Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement (Jan 2018)

Revue des connaissances sur la micro-filière ovine laitière en Tunisie : état des lieux et perspectives de relance de la race sicilo-sarde

  • Aloulou, R.,
  • Marnet, PG.,
  • M'Sadak, Y.

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 3
pp. 188 – 198


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Review of the Sicilo-Sarda dairy sheep micro-sector in Tunisia: current situation and prospects for the recovery of the Sicilo-Sarda breed. Introduction. The Sicilo-Sarda is the only Tunisian dairy sheep breed. Milk from this breed is used in a micro-sector of cheese production. Numbers of sheep from this breed fell significantly during the 1990s, due to unfavorable economic and political choices, as well as a lack of technical control of livestock, which risked the sustainability of this cheese production sector. However, initiatives to preserve this breed have taken place in recent years. The present review of the scientific and professional literature highlights the current knowledge of the sheep dairy sector in Tunisia and presents the actions currently under way or to be undertaken in favor of its safeguarding. Literature. The Sicilo-Sarda breed shows low levels of milk production but this can be improved even in extensive systems. Breeding (suckling/weaning/milking) and reproductive management needs to be reviewed in order to increase milk production. Similarly, the breed's genetic pathway needs to be mobilized through the establishment of a selection scheme based on farm phenotypes of interest (quantity and quality of milk, mammary morphology) and/or the introduction of Sardinian blood via artificial insemination. Conclusions. A renewed interest in the Sicilo-Sarda breed in Tunisia has been noted since 2005 through a reorganization of the sector, giving new dynamism to the profession. Significant margins of progress have been highlighted, both in terms of animals and breeders. The downstream sector of this milk chain must also help create a better identification of the products and the "terroir" of production for consumers. This will create new opportunities to develop this micro-sector to ensure its sustainability.