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Biological diversity, cultural and economic value of medicinal, herbal and aromatic plants in southernTunisia



The overall objective of the project is to improve livelihoods in rural areas through sustainable use, conservation, management, and marketing of herbal and medicinal plants in southern Tunisia.  ARS scientists are cooperating with the Tunisian partners in the following aspects of genetic resources management:  (a) Collect and conserve herbal and medicinal plants by means of both ex-situ and in-situ methods for plant genetic resource conservation; (b) Develop a database modeled after the USDA-ARS Genetic Resource Information System (GRIN), and (c) Multiply and distribute plant materials that will enable them to be tested in practical systems of production and to be used by researchers, (d) Evaluate genetic diversity of selected herbal and medicinal plants in the region to establish a database for long term monitoring of diversity and genetic erosion.  GIS layers will characterize the collection missions to date, including collection sites and frequency of the herbal and medicinal target species found within the relevant phyto-geographical zones.   This project is supported by the USDA-FAS Section 108 Funds.  



  • The Institute of Arid Regions (IRA) in Med?nine, Tunisia ( 
  • The InternationalCenter for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). ICARDA is currently managing six 108-funded projects for RSED in Tunisia ( 
  • USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is providing technical assistance and guidance for this project.


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