"Tunisia Farmer Turns To Old Wheat Varieties As Climate Change Bites"

"TUNIS - Tunisian wheat farmer Hasan Chetoui is seeking inspiration from the deep past as he tries to adapt to drought caused by climate change, sowing old wheat varieties that he hopes will produce crops throughout the year.

Chetoui does not believe his experiment with alternative types of wheat is likely to work everywhere, but he thinks it may help him cope after years of scant rains and heatwaves that destroyed much of his crop last year.

"We obtain an old Tunisian type of wheat, cultivated in the field, capable of producing multiple times a season, providing us with strategic solutions," he said.

Chetoui's farm is located in the Borj Al-Amri area of northern Tunisia, a region that was a bread basket for Mediterranean civilisations stretching back to ancient Rome and Carthage, though Tunisia is now a net wheat importer.

Years of drought affecting much of North Africa have emptied Tunisian reservoirs and dried up crops, while a succession of scorching summers have seared some of those that remain."

Jihed Abidellaoui reports for Reuters February 21, 2024.

Source: Reuters, 02/23/2024