Tunisia struggles to grow more wheat

(MENAFN) Tunisian farmer Mondher Mathali reviews a sea of swaying golden wheat as well as revs his syndicate harvester, a rumbling beast from 1976 which he worries could break down at any minute.

Since the Ukraine conflict sent worldwide grain costs surging, import-reliant on Tunisia has announced a push to surge all its own durum wheat, the basis for regional staples like couscous in addition to pasta.

The small North African nation, like its neighbors, is putting all work to stop food deficiencies and social unrest – but for farmers on the sunbaked plains north of Tunis, even the basics are problematic.

Mathali stated that “I’d love to buy a new combine harvester, but I could only do it with help from the government.”

He thinks that his out-of-date machine trashes nearly a third of the share. With spare parts hard to find, he worries a collapse could charge him his entire harvest.

But even a second-hand replacement would charge him an indescribable sum: USD150,000, he stated that “Our production and even the quality would go up by maybe 50 percent, even 90 percent” adding “But our situation is getting worse and the state isn’t helping us.”


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