Organic agriculture: 370 thousand ha of certified organic crops and 7,400 operators in 2017 | Tunisia News Gazette

Organic agriculture: 370 thousand ha of certified organic crops and 7,400 operators in 2017

Organic agriculture has achieved a record figure of 430 million Tunisian dinars in terms of export, with organic olive oil representing over 46% of Tunisia’s exports, Director-General of Organic Agriculture at the Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries Ministry Semia Maamer affirmed on Wednesday.

Tunisia recorded a giant step forward in matters of organic agriculture in 2017, reaching 370 thousand hectares of certified organic crops, she added.

The number of operators (farmers, processors, exporters) edged up from 3,700 in 2016 to 7,400 in 2017.

Taking the floor at a seminar on the furtherance state of the implementation of bio strategy in Tunisia, organised in Tunis by the General Directorate of Organic Agriculture as part of the Bio 2018 Week (Mai 2-10), she announced that a convention on agro-tourism promotion was inked last week with the Belgian Inter-Environnement Wallonie Federation.

She specified that six bio-tourism routes out of 24 scheduled by 2020, have been achieved and tested as part of partnership launched with this federation. It is the 1st cornerstone of collaboration between the tourism and the agriculture, she pointed out.

The Bio strategy in Tunisia, launched in 2015, aims to establish a Tunisian model of organic agriculture supported by a better governance of the sector by 2020.

The strategy has two main objectives; the 1st consists in contributing to bolster and diversify the national economy through the development and reinforcement of the organic agriculture sector, establishing 20 branches of organic agriculture, creating 5 pilot zones specialised in organic agriculture and bio-tourism routes in 24 governorates and supporting export of Tunisian organic products in the world market, she specified.

The second goal consists in conceiving a governance process of the organic agriculture sector by reinforcing the capacities of the various stakeholders, consolidating the control system of organic products, improving competitiveness of Tunisian organic products, monitoring and assessing the implementation process of different programmes.

The organic agriculture sector in Tunisia is a promising sector and has a large potential that can reach 2 million ha of organic crops, including 1 million ha of organic olive trees, she indicated.

Out of 1.8 million ha of olive trees in the country, only 5% are treated by chemical products, thus 95% of these olive trees can be converted into organic ones.

Source: TAP News Agency

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