Workers constructing a new dam. - - Dams for Cactus Growing. Southern Tunisia has few sources of income. The land is poor, water scarce and the farmers eke out a living from sheep rearing and the cultivation of olives, dates and pistachio nuts. Drought is a recurring evil. The Government is attaching high priority to the cultivation of cactus in the Governorate of Medinine. Cactus is cultivated either in the sandy costal areas or the mountain regions, where it grows above small earthwork dams which are built by the farmers across the watershed to retain moisture from the spring and autumn rains. In the mountain areas, spineless cactus can yield profitable returns of fodder à??out 20 metric tons per hectare per year. It is believed that this plant, which contains mostly water and fiber, will help to keep animals alive during drought periods. The UN/FAO World Food Programme is providing family rations over five years for workers engaged on the construction of a further 44,000 small earthwork dams which will make it possible for 7,100 hectares to be planted with cactus. The total cost to WFP is $3,116,000.