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Systèmes Ingénieux du Patrimoine Agricole Mondial (SIPAM)

Ramli system in Ghar El Melh

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Summary

Located in the northern Tunisia the site is characterized by a crops system created thanks to the inhabitants adaptation to the territory features. The land space is surrounded by mountains whose foothills have infertile soils but despite the water and soil scarcity characterizing the area, since the 17th century the local population has developed unique practices to make these surface cultivable. The type of crops created is called Ramli and it means crops grown in sandy substrate. The principles of this farming practise are related to the growing of arboriculture and vegetable crops without irrigation on soil whose level allows the plants to meet their water through the contact of their root system with a thin duckweed floating on salt water.

Local products are known for their organoleptic qualities. Today the conservation of this system is related to the attachment of the farmers to these secular practices even if it has to be highlighted that nowadays all the farmers have other professions, thing that provides the main part of their income. This kind of farming remains dependent on the morpho-hydro-sedementary stability of the system with negative prospects in the future due to the effects of climate changes which could cause the submersion of this site.