Of the grasses of Africa alfa is very abundant in the plateaus of the Atlas range.
These central uplands of Tunisia in an uncultivated state are covered with alfa or esparto grass; but they also grow considerable amounts of cereals - wheat in the north, barley in the south.
Sidi-bel-Abbes is also an important agricultural centre, wheat, tobacco and alfa being the chief articles of trade.
In the Sud Oranais an insurrection, fomented by a marabout named Bu-Amama, broke out in 1881, and the insurgents massacred the European labourers engaged in the collection of alfa (or esparto) grass.
The alfa and cork industries employ large numbers of persons, as do also the sardine, anchovy and tunny fisheries.
The flora of the high plateaus consists chiefly of grasses, notably various kinds of alfa or esparto, and aromatic herbs.