Tunisia will obtain an $87.1 million mortgage from the African Improvement Financial institution Group to scale up cereal manufacturing, which has dropped lately as a result of local weather change-induced drought. Tunisian Minister of Economic system and Planning Samir Saïed and African Improvement Financial institution Group’s Deputy Director Common for North Africa Malinne Blomberg signed the mortgage settlement in Tunis on Wednesday, 19 July 2023.
During the last decade, Tunisia has harvested a mean of 1.5 million tonnes of cereals in opposition to a nationwide consumption requirement of three.4 million tonnes. The Financial institution Group’s funding will enable the Tunisian authorities to implement the Cereal Sector Inclusive and Sustainable Improvement Assist Undertaking. The venture goals to enhance cereal productiveness and improve storage capability. It should additionally assist rail transport for cereals, safe provides and construct the capability of key stakeholders to strengthen resilience in opposition to exterior shocks and local weather change.
Implementing the venture will enable Tunisia to extend durum wheat manufacturing by 1.6 million quintals, barley by 1.2 million quintals, vegetable oil by 18,000 quintals and cattle cake by 42,000 quintals. It should additionally assist the nation cut back post-harvest and storage losses, saving round 115,000 quintals of cereals.
Ms. Blomberg stated: “The venture for which now we have signed at this time’s memorandum of understanding will consolidate the actions of the Emergency Meals Safety Assist Undertaking, authorised as a part of the African Emergency Meals Manufacturing Facility in October 2022. It’s a part of the Nationwide Pact on Meals and Agricultural Manufacturing tabled by Tunisia through the Dakar 2 Summit meals summit in January.”
Minister Saïed emphasised the significance of the venture when it comes to inclusive and sustainable funding within the cereal sector. He stated: “The venture will allow us to extend strategic cereals storage to cowl three months’ necessities moderately than two by renovating and modernizing port silos in Radès and Bizerte, constructing a brand new silo in Djebel Djelloud and restarting rail transport of cereals.”
Like many different nations, Tunisia is dealing with a meals disaster pushed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has elevated the value of cereals, particularly wheat, globally. The nation has additionally skilled a drastic decline in its wheat manufacturing as a result of an excessive drought within the final 5 years, in line with Tunisia’s Ministry of Agriculture. Dams are at their lowest ranges over the previous 10 years. The Agriculture Ministry additionally just lately introduced that the 2023 cereal harvest would solely be round 250,000 tonnes, a lot decrease than the earlier yr’s 750,000 tonnes output, and that the nation must import 95 p.c of its cereals necessities.
Implementing the venture will increase meals safety, notably for susceptible populations whose weight loss program closely depends on cereal-based merchandise. The venture can even profit the meals processing worth chain (flour mills, bakeries, cake outlets, and so on.) and livestock feed manufacturing.
Ms Blomberg confirmed the Financial institution Group’s dedication to assist the venture and its implementation, contemplating the anticipated influence on the inhabitants’s meals safety.
Tunisia receives a number of assist from the Financial institution Group to develop its agricultural sector. In October 2022, the Financial institution authorised $80 million in emergency meals assist for the nation. The Cereal Sector Inclusive and Sustainable Improvement Assist Undertaking will draw on this expertise to deepen the partnership between the Tunisian authorities and the African Improvement Financial institution. It should assist increase its complementarity with the interventions of different donors, together with the European Funding Financial institution, the European Financial institution for Development and Improvement, and the World Financial institution for the Cereal Sector Inclusive and Sustainable Improvement Assist Undertaking.