"Good agricultural season," says Agriculture Minister
10/10/2017 16:29, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) – “Generally, the agricultural season is good this year in spite of the difficulties facing the sector, including a deficit in dams of over 400 million m3,” said Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries Minister Samir Taieb.

The ministry projects a good olive harvest, a promising olive oil season and a record date harvest with an increase expected to reach 26.3% compared to the previous season, he told the media on the sidelines of a periodic meeting of regional commissioners to agriculture development.

However, he admitted the existence of difficulties at the level of vegetable production due to the recorded water deficit, stressing in this regard that the ministry had called farmers to reduce tomato production as the issue is not related to an abundant production but to a rise in prices which is normal as the demand for tomatoes and peppers continues throughout the year.

As for drinking water, Taib revealed that the summer season had been better than the previous one in spite of the challenges caused by the ministry or citizens who had blocked several projects.

The main axes of the ministry’s current strategy in the water field focuses on the rationalization of conventional water resources consumption and reinforcement of new non-conventional resources, he noted.

The minister added that the year 2018 will record the launch of seawater desalination programmes such as the Djerba plant (operational in 2018) and the Sfax, Zarat and Sousse plants, he added, affirming in this regard, that the ministry is devising a national strategy to use non-conventional water resources (used water).

Taieb also evoked the infringements recorded in the fisheries sector notably the intruders in the sector who exploit national wealth, stressing that the ministry is working in co-operation with the Interior and Defence Ministries to combat the practices of these persons while organising their integration in the fisheries sector, if they abide by the law.

The ministry has an important project to equip the terminal boats but its implementation has languished as fishermen are refusing control, he concluded.

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