Cereals, seed-saving, and food security

Mahmoudi, Beskri, Bidi, Richi, Jneh Khottifa, Rommani, Ouard Bled, Ajlili, Arbi, Ardhaoui, Souhili…many would not recognize the importance of these names, representing but a fraction of the wheat and barley varieties once cultivated in Tunisia. Since the 1940s, the number of local cereal varieties has decreased by 90%, from fifty to five. Having recently examined some of the nutritional and economic implications of cereal production in Tunisia, Nawaat spoke with Amine Slim, researcher at the National Gene Bank, for a closer look at cereals, a glimpse into this vital food source from the inside-out.

In Jemna, locals manage oases to reap the fruits of their labor

In the town of Jemna, residents have formed an association dedicated to the preservation and cultivation of 185 hectares of reclaimed oases for the production of dates. The Association for the Protection of Jemna’s Oases is composed of 129 workers including farmers and security guards, three supervisors responsible for managing the workers, administration and finances, plus one general supervisor. Nawaat has traveled to meet with the individuals who have taken over the land in the name of Jemna and its residents.

‘Where’s our Oil?’ : the (continued) confusion of politics and resource management in Tunisia

Winou el pétrole?”—Where is the oil? began to draw the attention of the media since the end of May when citizens hit the street with signs, and has gained considerable visibility since last week when demonstrations in the capital and the south of the country turned into violent confrontations between protesters and security forces. Furthermore, doubts regarding the movement’s beginning as a spontaneous social media campaign and uncertainty about the authenticity of its objectives have stirred controversy and warranted the response of the political figure and government officials.

Compagnie Générale des Salines de Tunisie : Opacity, Evasion, Exploitation

Earlier this month, Nawaat visited one of four regions in Tunisia where the French Compagnie Générale des Salines de Tunisie, or COTUSAL, extracts and produces salt for the local market and for export. The ensuing report, which elicited a prompt response from the company, is the most recent in a series of articles from the past year that explore the legal, economic, and environmental implications of the company’s operations in Tunisia.