Dates crop estimated at 368.5 thousand tons in 2021/2022 season
11/10/2021 14:33, TUNIS/Tunisia
(TAP) - Estimates point to a dates crop of 368.5 thousand tons in the 2021/2022 season, against 344.6 thousand tons during the past season, up 7%, despite the recurring problems of the previous season, namely the difficulty of marketing and selling dates on the ground.
The production of the variety "deglet Nour" is estimated at 305 thousand tons against 283 thousand in the previous season, an increase of 7.8%, said Interprofessional Fruit Group (GIFRUITS) Director General Samir Ben Sliman.
Regarding the geographical breakdown, he indicated that Tozeur has the lion's share of production with about 66.6 thousand tons, followed by Kebili with 26.5 thousand tons, Gabes with 25 thousand tons and Gafsa with 11.7 thousand tons.
With regard to the quality of the production, Ben Sliman pointed out that the current season is characterised by the rise in temperatures registered in July and August, specifying that the record temperatures recorded for the first time in the production sites caused the spread of diseases.
Speaking about the possible improvement of exports, following the progress of jab drives worldwide and the easing of health restrictions in many countries, the official estimated that export revenues are expected to rise following the improvement of the global health situation and the resumption of economic and trade activity in several countries.
Actually, the first premises have begun to show through the participation of a number of Tunisian exporters in trade fairs and specialised international events, he said.
The official added that a Tunisian delegation is participating on October 9-13, in the global trade fair in Germany (Anuga).
Exports of Tunisian dates from October 1, 2020 to the end of September 2021 stood at 345 thousand tons and the new season has begun with additional stocks of about 25,000 tons in both private warehouses and exporters, which has impacted on selling prices to the production.

//Organic date exports up//

The official pointed out that the exported quantities of organic dates reached 120 thousand 730 tons worth 768.9 million dinars, against 125 thousand 400 tons worth 848.3 million dinars, despite the difficulties recorded on foreign markets due to the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic and increased competition from some countries.
He added that despite this slight decline in promotion on the foreign market, Tunisia has managed to preserve its traditional markets. The country exported for the first time, 11 thousand tons of dates to the German and Canadian markets, and more than 3 thousand tons to Bangladesh.
Sales improved considerably in some Asian Muslim countries, such as Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, which requires further development of these promising markets that are likely to absorb large quantities of dates. Exports of organic dates were also up  to 12 thousand tons (91.5 million dinars) against 11.3 thousand tons (87.5 million dinars) last season.
He considered that the results are "satisfactory," emphasizing the need to raise awareness of the various stakeholders to increase the organic date production capacity.
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