Assessing and building climate change resilience of farming systems in Tunisian semi-arid areas


The agricultural sector plays a strategic role in the Tunisian economy, particularly in rural areas. Resilience and adaptation to climate change are the main challenges facing this sector. This paper aims to analyze climate change resilience of agricultural production systems in Tunisian semi-arid areas and to propose options for policy interventions. A path Structural Equation Model (SEM) was used to predict the resilience of these systems using the partial least squares method (PLS). Results show that farming systems in Tunisian semi-arid areas remain threatened against negative impact of climate change since 80% of farms in the sample have shown low resilience levels. The most important determinants of agricultural systems’ resilience are farmers’ income and access to food, adaptive capacity, and access to productive and non-productive assets. Results indicate also that integrated systems, income diversification, along with cooperation and collective action are the key options to enhance resilience of rural households and farming systems. It is recommended to raise awareness of stakeholders and decision-makers about climate change challenges and to develop integrated approaches to better engaging with local stakeholders and institutions in adaptation programs and strategies development.

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Data availability

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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Author information




Conceptualization and methodology: Jamel BEN NASR., Hatem CHAAR and Fadoua BOUCHIBA.

Investigation and data collection were performed by Jamel BEN NASR and Fadoua BOUCHIBA

Analysis and visualization were performed by Jamel BEN NASR, Hatem CHAAR and Lokman Zaibet.

The first draft of the manuscript was written by Jamel BEN NASR.

All the authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript especially Hatem CHAAR and Lokman Zaibet.

All the authors contributed to review and editing according to reviewer’s comments.

All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Jamel Ben Nasr.

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Ben Nasr, J., Chaar, H., Bouchiba, F. et al. Assessing and building climate change resilience of farming systems in Tunisian semi-arid areas. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021).

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  • Climate change
  • Resilience
  • Adaptive capacity
  • Farming systems