Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries

Agriculture in Tunisia

In Tunisia, the climate is divided into 07 bioclimatic zones :

  • humid and semi-humid climate in the extreme North, with an average rainfall that exceeds 600 mm per year and an average of 3 years of drought every 10 years,
  • Higher semi-arid climate, with an average rainfall varying between 500 and 600 millimeters per year, and an average of 3 years of drought every 10 years,
  • semi-arid climate which rainfall averages between 400 and 500 millimeters per year, and an average of 5 years of drought every 10 years,
  • lower semi-arid climate, with an average rainfall varying between 300 and 400 millimeters per year, and an average of 6 years of drought every 6 years,
  • dry climate higher, with an average rainfall varying between 200 and 300 millimeters per year,
  • climate lower dry with an average rainfall of between 100 and 200 millimeters per year,
  • arid climate , and the rainfall has an average of less than 100 millimeters per year.

The contribution of agricultural production in GDP over the last decade is at a rate of 7.19% from 2003 to 2012.
The annual rate of evolution of Production: 2.3% during the Eleventh Development Plan.
The livestock sector ranks first considering its contribution of about 35% in the value of agricultural production.

The Evolution of the Agricultural Sector Contribution to GDP at current prices.

Unit: million dinars

* Planned activities


Production Evolution related to the most Important Agricultural Products

Annual rate per thousand tones

Source: Economic assessment of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Marine Resources

  • The Tunisian coasts extend throughout 1350 km.
  • 41 fishing ports exist along these coasts, so a port every 40 km.
  • The fleet consists of :

– 10678 boat inshore,
– 36 tuna fishing boat,
– 409 boat trawling ,
– 354 boat fishing sardines ,
– 223 other types.

  • Fish production is about 109,000 tones per year, of which 24 700 tones from coastal fisheries, 22,600 tons came from trawling and 52,000 tones from the fishery on fire.
  • The Aquaculture sector contributes nearly with 6% in fisheries production (2012).

Breeding Cattle

  • It consists of livestock, in particular sheep, cattle, goats and poultry.
  • 73% of heads of cows (female unit) located in the northern governorates, 23% in the central region and 4% in the south.
  • 41% of heads of sheep are concentrated in the northern areas, 40% in the central zone and 19% in the south.
  • The heads of goats by 32% in the North, 25% in rural areas and 43% in the south.
  • For cattle, an evolution of the deep strain at the expense of local breed has been recorded.
  • Stability in the amount of sheep and goats.

Development in the Livestock Sector (Unit: thousands of female units)

Source: follow-up results of the survey on the 2011-2012 Crop Year: Livestock

Agricultural land covers 10.5 million hectares (65% of total land area), including :

  • 5 million hectares favorable to Agriculture.
  • 5 million hectares of forests and pastures.


Agricultural lands and their way of use

Total Area of Farmland


Tillable Land s


Forest Lands and Pastoral


Tillable Land


Cultivated land


Arid Land


Forest land and Pastoral


Wooded land




saw grass


Area of Culture


Area of large Culture








Fruit Trees




Olives + Almonds


Olives + Fruit Trees










Other Fruit Trees




Other Cultures



Irrigated Areas:

  • The area of arable land in 2012 reached about 4991.470 Million hectares, including 468,550 hectares of irrigated lands, shared among 247.510 miles hectares irrigated in public areas, and 221.040 miles hectares irrigated in private areas.
  • Approximately 360,000 hectares of irrigated areas are outfitted with economical irrigation water, including 150,000 hectares with drip techniques irrigation.
  • 55% of the irrigated areas are irrigated by water with a salinity exceeding 2 g / l.

Total= Total area of plantations – area estimated at 88,360 hectares of mixed cultures.


Restructuring of Agricultural Lands

  • The total number of farms are 516,000 according to the survey of 2005, compared with 471 thousand operated in 1995, an increase of 9.5%.
  • The average farm is 10.4 hectares against 11.2 for 1995.
  • 73% of farms cover less than 10 hectares.
  • 89% of farms cover less than 20 hectares.
  • Evolution of the number and farms Area (1995-2005).

The Tunisian Agriculture is subject to Mediterranean climate that is characterized by irregular rainfall and relatively long dry seasons.

  • The amount of rainfall varies between 1200 and 1500 mm in the Far North and less than 50 mm in the South.
  • Over two-thirds of the Tunisian territory, are located in dry and desert places.
The annual rate of rainwater is :36 billion cubic meters / year.
The maximum annual rainfall record is the one recorded in 1969 – 1970 :90 billion cubic meters / year.
The lowest annual rainfall record is the one recorded in 1993 – 1994 :11 billion cubic meters / year.
Traditional water resources that could be stored are estimated at 4.88 billion, 4.68 billion cubic meters of which are storable.
  • The agricultural sector contributes in employment of about 16.3% of total active workers , knowing that this percentage in 1994 was around 22%.


The Evolution of the Proportion of Active Workers in the Agricultural Sector

Source:National Institute of Statistics.
  • The peasant labor is essentially family labor.
  • The family labor counts, according to the results of the investigation carried out under the monitoring of the 2011-2012 agricultural season, approximately 1,190,000 people (58.7% of them are men and 41.3% women), with small proportion of full-time, equivalent to 488 000 permanent jobs.

Restructuring of Commercial Exchanges Food

Source: National Institute of Statistics. (Foreign Trade Yearbook). Olive oil, dates, products Sea food pasta and food exports remain the largest, representing 68% of the total value of food exports. In recent years, other products have been added to the list of exported food products such as dried tomato, frozen fruit, some fresh fruit such as peaches, pears, watermelon and prickly pears.Source: National Institute of Statistics. (Foreign Trade Yearbook). Cereals have the largest share of the value of imported food products, with a rate of 51%, followed by vegetable oils 18% and sugar 11%. Importing potatoes is 4%, while imports of milk, dairy products, tea and coffee do not exceed 3% of the total value of imports.

The evolution of the trade balance

Source:Economic Report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Regional Development and Planning.