Agriculture: ITES calls for export support and rationalisation of imports 
23/05/2020 15:27, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - Maintaining and supporting exports as well as the rationalisation of imports of agricultural and agri-food products is one of the strategic measures recommended in the Tunisian Institute for Strategic Studies (ITES) prospective study "Tunisia facing COVID-19 by 2025: Foundations of a strategy reconciling the urgency of the short term and the imperatives of the medium term," published Friday on its website.

Tunisia has, in addition to olive oil relatively spared by COVID-19, surplus quantities of dates, seasonal fruits and potatoes that should be exported, at the risk of seeing some tensions of producers to be triggered in the regions, reads the section on agriculture in this study.

"Beyond the usual export flows that depend on import demand and protective measures, it is necessary to convince the policies of destination countries of the need to help Tunisia export production surpluses, particularly perishable products, by granting it tariff advantages for the period of the crisis.

The study calls, therefore, for the strengthening of all facilities granted at the level of logistics and air and maritime transport, and for an increase in subsidies paid to exporters to help them cover additional costs.

It also calls for mobilising and boosting economic diplomacy to contact traditional importers, find new customers and closely monitor export operations.

For imports, the study has shown that it is necessary to draw up a rationalisation strategy allowing their limitation to essentials, such as basic necessities, tools and equipment for protection against viruses and chemical fertilizers, phytosanitary treatment products and vaccines.

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