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The agri-food sector plays a very important role in Tunisia from a social, economic and ecological point of view. The enhancement of agricultural products represents an income and employment source. Anyway, this sector has to cope with problems reducing its performance. This work suggests the setting up of an empirical method to measure the production efficiency of the sector using a panel of agri-food industries. The borderline approach of the stochastic production, which can bring about the productive performance of agri-food industries, is used as empirical framework in order to determine their efficiency in the period 1983-2004. Results show that in Tunisia agri-food industries can be distinguished into two categories, according to the level of State intervention: The subsidized (strategic) agri-food industries and the non-subsidized ones. While the average value of the technical efficiency indices is nearly 0.478, in the case of subsidized industries it is 0.20 and in the case of non- subsidized firms it equals 0.60. Therefore, the subsidized firms are less efficient, whereas the non-subsidized ones are the most efficient. All this demonstrates the effect of the protection of agri-food industries on their level of production efficiency. Source

Chebil A.,Institute National Of Recherches En Genie Rural | Frija A.,Ghent University | Abdelkafi B.,Ecole Superieure DAgriculture de Mograne
Agricultural Economics Review | Year: 2012

This study aims to measure the farm specific irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE), through non parametric DEA model; and to evaluate the potential irrigation cost reductions and the main factors causing variations in IWUE among a sample of irrigated farms in Tunisia. Cross sectional data collected from a sample of 75 farms participating in the the WaDImena project in nadhour region (northern Tunisia) was used. The results showed that the average level of IWUE across the farm sample was around 61.2%. Farmers would be able to reduce their actual cost by 5% if they adjust irrigation water to its efficient level. This low level of cost reductions is consistent with the existing literature about IWUE in Tunisia. Moreover, education level of farmers, access to credit and agricultural extension service showed a positive relationship with the IWUE in our case study. Source

Hosni K.,Institute National Of Recherche Et Danalyse Physicochimique Chimique | Hassen I.,Institute National Of Recherche Et Danalyse Physico Chimique | M'Rabet Y.,Institute National Of Recherche Et Danalyse Physicochimique Chimique | Sebei H.,Ecole Superieure DAgriculture de Mograne | Casabianca H.,CNRS Institute of Analytical Sciences
Biochemical Systematics and Ecology | Year: 2013

Volatile oil constituents of Tunisian sweet orange (Citrus sinensis Osbeck) cv. Meski (MES), Valencia Late (VAL), Thomson Navel (THN) and Maltaise Blanc (MAB); mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco); sour orange (Citrus aurantium L. cv. Amara (AM)) and pummelo (Citrus grandis Osbeck) were obtained by hydrodistillation and analysed by gas chromatography (GC) combined with a flame ionisation detector (FID) and mass spectrometry (MS). A total of 41 components accounting for more than 95% of the total essential oils were identified, and oxygenated monoterpenes (69.5-99.9%) were found as the most prominent fraction in all oil samples. The main constituents were linalool (3.1-73%), isoborneol (0-55.8%) and tepinen-4-ol (1.1-19.2%). A high degree of inter-and intraspecific chemical variability between species and cultivars was found to be genetically determined, and a set of distinctive traits (chemical markers) in the essential oils profile was established. Principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) of all identified components grouped the oils into two main chemotypes (linalool/isoborneol and isoborneol/linalool). © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Hosni K.,Institute National Of Recherche Et Danalyse Physico Chimique Inrap | Hassen I.,Institute National Of Recherche Et Danalyse Physico Chimique | Sebei H.,Ecole Superieure DAgriculture de Mograne | Casabianca H.,CNRS Institute of Analytical Sciences
Industrial Crops and Products | Year: 2013

The essential oil of Chrysanthemum coronarium (Garland) flowerheads was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and essayed for its in vitro scavenging activity on 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and its antimicrobial activities against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhymurium, Candida albicans, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus. The aqueous extracts were tested for their allelopathic properties on seed germination and seedling growth of two annual weeds (Sinapis arvensis and Phalaris canariensis) and two crops (Triticum durum and Zea mays) and the identity of the phenolic components was determined by using HPLC-PDA-MS. A total of 40 components, representing 96.58% of the total oil were identified, and the most plentiful constituents were found to be cis-chrysanthenyl acetate (21.82%), trans-chrysanthenyl acetate (12.78%), (E)-β-farnesene (8.97%), germacrene-D (8.92%) and camphor (6.03%). The oil was unable to reduce the DPPH radical, while it exhibited a good antimicrobial activity against the gram-positive bacteria B. aereus and S. aureus. The aqueous extracts suppress the germination and reduce the seedling growth of the target species. The phytotoxic effect was found to be selective towards weeds with the effects being more pronounced in S. arvensis and P. canariensis. HPLC-PDA-MS analysis allowed the identification of chlorogenic acid acid, di-cafeoylquinic acids isomers, rutin, luteolin, luteolin-7-O-glucoside, myricetin-3-O-galactoside and tricin. The latter components were reported in C. coronarium for the first time. It is suggested that the identified components may be at least, a key factors in the observed phytotoxic activity and the data presented may contribute to the development of naturally occurring herbicides. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Chebil A.,Institute National Of Recherches En Genie Rural | Bahri W.,Ecole Superieure DAgriculture de Mograne | Frija A.,Ecole Superieure DAgriculture de Mograne
New Medit | Year: 2013

The objective of this study is twofold. Firstly, we aim to measure the technical and water efficiency for a sample of 170 cereal farms in Chebika region (Central Tunisia) using Data Envelopment Analysis method. Secondly, computed water efficiency scores are regressed on explanatory variables using a Tobit model, to help identify its determinants. Results indicate that technical efficiency of production in the sample of farms investigated is about 70.72% on average, and water use efficiency is only about 64.86%. This suggests that cereal farms may reduce their water use level while maintaining the same level of production. Furthermore, the estimated Tobit model indicates the positive effect on water use efficiency of variety choice, irrigation sources, membership in water users association, irrigation management and farm size. Finally, based on the empirical results, some suggestions are drawn in order to increase water use efficiency. Source

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