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Tunisia: Approved agricultural investments up 5.8% in 2011

Growth rate of the approved agricultural investments in 2011 recorded a 5.8-percent rise compared with 2010, with a total volume of 476.8 million dinars (MTD), according to the Agricultural Investments Promotion Agency (APIA). These investments regard B (between 60,000 and 225,000 dinars) and C (over 225,000 dinars) categories.

These results were recorded in spite of last year’s unfavorable social and economic environment and the weak contribution made by the agricultural upgrading and development companies which participated by means of 5.9 MTD, compared with 24.8 MTD in 2010, the agency specifies. In its January 2012 e-bulletin, APIA News, the agency accounts for this growth by the fact of granting financial advantages to 44% of investments declared in 2011, compared with 32.5% a year before.

In addition, the volume of investments approved last December stood at 18.6% of the total investments for 2011, i.e., 88.7 MTD.

Data analysis by activity shows that investments in the aquaculture projects confirmed their position in the volume of the overall investments approved by means of 85.8 MTD, i.e., 18%, and a growth rate of 44.7% compared with 2010. These investments are expected to set up 18 large-scale projects in the Bizerte, Nabeul, Sousse, Monastir and Mahdia governorates.

Investments in fisheries projects recorded a 53.6% growth rate in 2011, compared with the previous year, reaching 19.2 MTD, following the approval of investment operations to upgrade fishing units in the Nabeul, Monastir and Sfax governorates.

As regards, the downward trends, investments in the services projects reached 46.6 MTD in 2011, against 61.9 MTD in 2010. The same goes for investments in primary processing projects in 2011, compared with 2010 (down by 18.7%). Regarding the approved investments for young promoters, the growth rate reached 19.4%, that is, 57.8 MTD in 2011 against 48.4 MTD in 2010.

Setting up, last November, of a geothermal project in the governorate of Gabes by means of investments worth 20 MTD, helped raise the value of foreign investments to 24.2 MTD, compared with 2.9 MTD in 2010, the agency specifies.

Nevertheless, APIA points out that the number of jobs scheduled by the set of investments approved in 2011, does not meet expectancies, as the growth rate did not exceed 1.7%, whereas for investments it reached 5.8%, hence the need to establish a legal framework that will help overcome the problem of employment at the level of agricultural projects that benefit of the advantages provided by the State.

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