Tunisia’s agricultural sector has grown by 40 percent over the past 12 years, according to a report just published in Al-Mustaqbal daily. Moreover, the sector’s self-sufficiency ratio reached the115 percent-mark last year.
Tunisia's 2000 agricultural plan placed more emphasis on the biological farming sector, which is less prone to fluctuations due to environmental effects. In addition, the authorities have been implementing a policy of leniency towards indebted farmers, completing a program of establishing agricultural training centers in every province by the year 2001.
The outlook for the upcoming year is quite ambitious. According to the newspaper, the targets that have been set include report, including one million tons of olive oil, up 100,000 tins from 1999, and 105,000 tons of dates, up from 100,000 in 1999.
During the previous decade, Tunisia suffered a general decline in agricultural production, due mainly to weather conditions. In 1994 and 1995, a drought resulted in a 19 percent fall in output. However, the government apparently has been able to place the sector on the right track, achieving both added diversity and growth
Tunisia’s improved self-sufficiency is also reflected in the raising of animals for meat. Only 1,500 tons of meat were imported last year, while Tunisians consume more than 100,000 tons per annum. –(Albawaba-MEBG)
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