the orientation towards sectoral and territorial interests in the Mediterranean. It emerges that while the literature has mostly emphasized their territorial functions, FLAGs- especially those in areas with relatively higher incidence of employment in fisheries-related sectors- have prioritized projects of sectorial scope.

Caractérisation des exploitations agriculture-élevage et origine de l’innovation dans les principaux bassins laitiers de l’Algérie.

The study focuses on dairy cattle farming systems and the sources of innovation for breeders in the Setif and Souk-Ahras dairy basins recognized by cereals, dairy cattle breeding and irrigated crops. A sample of 140 family farms was selected and surveyed between 2017 and 2018. A typology of livestock systems was constructed using of a PCA and AHC. The results show three groups. G1 retains 68% of breeders with small farms, combining polyculture with dairy cattle breeding; G2, 30% of breeders, the farm is medium-sized and the productive orientation is mixed farming and dairy cattle breeding; G3, made up of large grain farmers and mixed cattle breeders (milk/meat). The cattle breeds exploited are Red Holstein and Montbeliard, 74% dominant. The origin of innovation relating to breeding practices comes mainly from local socio_x0002_technical networks, whereas formal extension by public services is ineffective (0.64 %). It appears that group1 occupies the first position in terms of acquiring information on innovations, followed by G2 and 3. Socio-technical networks operate from 27 to 33% in the 3 groups. The veterinarian contributes 25% in G1 and 2; at 41% in G3.

Rain-fed agriculture risks and management strategies adopted by farmers in two agro-ecological zones in Al-Hasakeh province of Syria.

Based on survey data of 319 rain-fed farmers in Al-Hasakeh, Syria, this study analyses rain-fed farmers’ risk attitudes and farmers’ perceptions of risk and risk management. Furthermore, it analyzes, using multiple regression analysis, the relationship between socio-economic characteristics and farmers’ risk attitudes. The results demonstrate that precipitation shortage was the most important risk source that threaten farmers in both zones. Moreover, risks of diseases and pests and natural disasters were highly perceived by farmers in zone 1. Farmers in zone 2 were more concerned about fire damages and lack of government support. The financial strategy related to the producing at lowest possible cost is perceived as an important strategy to manage risk by farmers in both zones. Spraying for diseases and pests and liquidity are perceived as the most effective risk management strategies by farmers in zone 1, whereas farmers in zone 2 considered liquidity and choose good quality materials as an important strategy. The results also show that some farm and farmers’ characteristics (e.g. age, experience, education, household size, farm size, family labour, extension contact, off-farm work and Co-op Member) significantly impact the risk attitudes of the farmers in both zones.