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Tunisia’s Agri Ministry Launches New Support Mechanism to Boost Ag Sector & Food Security

The new support mechanism for Tunisia's agricultural sector is a positive step towards ensuring sustainable food production, reducing poverty, and promoting economic growth in the country.

Shivam Dwivedi
Tunisia’s Agri Ministry Launches New Initiative to Boost Ag Sector & Food Security (Photo Source: GEF)
Tunisia’s Agri Ministry Launches New Initiative to Boost Ag Sector & Food Security (Photo Source: GEF)

The European Union (EU) and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICD) have set up a new support mechanism for Tunisia's agricultural sector, aimed at helping small producers overcome increasing production costs and adapt to climate change.

The partnership between the EU, AICD, and the World Food Programme is a testament to the importance of international cooperation in achieving these goals. The mechanism, launched under the "Support for Sustainable Development in the Agricultural and Artisanal Fisheries Sector in Tunisia" (ADAPT) programme, includes a cereals component support fund worth €18 million.

The ADAPT programme is being funded by the EU for €44.4 million and implemented by the Italian Development Cooperation Agency in partnership with the World Food Programme. The support mechanism will initially benefit three collectors mandated by the Office des Céréales, including two seed collectors. These collectors include the Comptoir Multiservices Agricoles -CMA, Société Mutuelle Centrale de Semences - COSEM, and Société de Semences Sélectionnées - SOSEM.

The collectors will receive a financial contribution of approximately €800,000 to reduce the amount of credit repayments made to around 1,000 male and female farmers during the 2022-2023 season.

The contribution will help reduce their invoices for eligible expenses by 28%, except for expenses on non-organic pesticides. The farmers will also receive technical support and monitoring from the Institut National des Grandes Cultures (INGC) to enhance Tunisia's food security and sovereignty.

The ADAPT programme, now operational, also mobilizes the European Regional Facility for the Resilience of Food Systems worth €20 million allocated to Tunisia, with an additional €5 million from bilateral cooperation between the EU and Tunisia. The ADAPT programme is complementary to the PRASOC programme financed by Italy for €57 million, providing concrete solutions to farmers to facilitate their access to the necessary financing for their investments in adaptation to climate change.

As executive partners of the programme, INGC and the Institution de la Recherche et de l'Enseignement Supérieur Agricoles (IRESA) are supporting beneficiary producers to maintain and enhance the sustainable production potential of Tunisian cereal systems, in collaboration with other international research institutions.

The World Food Programme is also contributing to the objective of improving Tunisia's food security and sovereignty by raising awareness among consumers to reduce the waste of cereal products.

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