Citrus production in 2021 saw a 20% increase, to reach 440,000 tons, against 367,000 tons during the previous season. Development in exports of citrus fruit exceeded the expected estimates, reaching about 17,500 tons, against a target of about 15,000 tons.
Citrus exports have generated an income of about 35 million dinars (MD), acting Director-General of the Interprofessional Group of Fruits (GIFruits) Helmi Kalai said on Thursday. He emphasized the success of this season, despite the pandemic and the black spot disease.
The most important export market is the Libyan market, with an increase in exports of 111%, for a quantity of 5,300 tons, against 2,000 last year. Revenues from exports to this market have increased by 32%. Moreover, the volume of citrus exports to the French market climbed from 7,000 tons last year to 11,300 tons this year, with a 73% increase in revenue.
The official underlined the importance of losses due to the black spot disease, which is a fungal disease that appeared in 2019. A strategy to treat 18,000 hectares next year has been launched by the GIFruits, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, he added, saying the treatment process should continue for three years.
He also emphasized that Tunisia expects to export this year about 80,000 tons of stone fruits and that production should increase by 7% compared to the previous season, especially for peaches, apricots and plums.