Sassi Jbeil – Tunisia
The apple harvest season in Tunisia is witnessing an unparalleled vigorous movement that begins with searching for boxes, marketing and storage, especially as it is an important source of livelihood for thousands of families, whether they are farm owners or workers in their various sectors.
This fruit ripens in the summer and the season extends to the beginning of autumn. It spreads in the areas of the high plateaus extending from the governorate of Kasserine, in the central west of the country, to the governorates of El Kef, Beja, Jendouba and Siliana in the northwest, as well as some other governorates such as Sidi Bouzid, Kairouan, Sfax, Gabes and Medenine. The governorate of Kasserine remains at the fore, as it alone produces 60% of the crop, equivalent to 80,000 tons, on an area of 8 thousand hectares and about 3 million trees. The promising sector provides more than 600,000 working days per year.
Agricultural guide Abdullah Toujani said that the apple tree in Tunisia is distinguished by its high quality, and it is planted in December, so that the crop is harvested two years after planting.
He explained that apple harvesting is a very important social and economic movement in the region, as it provides sources of livelihood for the unemployed and poor men and women, who view their planting, picking and storing as a festival that makes hearts happy and moves many sectors.
He mentioned that the apples are harvested by hand as a result of the sensitivity of the fruit, before they are sorted and placed in boxes, and despite the importance of the sector, it faces a number of difficulties and problems, such as the high cost of cold nets, the obsolescence of irrigation networks, and the high cost and scarcity of fertilizers.
Laila El Gharsali, a laborer who has been picking apples every season since she was 15 years old, said that she celebrates with her family and the people of her town the apple festival because it is a good omen for families. She stated that the process of harvesting is not easy, as the work extends from early morning until two hours after sunset.
Dietitian Dr. Wael Al-Daridi confirmed that apples are a healthy fruit rich in vitamins A and C and potassium, free of sodium, cholesterol and fats, and a good source of pectin fibers, noting that one apple contains 5 grams of fiber, and is almost beneficial for all diseases. It strengthens all parts of the body.
He explained that apples protect against stroke, reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood, and the possibility of liver, colon and prostate cancer, and that eating them combats obesity and obesity.
He mentioned that the ancients discovered the benefits of this fruit and said: “An apple before bed keeps you from visiting the doctor,” and they are honest, as a result of its resistance to many diseases, including aging and tooth decay, as well as improving the freshness of the face, pointing out that Tunisian apples are of the finest types as a result of the natural climate that Characteristic of the country.
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