Band Tarek Amara
TUNIS, April 19 (Reuters) – Tunisia’s grain purchases in the next period of 2022 will be 1.185 million tons, bringing its total required grain imports for the whole year to 2.680 million tons, according to a document seen by Reuters.
Tunisia’s purchases over the next period of the year include 600,000 tons of soft wheat, 100,000 tons of durum wheat and 485,000 tons of barley.
The country, which is going through a deep financial crisis, has been hit hard by the rise in world wheat prices resulting from the war in Ukraine.
The impact of rising grain and oil prices on Tunisia’s budget will be just under $1.7 billion this year, Economy Minister Samir Saied told Reuters last month.
The value of Tunisia’s grain imports in 2022 is estimated at nearly $1 billion.
The country, which over the past decade recorded an average grain harvest of about 1.5 million tons, consumes about 3.4 million tons annually.
Tunisia this month raised the purchase price of wheat and barley from local farmers to encourage production and ensure food security.
Agriculture Minister Mhamoud Elyess Hamza said Tunisia is seeking to achieve self-sufficiency in durum wheat production from next season.
Tunisia will plant an additional 800,000 hectares dedicated to durum wheat and focus on providing seeds that increase productivity.
(Reporting by Tarek Amara, editing by Louise Heavens, Kirsten Donovan)
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