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Tunisia’s grain harvest seen up 30-40% this year, says farmers union

Tunisia’s grain harvest is expected to increase 30-40% this year from last year, Mohamed Rjaibia, a senior farmers union official, told Reuters on Tuesday.

The agriculture ministry said the harvest would be “good”, without giving figures. Last year’s harvest was about 1.6 million tonnes.

Agriculture Minister Mhamoud Elyess Hamza said last month Tunisia was aiming to achieve self-sufficiency in durum wheat production from this year.

“This year’s harvest will be really good and we expect an increase (of) 30-40%,” Rjaibia said.

Ministry official Rabaa Ben Saleh said the harvest looked “good”, especially in northern governorates.

The country, which is suffering a deep financial crisis, was badly affected by the rise in global wheat prices resulting from the war in Ukraine.

The anticipated production growth will enable Tunisia to reduce its imports of grains.
The country, which in the last decade has an average grain harvest of about 1.5 million tonnes, consumes around 3.4 million tonnes per year.

Tunisia last month raised the purchase price of wheat and barley from local farmers to encourage production and boost food security.

Tunisia’s grain purchases in the coming period of 2022 will be 1.185 million tonnes, bringing its total required grain imports for the year to 2.680 million tonnes, a document seen by Reuters showed last month.

The value of Tunisia’s 2022 grain imports is estimated at nearly $1 billion.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Tarek Amara Editing by Edmund Blair and Mark Potter)

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