- Press release
, François-Xavier Branthôme
In the context of applied research efforts, the GICA has continued trials on seasonal tomato varieties started in 2016. In 2020, the GICA agronomic team set up thirteen variety trials of tomatoes throughout the main growing regions.
Surface-areas planted with seasonal tomatoes during the 2020 season covered approximately 16,500 hectares, against 17,700 hectares in 2019. With the agronomic yield increasing by 16% compared to last year, from 60 mT/ha to 70 mT/ha, the production of tomatoes in turn increased to 1.20 million tonnes, against 1.10 million tonnes in 2019, thus recording a 9% increase.
At the industrial level, the 2020 tomato season ended with the processing of nearly 961,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes, exceeding the last record of 930,000 tonnes in 2015.
Tomato processing is carried out by 26 canning plants, with a total processing capacity of 36,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes per day.
A breakdown of the quantities of fresh tomatoes processed in each region in 2020 shows a clear preponderance of the cultivation areas located near Nabeul and Kef-Béja-Séliana, which include nearly three quarters of Tunisian planted surfaces. The remaining quarter of the nation's crop is shared between the regions of Grand Tunis, Sidi Bouzid and Kairouan.
The production of double-concentrated tomato paste also reached a record of 143,000 tonnes, from the processing of 930,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes.
The production of canned tomatoes (peeled, crushed, cubed, sauces, coulis, etc.) is estimated at 20,000 tonnes (resulting from the processing of 30,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes).
In terms of the availability of double-concentrated tomato paste, the 2020 season has broken the previous record with a volume of nearly 160,000 tonnes (17,000 tonnes of stock carried over from the 2019 season and 143,000 tonnes from 2020 production). Taking into account the annual average consumption of tomato paste estimated at 100,000 tonnes, the latest season generated a significant surplus.
In 2020, Tunisia ranked tenth in the world in terms of processing tomato production.
Some complementary data
Evolution of surface-areas dedicated to processing tomatoes in Tunisia
Evolution of agricultural yields of processing tomatoes in Tunisia