Modern Tunisia occupies some 125,000 sq. km between the two large neighbouring countries of Algeria and Libya. Despite its small area, there is much variety in the land and the activities which it supports. Agriculture in various forms has long been the principal source of livelihood for the majority of the inhabitants; olives and cereals are two of the staple products. The northern areas are mountainous and well wooded and have the heaviest rainfall in the country. The coastal plain of this northern section is fertile and reasonably well watered, and produces citrus fruits and market-garden crops. The principal olive-growing region is the eastern coastal strip known as the Sāhel, traditionally one of the most vigorous and active areas of Tunisia. The gently sloping coastal shelf supports an important fishing industry based on such ports as Sousse and Sfax. In the south and the interior outside the oases, animal husbandry provides a subsistence livelihood for an often semi-nomadic population.


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© The Estate of Dame Nancy Parkinson 1976

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  • Robin Ostle

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