A Tunisian official has blamed climate change for damage to the agricultural sector in the country. The estimated cost is said to be around $71.3 million.

The head of the Tunisian Union for Agriculture and Fisheries, Abdel Majed Al-Zaar, told reporters on Tuesday that only 5 per cent, or $3.5 million, of the damages were compensated. As many as 18 states have suffered damage during the current season alone, he added, a direct result of hurricane strength winds and hailstones, the prevalence of which is being blamed on climate change.

“Disasters and droughts are the main cause of the farmers’ accumulated debts,” explained Al-Zaar, “which in 2017 amounted to about $423.8 million.”

Last month, the state of Nabeul in Tunisia witnessed floods which killed six people and damaged 1,000 hectares of fruit trees, 250 hectares of potatoes, 100 hectares of strawberries, 550 hectares of vegetables and 200,000 poultry birds.

The union official pointed out that agriculture represents 10 per cent of total investments in the Tunisian economy and 9.7 per cent of the country’s exports.

READ: Tunisia threatened by loss of half of its agricultural lands by 2050 

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