Support for Tunisia’s olive sector by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is set to continue with the approval of the third stage of this multi-year project, Olive Oil Times reports.
The FAO and EBRD have been providing a much-needed boost to Tunisia’s olive oil sector for the past five years with the aim to enhance its quality, efficiency and competitiveness.
The next stage of the project is due to begin during the first quarter of 2019 and will focus on increasing competitiveness while raising the international profile of Tunisian olive oil, the same source said.
“The importance of the olive oil sector to the social and economic fabric of Tunisia is well known, with 300,000 olive growers, and over a million livelihoods dependent on olive oil,” Lisa Paglietti, an economist at the FAO who is heading the project, told Olive Oil Times
Beneficiaries of the first phases of the project have included more than 100 small and mid-sized farms producing olive oil. Specialized training workshops provided insights into aspects related to the entire production process, from the management of olive groves, harvesting, milling and storage, with a focus on sustainable best practices to produce the highest quality olive oil.
In addition to training, the FAO-EBRD project has also worked on promoting public and private dialogue as well as supporting the capacity of the industry association. As a result of these efforts, there has been increased sharing of knowledge among the sector’s different actors, the identification of investment opportunities and an improvement in the policy environment, which has fostered growth in the sector.