Special initiative ONE WORLD – No Hunger

Green innovation centre Tunisia

Tunisia: The members of a cooperative are discussing the feed composition for their sheep and cows.

Around half of all young people in rural areas of Tunisia do not have a job. Many are not interested in following their parents into agriculture as income opportunities are limited and the working conditions are arduous. Unlike in Germany, farmers are not organised as cooperatives – instead, most farmers operate on their own.

However, opportunities in rural areas can be found in the meat and dairy industries, as well as in the farming of certain types of fruit and vegetables intended for the domestic market. Together with the Agence de Promotion des Investissements Agricoles (APIA), the government agency for the promotion of agricultural investment, the green innovation centre in Tunisia implements approaches aimed at exploiting this potential.

What is so innovative?

Fresh potatoes in autumn: Smallholders on Tunisia’s high plateaus close to the border with Algeria are introducing a new planting period. Their potatoes come on to the market in autumn when the harvest from the lowlands has long since been sold. By filling this gap in the market, the farmers are able to secure much higher prices. Thanks to the green innovation centre, they are able to access high-quality seed more easily and are given training in improved farming methods.

Success achieved through greater knowledge: 5,000 dairy farmers and 500 sheep farmers are being trained on how to organise themselves and how to increase production on a sustainable basis.

Developing new feed sources: Special shredding machines can process certain varieties of cactus into feed for sheep and cows. The benefit of this is that cactuses store large amounts of liquid and can provide water for animals even during periods when there is little rainfall.

Our objectives

  • To increase income for 12,500 smallholders by 19 per cent
  • To create 200 new jobs
  • To provide education and training for 15,000 smallholders

Routes to success

In producer groups, farmers learn how to use the pruning residues from olive trees, as well as the by-products obtained from the extraction of olive oil or during the manufacture of tomato purée – such as olive cake and tomato cake – as feed. Crushed cactuses are also added. This way, farmers can give their cattle and sheep a balanced diet and both milk and meat production increase. The innovation centre has also provided modern milking machines which make the farmers’ work much easier.

The aim of many graduates leaving agricultural college is to run their own business. A competition inviting ideas for setting up a new business gives them the chance to secure backing: extensive business and financial consulting provides each of the 30 winners with practical start-up support. The competition for ideas is funded by the green innovation centre in Tunisia.

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