In Tunisia, most of the agricultural areas are intended to cereals crops and arboriculture. Crop rotation is still limited and not well diversified; it is practically limited to legumes.
4CE-MED project is working to develop new innovative, diversified and resilient Mediterranean agricultural systems. In this context, Camelina sativa will be tested during the project under the local Tunisian context in order to introduce it, as a new oilseed crop, in crop rotations especially in marginal areas for enhancing the sustainability of the agriculture production.
In the framework of the 4CE-MED project, the National Institute of Agronomic Research of Tunisia (INRAT) created a multi-stakeholders platform in order to introduce this new crop which is almost or completely unknown in Tunisia, and to develop a collaboration network between different stakeholders. Most of them expressed their interest to camelina especially that it will contributes in the diversification of crop rotations, especially that it is a low inputs crop and it compete very well with weeds. In the same time, stakeholders were interested to have more details about the technical itineraries of this new crop, which is 100% unknown and it seemed to be the most important thing for them.
During the cropping seasons 2020/2021, various experiments were set up at INRAT experimental station in Kef, to better understand the requirements of camelina cultivation in real local conditions. Kef district is located in the north-west of Tunisia with an average of annual rainfall about 420 mm, characterized by a high variability of annual rainfall and their monthly distribution, ranging from very hot summers to cold winters. Trials implemented during this cropping season (2020-2021) were concerted camelina varieties adaptation under local context, the date and density of sowing as well as the best harvesting strategy. The trials were mostly implemented in December and harvested in May. Each component of the technical itineraries was studied separately. Data of each trial were collected and analyzed.
The results of the first year of the project were very interesting and encouraging for camelina cultivation. Results will be presented to stakeholders then disseminated on a larger scale.