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Tunisian Farmers Embrace Permaculture for New Opportunities

by Jonathan Foley
Published: Last Updated on
Tunisian Farmers Embrace Permaculture for New Opportunities

Tunisian farmer Saber Zouani takes immense pride in his accomplishments. When he lost his job in the tourism sector during the pandemic, he embarked on a new venture by starting a permaculture farm.

Since then, Zouani has achieved self-sufficiency and now generates income for his family by selling surplus produce.

Permaculture offers an alternative to industrial farming, focusing on reduced water usage and the avoidance of chemicals and pesticides.

“I used to consume 30,000 liters of water daily. However, with the implementation of permaculture techniques, I now utilize only 15,000 liters per day for my vegetable garden, crops, and even trees,” shared Zouani.

More than two years ago, Zouani received valuable support from the Tunisian Association of Permaculture. The association provided initial training and financial assistance to acquire essential equipment.


According to Rim Mathlouthi, President of the Tunisian Permaculture Association, water stress and global conflicts present opportunities to showcase the solutions offered by various agricultural systems, agro-ecology, and permaculture. Emphasizing the significance of responsible water management, Mathlouthi stated, “Before planting a tree, the first step is to plant water. Every raindrop, which should never be left unmanaged in nature, plays a crucial role.”

Permaculture holds the potential to help Tunisia navigate the challenges posed by climate change and reduce dependence on global supply chains, including imports of grains and fertilizers from Ukraine and Russia.

For local consumers, the advantage lies in knowing the origin of the products they purchase.

“I can personally witness the products, and the privilege is having the permaculture farmer explain what will be on my plate. It’s a fantastic experience,” expressed Salem Laghouati, a consumer of permaculture products.


The Tunisian countryside faces an unprecedented drought, leading to dangerously low levels in water reservoirs this spring.

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