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Tunisia, number 1 in organic farming and olive oil in Africa

Although one of the smallest countries on the African continent, Tunisia dominates the continental ranking in terms of organic agricultural land. Olive oil is one of the country’s flagship products. Meeting with an olive grower who has opted for organic farming.

In northern Tunisia, at the foot of Mount Zaghouan, Mounir Boussetta is the owner of the field of Segermes, which covers 300 hectares and on which grow no less than 17,000 olive trees. Said area would be operated for nearly fifteen centuries, according to the Roman remains and mosaics that surround it. And some of the fruit trees would then be… multi-centenary!

Organic olive growing: a vulnerable ecological struggle

The cultivation of the olive, according to Mounir Boussetta, is done entirely by hand, without fertilizer or pesticides, in respect of nature and its production rhythm. Already holder of an organic label, the work of the oleologist is not limited to regulatory recommendations. Truly committed to his fight for the preservation of the environment, Mr. Boussetta does not practice any artificial irrigation, and lets his farms grow at the whim of the weather.

Tunisian products are exported to the four corners of the world

A hundred tons of oil per year, the liter is sold around 40 euros, a cost justified by many certifications and awards of international competitions. The Tunisian olive oil has been elected several times “best olive oil in the world” by the jury of the very serious NYIOOC (New York International Olive Oil Competition). The oil from the Segermes estate, meanwhile, is intended to serve the great restaurants of Europe and Japan.

Mr. Boussetta describes his job as a pride and a desire to prove to the world the quality of Tunisian production in all its humility. “I, modestly, I am only a small link in the chain, I try to improve the quality so that people say that in Tunisia, we still make great quality.”


See also

In Tunisia, the European Development Bank in support of local olive oil

Published on 16 February 2022