Tunis/Tunisia — An agreement on the use of forest products in Kairouan was signed Wednesday between development groups and industrial units as part of the project "Integrated Landscapes Management in Tunisia's Lagging Regions Project."
The signing took place at a ceremony chaired by Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, Samir Taieb.
This project will change the landscape of the region and will benefit 30,000 families. It aims to strengthen and develop the protection of forests and pastures, while contributing to the social and economic integration and income improvement of forest dwellers.
The six-year project's cost stands at 40 million dinars. It includes interventions in the landscapes of Zaghdoud (Alfa mountain, in the delegation of Oueslatia and Jalloula), Maarouf (sarj mountain, in Oueslatia) and Touila, in Menzel Mehiri.
It is part of the "Integrated Landscapes Management in Tunisia's Lagging Regions Project", financed by the World Bank in the amount of 200 million dollars. It targets communities composed of about 250,000 households (about 1.5 million people) in 8 regions of the northwest and central west of Tunisia (El Kef, Jendouba, Siliana, Sidi Bouzid, Kasserine, Gafsa, Béja and Kairouan).
As part of Wednesday's visit to the governorate of Kairouan, the Minister of Agriculture denied in a statement to TAP correspondent in Kairouan, any intention to sign the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the European Union, if Tunisia does not obtain the necessary guarantees for the protection of its agricultural sector. He stated that the points that are detrimental to Tunisia's interest "will neither be approved nor signed".
He also mentioned the acquisition of 60 new wagons by SNCFT which will be made available to the cereals board to transport the cereal harvest in addition to the 70 wagons already available at present.
He also highlighted the storage capacity that remains below the planned harvest.
The Minister also inaugurated the "Brahmia" (Imada de Zaafrane) project, costing 2.57 million dinars, which will provide drinking water for 220 families in the Brahmia and Gouizet regions.