A Spanish produce group with a strong focus on German-speaking markets has received a boost to its North African production, after a receiving a €4 million (US$4.3 million) loan for its raspberry project in Tunisia.
The SanLucar Group's Flor'alia farm in the northern Governate of Bizerte was given the loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), with plans to introduce new varieties and use modern agricultural methods.
The project is the first of its kind in Tunisia and has been underway for the last two years. The added funding will also allow SanLucar to minimize the consumption of water, fertilizers and pesticides, while providing new and stable jobs to farmworkers and agricultural engineers.
"In order to cultivate the most delicious fruits and vegetables in the future as well, we are constantly looking for the best farming regions around the world," SanLucar CEO Stephan Roetzer said in a release.
"The Finca Flor'alia in Tunisia is a plantation with successful future prospects where we will continue to invest in the development of a modern and sustainable agriculture."
EBRD's head of office in Tunisia, Marie-Alexandra Vielleux-Laborie, said the deal was an important step for developing agribusiness in the North African country.
"Building on the country's potential, its favourable weather for good harvests and its geographic proximity to Europe, agribusiness can contribute substantially to the economic growth and creation of job opportunities."
Since 2012, the ERBD has invested €210 million (US$225 million) in over 20 projects in Tunisia, along with technical assistance support to more than 130 small and medium-sized Tunisian enterprises.