Outcomes of the Tunisian experience on farmer field school management of Solanum elaeagnifolium
Solanum elaeagnifolium (Solanaceae, EPPO A2 List) is very detrimental to agriculture in Morocco and Tunisia. FAO supported a regional programme on the management of exotic invasive weeds, including S. elaeagnifolium. This programme was in place in Morocco and Tunisia from July 2008 to December 2009. Several options for the management of S. elaeagnifolium have been evaluated in three Farmer Field Schools (FFS) located in two heavily infested regions in Tunisia (Kairouan and Sidi Bouzid) and a recently infested one (Mahdia). FFS involved about 75 farmers and technicians who were trained on the following topics:
- The identification of S. elaeagnifolium to prevent its establishment in non-infested areas,
- The biology of S. elaeagnifolium as a tool for its practical management,
- The cultural and hand weeding options against S. elaeagnifolium,
- Alfalfa’s ability to suppress S. elaeagnifolium,
- S. elaeagnifolium control with herbicides,
- Manure composting to kill S. elaeagnifolium seeds and prevent its spread.
These FFS were an occasion to enhance farmers’ ability to identify S. elaeagnifolium and test various control methods in order to identify their limitations and eventually adopt the most suitable practices. It was concluded that an integrated management approach will be needed to control S. elaeagnifolium.
Mekki M, M‘hafdhi M, Belhaj R, Alrouechdi K (2011) Outcomes of the Tunisian Experience on Farmer Field School Management of an invasive species Solanum elaeagnifolium. In Brunel S, Uludag A, Fernandez-Galiano E, Brundu G (Eds.) Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Invasive Plants in the Mediterranean Type Regions of the World, 2010-08-02/06, Trabzon, Turkey pp. 240-248.