Rising temperatures, longer summers and the absence of rain are increasing pressure on already depleted groundwater sources in Tunisia. These factors are widening what experts call ‘the map of thirst’ for the North African nation. The country is experiencing its sixth consecutive year of drought, with most dams and reservoirs almost empty.
Aymen Chaouachi, president of the farmers' union in Beja, said that in November farmers usually have their seed beds ready, but not this year. He said bureaucratic procedures and agricultural policies set up by the state sector are making farmers’ lives even harder.
Chaouachi said the state's agricultural policies, coupled with a shortage of seeds and their high price have left farmers in Beja unable to receive their quota.