Tunisia – Low rainfall raises farmers’ concerns in Tunisia

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Location: Tunis, Tunisia

Language: Arabic

Duration: 00:04:52

Voice: Natural

Source: A24 News Agency

Restriction: A24 clients

Dateline: 23/02/2022

Storyline

Tunisia’s rainy season was below average with a 30 percent decrease compared to the past season, according to official figures. Since 90 percent of the major agricultural areas are rainfed, farmers fear a shortage of food production impacting Tunisia’s food security in case the country does not receive an abundant amount of rain in February and March. Local farmers called on authorities to find solutions to cope with climate change, suggesting seawater desalination or wastewater recycling, for use in irrigation.

Shots’list

  • Soundbite (Mohamed Ragaibia – Major Agriculture Officer in the Executive Office of the Tunisian Union of Agriculture):

“We are in February and the rain is below average. Rain is critical for Tunisia’s farming sector and major agriculture with more than 90% of areas being rainfed agricultural lands and only 5 to 6% of them being agricultural irrigated land. This shortage will adversely affect the country’s production. I hope it rains in February and March to save this difficult situation.”

  • Soundbite (Trad bin Ghabran – farmer and seed planting specialist):

“We are really concerned about the climate and rainfall rates of this year. There is a sharp shortage of water and we cannot depend on irrigation as a substitute. Technically, we can use some techniques as a treatment to reduce pressure on plants.”

  • Soundbite (Mohamed Ragaibia – Major Agriculture Officer in the Executive Office of the Tunisian Union of Agriculture):

 “Water scarcity is a common problem worldwide, whether caused by climate change or global warming. Farmers bear all the consequences. It is unknown yet whether farmers should start farming, what areas they will plant, and what types of vegetables will they grow. Seawater desalination and wastewater recycling could be considered as possible solutions. A strategic plan should be developed around production or water levels to identify the most productive areas.”

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