In just a few years, Tunisia has progressed from 5th to 12th in the world among phosphate producers, and no longer has sufficient raw material for its agricultural necessities, according to a ranking by the United States Institute of Geological Studies.
The necessity to import now shows the relentless decline of this industry, which recently granted up to 4% of GDP and estimated for 15% of national exports. “These blockages and sit-ins, which also affect the transport of phosphate, lead to direct damage for our customers: financial imbalance, loss of customers and of our position on the international market. This is explained by a decade of carelessness and laxity observed by every one, under the pretext of safeguarding social peace, thus leading to a feeling of impunity ”, admits Ali Khemili, general manager of the Phosphate Company. from Gafsa (CPG) to a special correspondent for the newspaper Le Monde.
Since September, the company has announced that it will have to import nearly 40,000 tonnes of phosphate from Algeria, which will be imported due to insufficient national production. The first cargo of 16,500 tonnes has already arrived at the port of Gabès. This decision, described as a “necessary but one-off evil” by Ali Khemili, should make it possible to provide sufficient fertilizer for the agricultural season.