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Government / UTAP: 5 +5 Committee makes several decisions for farmers

Published the:  28/02/2019

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(TAP) -The release of compensation for farmers who have suffered damage in the seasons 2017 and 2018, the signing of partnership contracts, in addition to the participation of the Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries (UTAP) in the negotiations on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the European Union (EU) are the main decisions adopted by the joint committee (5 + 5) between the government and the agricultural organization.

After the committee meeting on Wednesday, the two parties decided to allow farmers who suffered damage to obtain the funds allocated before the summer of 2019, within the limit of 30% of the value of damage inflicted, the UTAP said in a statement Thursday.

It was recommended at this meeting to implement the decision on the establishment of a natural disasters fund, by holding the first meeting of the authority tasked with the management of funds by March 15, 2019 and signing an agreement with a specialised insurance company, before April 15, 2019, in addition to the creation of a steering committee comprising the UTAP, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Prime Ministry.

The latter is responsible for chairing a four-year model agricultural extension programme, which deals with human resources and public financing.

Both parties agreed to enter into partnership agreements between the professionals and the government in the areas of dairy products, field crops, fisheries and poultry.

The work of various committees will start in March 2019 with a view to putting in place an action plan by 2025.

The agricultural sector will be supported, through increasing the sums allocated by the “Banque Nationale Agricole” (BNA) and the Tunisian Solidarity Bank (BTS), by facilitating the financing procedures and diversifying funding sources.

A line of financing will also be dedicated to women farmers.

The negotiations made it possible to agree on the regularisation of the situation of investment premiums and land credits.

They also agreed on regularising 40% of the sums due in 2018 before the end of 2019, to treat the issue of the debt of irrigation water, in addition to the regularisation of the debts of collective interest groups by introducing an article specific to this issue in the Budget Law.

The Government and UTAP have decided to establish a social security scheme for seafarers, to work to resolve the outstanding issues and to reach a conciliation that takes into account the situation of fishermen by the end of 2019.

Both parties announced the holding of the periodic meeting of the committee in May 2019