Italy backs Tunisia’s agriculture sector with €200m; FAO launches new Biorest project
Italy has allocated €200 million to Tunisia in the form of loan and grant to support the North African country’s agriculture sector.
The head of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation made the announced Thursday while attending a business and investment forum in the city of Tataouine, Webdo Tunis reports.
The support package will be rolled out over the next coming three years. The funds will be used in the agriculture and fisheries sectors.
The Italian agency has provided the North African country €300 million since 1980 through nine financing drives.
Also on Thursday, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) officially launched a new project “support to the development of sustainable and resilient organic agriculture in a context of climate change in Tunisia – Biorest”.
Philippe Ankers, FAO Coordinator in North Africa and Representative in Tunisia, stressed that technical assistance is deemed necessary for organic agriculture to be a driver of sustainable and inclusive territorial development.
Under the project, to be carried out with financial support from the Swiss cooperation, the resilience of organic farming systems will be strengthened amid climate change and natural resources will be used more efficiently and sustainably.
The organic farming sector enjoys a remarkable position in the development strategy of agriculture in Tunisia and contributes to the food trade balance with a contribution, in 2021, of nearly 20% to Tunisia’s overall agricultural exports, said FAO in a press release.
Tunisia is a leading exporter of organic products, but this does not hide the fact that the sector is still facing structural challenges and major constraints.
More than 7,500 producers are operating in organic farming in Tunisia, on more than 300,000 Ha of certified organic areas.
The export of organic products, mainly olive oil and organic dates, posted a turnover of over 700 million dinars in 2021.