The Rise of the Prickly Pear Industry in Tunisia: An Eco-Friendly Solution to Poverty

On the road to Zelfen, Tunisia, fields of prickly pear trees stretch as far as the eye can see.

This plant is a "godsend" for this deprived region, thanks to the anti-wrinkle oil that is extracted from it, which is very popular in cosmetics.

This oil is a result of the transformation of the seeds of the fruits of this cactus, producing a precious and expensive product that is increasingly sought after internationally for its anti-aging properties.

zelfene region prickly pear tunisia

"Here is the capital of the prickly pear!" This fruit has changed the life of the locals in the region. It has created wealth in an area where the prickly pear was a symbol of poverty.

Zelfen, with its 33% poverty rate and 20% unemployment, has found in the prickly pear a source of local development.

The sector employs more than 5,000 people, creating much-needed jobs in the region.

Tunisia ranks fifth in the world in terms of the area cultivated for commercial purposes with 117,771 hectares, behind countries like Brazil, Mexico, Ethiopia, and Morocco.

Nearly 8,000 liters of oil were exported in 2021, generating a turnover of 5 million euros.

The sector has grown rapidly, with the number of processing companies increasing from five in the early 2000s to 55 in 2021, including 11 in the region of Zelfen.

The prickly pear is undemanding, adapts to several types of soil and consumes little water. It is an ecological boon!

The prickly pear is ideal for the country, which is facing water scarcity, with Tunisia well below the threshold of water shortage, estimated at 1,700 m3 per capita.

Prickly pear harvest in Tunisia woman zelfene

The growing interest in this fruit has also improved working conditions for those involved in the sector.


The secret to youthful and radiant skin could be as simple as incorporating prickly pear oil into your skincare routine.

With its numerous anti-aging benefits, it is no wonder that this oil is becoming increasingly popular in the cosmetics industry. 

So, don't wait and be an early adapter for the next gen skincar oil. Try our Biodido Prickly pear seeds oil.


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