Areas dedicated to organic farming in Sidi Bouzid governorate increase
22/10/2017 14:49, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) – The number of agricultural lands used in organic farming in the governorate of Sidi Bouzid has risen from 1,790ha in 2001 to 12,390ha in 2016, said Ali Mbarki, representative of the Department of Organic Agriculture stemming from the Regional Commission for Agricultural Development (CRDA ).

Farmers in Sidi Bouzid insist on the imperative to use a reduced rate of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in fruit trees which represent 95 pc of areas in the governorate, he said.

Mbarki recalled that the cultivation of olive groves occupies the first place from the point of view of areas farmed, with 11,367 ha and an estimated production of 11,935 tonnes, then the pastures with 348ha exploited and cactus of 220ha besides the almond trees, and the fruit trees.

The governorate of Sidi Bouzid has five organic farms that are spread over the delegations of Regueb, Sidi Bouzid-east and Sidi Bouzid-West, added the same source.

Despite investment opportunities and efforts to encourage organic farming, there is not enough incentive to encourage farmers to invest in organic farming, Mbarki said.

Among the objectives planned to develop organic farming at the regional level, include the exploitation of more acreage, the introduction of the varieties of production, to reach a target of 17,000 ha exploited in organic farming by the end of 2017. The focus will be on olive, almond, pistachio and medicinal plant sectors.

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