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Hichem Ben Salem

Role in Dryland Systems: 

Flagship Project Coordinator, North Africa and West Asia

Home organization: 

International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas


Dr. Hichem Ben Salem is the Director of the ICARDA’s “Diversification and Sustainable Intensification of Production Systems” Research Program and the ICARDA’s CRP Dryland Systems Focal Point. Dr Ben Salem earned a PhD in Animal Nutrition from the University of Bourgogne (Dijon-France) and Master of Sciences (MSc) on Animal Nutrition from the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Saragossa (Spain).

Before he joined ICARDA in 2014, Dr Ben Salem was the Director General of the National Institute of Agricultural Research of Tunisia (INRAT) for the period 2011-2013 and at the same time he was the Head of the Laboratory of Animal and Forage Production at INRAT since 2006. At the international level, Dr Ben Salem is the coordinator of the FAO-CIHEAM Network on Sheep and Goat Nutrition since 2000 and also coordinator of a research theme “Cactus: Forage, Rangeland and Environmental Protection” under the FAO-ICARDA Cactus Network for more than 10 years.

Along his career at this institute, he was in charge of a research program focusing on the potential use of alternative feed resources (fodder shrubs, crop residues, agro industrial byproducts, etc.) in sheep and goat feeding. He also investigated livestock response to different stressors (anti-nutritive factors in the diet, drinking water restriction or salinity, etc.) in terms of digestion, production performances and meat and milk quality.

Dr Ben Salem published around 100 papers mainly in international peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. He was also an invited editor of several special issues of Elsevier’s journals. Many of his articles report on findings on the replacement value of agro industrial by-products (e.g. silages, feed blocks and pellets) and fodder shrubs (e.g. Atriplex spp., Acacia cyanophylla) and cactus for conventional feedstuffs (e.g. barley and soybean meal) in the diets of stall-fed or grazing sheep and goats and the effects of secondary compounds (e.g. tannins and saponins) on digestion, productive performances and the quality of meat and milk of small ruminants. The two last special issues guest edited by Dr Ben Salem were entitled “Shrubby vegetation and agro-industrial by-products as alternative feed resources for sheep and goats” published in Animal Feed Science and Technology (Volume 147, issues 1-3 (2008)) and “Potential use of halophytes and other salt-tolerant plants in sheep and goat feeding ” published in Small Ruminant Research (Volume 92, Issues 1-3 (2010).