Alternatives for the fumigation of high-moisture dates
According to recent studies, Tunisia is the largest exporter of dates in the world. The total production of dates has reached 145 thousand tons during the 2008-2009 season, against 124 thousand tons the previous season (2007-2008), registering an increase of 17%.
The exported quantities of dates to 56 foreign markets represent 80 to 85% of total production and generated revenues of some 187 million dinars. Tunisia is working to promote exports of dates to the traditional markets (Europe, Gulf countries) and new markets (south-east Asia, Russia and North America).
In this framework, Tunisia has developed a coherent national program to improve the quality of dates for export that includes, among other actions, a pilot project with UNIDO aiming at identifying alternatives for the fumigation of high-moisture dates, that is currently under implementation in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment.
The activities carried out by UNIDO under the Methyl Bromide Alternatives project enable the industries concerned to achieve increased productivity and an improved economic performance in terms of lower operating costs, less maintenance and higher product quality and reliability. In fact, phasing-out of methyl-bromide, which is used for soil fumigation and post-harvest protection treatment, contributes to a better development of the food processing industry through the use of safer raw materials.
For more information on Montreal Protocol Ozone Depleting Substances see related documents.