The Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries (UTAP) has launched a training project for 150 farmers from several Tunisian governorates. This initiative aimed for sustainable management of water resources and identification of new mechanisms for the implementation of water-saving irrigated crops.
The agricultural sector consumes 80% of water resources in Tunisia. This situation poses a huge problem for the sustainable management of this increasingly scarce resource in the country. To address this issue, the Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries (UTAP) launched on April 9, 2020, a training project for 150 farmers from several governorates in Tunisia. “It involves setting up a support and training plan for farmers for the preservation of natural resources, mainly water resources. This will be achieved through the training of model farmer extension workers, spread over six pilot governorates including Sidi Bouzid, Kairouan, Nabeul, Monastir, Siliana and Beja,” Abdelmajid Ezzar, Chairman of the Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries (UTAP) said.
The farmer training project will also make it possible to identify new mechanisms for the introduction of water-saving irrigated crops. The project is financed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German international development cooperation agency.
Good farmers should be able to act as ambassadors to their professional circle, thus facilitating the replication and dissemination of good practices to other farmers. To this end, they will receive a one-year training course on water saving awareness. The training will also cover the control of the irrigation process, profitable and water-saving production (choice of crops…), governance and regulations.
The new UTAP project is fully in line with the Tunisian government’s efforts to combat climate change and resilience to water scarcity in Tunisia. The current “Climate Plan for Tunisia” foresees a 30% reduction in the country’s conventional water resources by 2030. At the same time, the Plan expects a decrease in surface water resources of about 5%.