`Tunisian Olive Sector Benefits from Japanese Cooperation Project - Olive Oil Times

Tunisian Olive Sector Benefits from Japanese Cooperation Project

May. 11, 2015
Isabel Putinja

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A Japanese devel­op­ment project under­way in Tunisia aims to sup­port the devel­op­ment of olive oil prod­ucts and pro­mote the export of Tunisian olive oil.

Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS), a col­lab­o­ra­tion of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency was launched in 2009 under the project title Valorization of Bio-resources in Semi Arid and Arid Land for Regional Development: Harnessing the Power of Desert Plants.”

On April 27, 2015, the out­comes and future steps of the coop­er­a­tion project were pre­sented to Tunisian prime min­is­ter Habib Essid by a Japanese del­e­ga­tion includ­ing Hiroko Isoda, the head of the Japanese project team, and Jouichi Takhara, Japanese ambas­sador to Tunisia.


A 2‑year $6 mil­lion project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JIST) includes a study focussing on the val­oriza­tion of olive oil prod­ucts, improv­ing olive oil qual­ity, and the recy­cling of waste from oil pro­duc­tion con­ducted by five Tunisian research insti­tu­tions and a team of Japanese researchers from the University of Tsukuba.

According to JICA, despite the qual­ity of Tunisian olive oil, Tunisia has not been unable to brand it and the major­ity is exported to Europe where it is mixed with other olive oils before being sold as Italian or Spanish olive oil.

The meet­ing with the Tunisian prime min­is­ter was fol­lowed by a sym­po­sium on April 29 in Tunis where Atsushi Asano, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of JICA, announced that Tunisian olive oil will be intro­duced to Japanese con­sumers, while the Japanese ambas­sador revealed that Japanese com­pa­nies will be con­duct­ing stud­ies on sus­tain­able olive pro­duc­tion.

Olive oil pro­duc­tion in Tunisia increased four­fold dur­ing the last har­vest, Tunisia sec­ond largest olive oil pro­ducer as the largest olive oil pro­ducer after Spain. 60 to 70 per­cent of Tunisia’s olive oil is exported to the EU, mostly to Spain and Italy.

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