Potatoes have been grown in Tunisia at least since the mid-nineteenth century, possibly much longer. It has been suggested potatoes were introduced from Sicily as early as in the seventeenth century.
Until fairly recently, production was restricted to a few areas along the Mediterranean coast, and consumer demand, chiefly from expatriates, was largely met through imports.
Following independence in 1956, the crop's popularity has increased considerably, and the government has encouraged expansion of potato production in order to reduce potato imports from France and Italy.
Currently, over 25,000 hectares, equal to 17 percent of the total cultivated land in Tunisia, is used for potato farming. The crop is the country’s second most important one after tomatoes.