Posted by: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Minister of Development, Investment and International Co-operation Zied Ladhari and World Bank (WB) Resident Representative to Tunisia Tony Verheijen signed on Thursday in Tunis an agreement under which the Bretton Woods institution will grant Tunisia a credit worth $ 140 million (360 million dinars) to carry out the irrigated agriculture intensification project.

The latter worth $ 171.700 million, aims to restore irrigation systems in the agricultural areas of six governorates; namely Beja, Bizerte, Jendouba, Nabeul, Sfax and Siliana.

The aim is to reduce the losses that can reach up to 40% of the water used, and to regulate the water supply.

The credit will be repaid over 28 years, with a grace period of 6.5 years and a 0.7% rate.

The project which will be carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries (2018-2023), will finance the rehabilitation of irrigation systems to increase their reliability and efficiency, the necessary conditions for the development a more productive agricultural sector.

It will also help 3,500 farmers identify more profitable crops, increase yields and facilitate their access to markets.

The irrigated agriculture intensification project provides for a matching grants programme through which local farmers will invest in higher value-added activities. They will also encourage investments in infrastructure that can increase the value of post-harvest production.