Agriculture/agri-food (including Agri-Tech)

2nd Korea-Tunisia-Africa Business Forum (Agriculture and Agri-Food)
Embassy of Tunisia

The agriculture and agro-food sector is another focus area of the 2nd Korea-Tunisia-Africa Business Forum. As this is an area where our companies can contribute not only to the development of the African market, but also to the resolution of food security issues faced by African countries, including Tunisia, we look forward to the participation of our related companies in the event. Please refer to the following, including the attached materials, to help you plan your participation in the event.

1. Areas where it is easy to find short-term results :

A .Agricultural product storage, food processing, and packaging

Currently, Tunisia is quite recognized as a leading agri-food exporting country in the African continent, but it is necessary to improve the management capabilities of industry players, such as agricultural product storage and stockpiling, and improvements in the technical level, such as food processing and packaging technology, are also major challenges. Therefore, it is expected that Korean companies with advanced technologies and equipment related to agricultural product storage, stockpiling, food processing and packaging, as well as solutions necessary to improve the efficiency of companies’ operating systems, can significantly contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of the agri-food manufacturing industry in Tunisia and Africa and creating high value-added products.

(Increasing Tunisian agri-food imports through Fairtrade)

In the course of preparing for the event, the Embassy realized that fair trade exchanges would be useful as one of the solutions to make high-quality Tunisian organic olive oil and other products more affordable for Korean consumers, while also contributing to increasing the household income of local farmers in Tunisia, and is working on specific implementation plans, including laying the groundwork through collaboration with relevant organizations, including the Korea Fair Trade Organization (KFTO). Although not yet well known in Korea, we believe that if the import of olive oil and dates from Tunisia, which are of excellent quality in relation to price, is facilitated through Fair Trade, it will lead to business performance that is in line with the trend of ‘ethical consumption’ among domestic consumers, as well as value-added as a social solidarity project that supports the economic independence of laborers (mostly women) in underdeveloped countries.

2. Areas requiring mid- and long-term efforts and attention to enter Africa

A. Recent agricultural trends in African countries

At the Dakar 2 Summit held in Dakar, Senegal, from January 25-27 this year (under the theme of ‘African Food Self-Sufficiency: Food Sovereignty and Resilience’), 55 African Union countries expressed their intention to transform Africa from a symbol of poverty and hunger to a new alternative to the world’s food supply. In this context, a pilot project to establish large-scale grain plantations was discussed for 2023-25, led by the AfDB, national grain agencies (in a co-purchasing role), and research institutions (such as the Mohammed VI Polytechnic Institute in Morocco). Most African countries, including Tunisia, are facing severe climate change issues such as plummeting rainfall, and establishing agricultural policies to secure water resources and utilize them efficiently, and introducing innovative agricultural technologies and equipment are becoming urgent tasks.
(Reference) Currently, only 10% of the 400 million ha of arable land in the African savannah region is utilized as farmland, and with a projected global population of 9 billion in 2050, 65% of the grain production area to feed the world’s population is unexplored in Africa.

B. Promising areas for business development from the Tunisian perspective

The Tunisian agro-food manufacturing industry’s main concern is to export the technology and know-how accumulated in olive oil production and oilseed cultivation, other grain cultivation, and poultry breeding and processing such as chicken, turkey, and house rabbit to sub-Saharan countries with relatively high water reserves. In particular, Tunisia, which has a well-developed poultry processing industry with low production costs and high protein content, is taking a strategy to utilize it as a key sector to lead the food industry in Africa. In the case of chicken processing, consumption has surged 10 times in the past 10 years, and the industry is expected to achieve a growth rate of 30% by 2030. In addition, the Tunisian agro-food manufacturing industry is benchmarking the Mauritanian olive cultivation pilot project promoted by the AfDB in 2019, and plans to transfer its olive and grain cultivation technologies to 4-5 sub-Saharan countries with more favorable climatic environments to utilize as new cropland as a response to the problem of depleting domestic water resources and the resulting decline in productivity.

C. Promising areas for business development from our perspective

Technology and equipment required for large-scale cultivation of major grains such as rice, wheat, soybeans, and corn (desalination items, agricultural infrastructure such as canalization, aerofilter modules, organic feed manufacturing technology, seed and seedling sales, and efficient operation systems and specialized technologies for the entire food processing, manufacturing, distribution, and sales process), and ② land reclamation, agricultural technology innovation, variety improvement, food processing and storage technology improvement, and distribution infrastructure construction are our priority export prospects. Furthermore, some items, such as soybeans, have the potential to be utilized as a new source of supply for our import market through large-scale consignment production, and given the impact of the spread of the Korean Wave, we expect to see a ripple effect on our entry into Korean food-related businesses (barbecued chicken and bulgogi, related sauces, kimchi, etc.).

3. Other notes: Major events in Tunisia's agri-food sector this year

Market Development Mission to Libya
The Tunisian Export Promotion Agency (CEPEX) plans to dispatch a delegation of Tunisian businessmen (agri-food, civil engineering, construction equipment and materials, healthcare, and packaging) to Tripoli, Libya, for 3.6-7 days this year to strengthen partnerships with Libyan companies and explore ways to jointly enter the sub-Saharan market. (CEPEX signed an agreement with the Libyan Export Development Agency in November 2022 to increase bilateral trade volume and develop trade between the two countries)

Hosting the 1st International Food Show Africa Tunis
ITNC, a Tunisian company specializing in the organization of international events, will hold the 1st International Food Show Africa (IFSA) in Tunis (El Kram Exhibition Center) from June 20-23 this year, and plans to promote a large-scale international event that gathers people involved in agri-food manufacturing and related fields (production, distribution, import, wholesale and retail, catering, freezing, equipment, packaging, etc.) in Africa. In particular, it will be a great opportunity for Korean companies engaged in food and beverage, food processing and manufacturing, packaging, and food service industries who wish to enter the African market to network extensively.
(For more information and registration: www.ifsaafrica.com)

③The 1st Agrobusiness MEDAFRIQUE Expo 2023 in Hammamet
The 1st Tunisia-Mediterranean-Africa Agribusiness Tripartite Cooperation Expo and Forum will be held in Hammamet, a city near Tunis, from November 16-18 this year. The event, which will be attended by more than 3,500 government representatives and private companies, will take the form of three forums on Tunisian agri-food exports and partnership possibilities (showcasing Tunisia’s potential as an export platform), business-to-business (networking with foreign companies, especially those interested in joint EU-Africa procurement organizations), and international standards for food security and quality in Africa, and will be attended by representatives of the African Union and the European Union, as well as international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization and the African Development Bank.
(For more information and registration: www.agrobusiness-medafrica.com)