Tunisia has exported so far 38.700 thousand tons of dates to Europe, with a value of 126.500 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) against 35,000 tons, worth 116 MTD during the period from 2011 to 2012.
These exports place Tunisia on the top in terms of foreign currency inflows from dates and second after the United Arab Emirates in terms of quantities exported globally, according to Moncef Chargui, technical director of the Inter-professional fruits Grouping (GIF).
Tunisian dates, so popular in the local market and internationally, are known for their good quality. “But this should not obscure the problems endured by the sector,” noted the head of GIF.
“The current season has been marked by difficult weather conditions,” he said, citing, for example, high temperatures, day and night, a shortage of rainfall, lack of irrigation water in some oases.
He cited other no less important problems, such as the late harvest due to lack of manpower and high cost of labor.
This led to the drying of significant quantity of dates’ production, whose overall volume reached 193 thousand tons during the 2012-2013 season. 135,800 tons of this production consist of Deglet Nour and 57,050 tons of other varieties of dates.