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Tunisia: ASTI–IRESA Country Factsheet

Tunisia: ASTI–IRESA Country Factsheet

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Gert-Jan Stads, Aniss Ben Rayana, Jamel Berrbeh, Ahlem Laroussi, and Raed Badwan


International Food Policy Research Institute and Agricultural Research and Higher Education Institution.

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West Asia and North Africa

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The total number of agricultural researchers in Tunisia has grown rapidly in recent years, predominantly due to the establishment of four new regional research centers under the country’s overarching agricultural R&D entity, IRESA, and an influx of BSc-qualified researchers at IRA, one of the institutes under the IRESA umbrella.

Total agricultural research spending has not kept pace with high rates of inflation and rapid agricultural output growth over time; as a result, Tunisia’s agricultural research intensity ratio fell by half during 2002–2012.

Tunisia’s agricultural researchers are among the most highly qualified in West Asia and North Africa (in terms of degree levels), but half the researchers with PhD degrees were in their fifties or sixties as of 2012, and hence are approaching retirement age.