The Role of Legumes in the Farming Systems of Tunisia

  • M. H. Halila
  • A. B. K. Dahmane
  • H. Seklani
Part of the Developments in Plant and Soil Sciences book series (DPSS, volume 38)


Only 10% of the area suitable for growing legumes in Tunisia, i.e. the northern and higher ground in the central zone, is used for legume cultivation. There are both agronomic and socioeconomic reasons for this. Food legume yields are low and variable, with faba bean and chickpea the main crops grown. Better agronomic practices and more suitable varieties would increase yields of food legumes. There is a greater acreage of forage legumes, a vetch and oats mixture being popular and profitable. Annual medics was introduced to replace fallow in the 1970s, and M. truncatula cv Jemalong and M. littoralis cv Harbinger were selected as the best adapted to Tunisian conditions, but the new system has not been successful, because of technical shortcomings and conservative farmers. Forage legumes, including medics, have been studied to assess their contribution to soil nitrogen, their effect on soil moisture compared with fallow, and their impact on agricultural production. There is no doubt that integration of cereals with livestock should remain the aim of medic/cereal-based rotations.


Faba Bean Wheat Yield Conservative Farmer Ascochyta Blight Forage Legume 
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Copyright information

© ICARDA 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. H. Halila
    • 1
  • A. B. K. Dahmane
    • 2
  • H. Seklani
    • 1
  1. 1.INRATArianaTunisia
  2. 2.INATTunisTunisia

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