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The MAP sector in Tunisia
WFP contributes, on average, 0.8% to the value of agricultural production, 1% to the export effort, in addition to their contribution to employment, through the supply of 250,000 working days per year, which corresponds to 0.9% of the working days offered by the agricultural sector.
The total area of WFP cultivated in Tunisia is estimated in 2011 to 4,550 hectares divided into medicinal plants (1,396 ha) and aromatic plants or condiments (3154 ha).
The flora of Tunisian WFP amounts to 2160 vascular species, which makes Tunisia "a real phylogenetic reservoir", given the nature of both Tunisia's Mediterranean and Saharan, according to the study.
The areas of aromatic plants or condiments reached 3,154 ha in 2011 after reaching 1274 ha in 2002, an increase of 147%. The main crops grown are coriander, caraway, cumin, fennel and couretre, with the former being dominated by coriander and caraway, which alone account for 80% of the total area planted.
Organic WFPs occupied 750 hectares in 2007, increasing in 2011 to 1,000 ha, achieving an increase of 33%. Rosemary and myrtle are the only spontaneous species exploited in the company in an organized way for the extraction of essential oils. However, the exploitable area of rosemary is only 160 000 ha while the tables of rosemary are of the order of 346 000 ha.
Tunisian exports of PAM and essential oils (HE)
Tunisian WFPs are sold in dried, fresh, seeds, essential oils (HE) and floral waters. WFP exports were in the order of 27 MTD in 2011, according to the study, a significant evolution over the long period due to an increase in prices and a certain diversification of supply.
The main products exported are Neroli, Rosemary, Orange EO, Other HE, Orange Blossom Water, Myrtle EO and Rose Flower Water. These seven products represent 97.5% of the entire group.
Strengths and perspectives of MAP
The ever-increasing demand of WFPs for aromatic and food uses, cosmetic (including perfumery), pharmaceutical and medicinal as well as component for the production of pesticides in the world can only open wide opportunities to Tunisian WFP.
World demand is concentrated in three major shopping centers, namely Germany, the United States of America and Hong Kong. The study indicates that the market for herbs will reach 10.3 million tonnes in 2015 compared with 9.2 million tonnes in 2010 and 7.9 thousand tonnes in 2005.
Essential oils are also characterized by dynamic demand and high potential on the international market. Global demand for these products is estimated at $ 1.5 billion.
The global market for WFP is estimated at about $ 64 billion. According to the study, the WFPs have several strengths that will enable them to conquer new markets. This includes know-how in distillation, knowing that Tunisia has 36 processing units, with a competitive production cost on foreign markets.