Volume 18, Numéro 3, Pages 47-74

Souf (algeria), The Revolution Of Crater Palm Groves (ghouts)

Authors : Remini Boualem .


For more than seven centuries, a revolution has taken place in the heart of the Grand Erg Oriental. This is an original hydro-agricultural development that originated in the Souf valley. For more than 30 years (Period: 1990-2020), we have traveled the four corners of the Algerian Sahara. Different types of oases were visited. Discussions and surveys were carried out among the Sufi population. It turns out that the palm trees planted in thousands of craters were dug by the Sufis in the middle of the dunes of the Grand Erg Oriental. It was a real revolution led by the Sufi to replace a dune environment (yellow) with a forest of palm trees (green). Unfortunately this discontinuous palm grove is deteriorating from year to year. More than 50% of the total area has been abandoned. Today, in competition with pivotal agriculture which has classified the Souf valley as an agricultural region par excellence, the Ghout risks being forgotten.


Ghout ; Discontinuous palm grove ; Sahara ; Souf valley