Helping Tunisian youth create agri-startups
The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) is helping a group of young people in Tunisia to launch their own agri-startups by providing knowhow and technology.
This work is part of a four-year project titled “Creation of agricultural startups for Tunisian youth” funded by the Albatha Group and implemented in collaboration with local authorities, women’s associations, farmers’ organizations, as well as relevant private-sector actors.
The main goal of the project is, among other things, to create job opportunities for youth in Hammamet, a town in Tunisia’s Nabeul Governorate where unemployment among youth is high during periods when tourism is slow.
Youth unemployment, particularly among recent graduates, is one of the major challenges in the country. There are also economic disparities between rural and urban areas and between the northern coastal areas and those in the southwest.
Agriculture - the main source of food and income for rural communities in Tunisia - faces several challenges like climate change-induced droughts.
However, the agricultural sector and thus rural livelihoods can be improved with appropriate interventions. This can, for example, be achieved by developing the skills and knowledge of rural communities in such areas as climate-smart agriculture.
Therefore, as part of the project, ICBA is working with local partners to develop sustainable value chains for crops like quinoa and sorghum. These crops are climate-resilient and thrive in marginal environments - areas of the world most vulnerable to climate change, water scarcity and salinity. The project is also promoting almond and pistachio cultivation.
ICBA recently conducted several technical training activities for young people in the project areas. During these activities, the center provided participants with technical assistance and farming equipment.
The project – which began in 2019 and will run until 2024 - aims to reach 1,000 beneficiaries. So far, it has benefited some 85 young people, including 15 women.
The project is in line with ICBA’s broader efforts to develop young people’s capacities through different programs and initiatives and equip them with necessary skills and knowledge to become scientists, entrepreneurs, and leaders in agricultural fields.