Tunisia is one of the largest importers of wheat in North Africa
The Tunisian government is expected to import about 1.6 million tonnes of grain this year, to cover the country needs after the decline of its production by half due to lack of rain
, economists have told Arab Today.
Tunisia\'s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Habib Jemli said that the country\'s cereal crop has seen a significant shortfall during the current season 2012/2013, due to lack of rain, especially in grain-producing areas.
Jemli predicted that the volume of Tunisia cereal crop during this season would be around 1.3 million tonnes, compared to 2.27 million tonnes last season, meaning an estimated drop of 44 percent, which has forced the government to look abroad.
Tunisia imports about one million tonnes of soft wheat to cover production shortage which does not exceed 200,000 tonnes, in addition to import about 30 percent of durum wheat, and about 50% of barley material.
This year, Tunisia imported 50,000 tonnes of soft wheat from Turkey. During June and July, it imported approximately 150,000 tonnes of soft wheat, third of them from Turkey.
Tunisia\'s annual production of soft wheat covers only 30 percent of its needs.
Several economists have told Arab Today that food security in Tunisia is threatened, claiming that the main factor has been the decline in major crop plantations. Tunisia imports about 70 percent of grain, and more than three million tonnes to cover the country\'s bread supplies.
Tunisia’s National Institute of Consumption warned of the phenomenon of squandering bread with the scarcity of resources, stating that Tunisia is one of the largest importers of wheat in North Africa.
The institute said that approximately 30 percent of bread is wasted Tunisia everyday, costing $20 million annually.
Meanwhile, state sources have denied media reports that bread prices would be increased, but have admitted to a rise in the price of canned tomatoes.
Arab Today has been told that the government seeks to find solutions to cover the shortage of wheat without raising bread prices.
Authorities fear a repeat of the seventies in Tunisia, and the \"bread revolution,\" after the government of former President Habib Bourguiba decided to raise bread prices.