Development cooperation ,25.11.2014

Capacity building between MTT and University of Sfax on food production and security


The institutional capacity-building project between the MTT Agrifood Research Finland and the National Engineering School of the University of Sfax (ENIS) aims to improve the food security of Tunisia by developing a sustainable and national potato production system. The ICI project builds the capacity of the Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology of ENIS to produce new, national and disease-free potato varieties, which are more adapted to the environmental conditions of Tunisia chacterised by drought and high salinity compared to currently used imported potato varieties, and which have a higher tolerance to biotic stress factors. The project develops the whole potato production chain from the micropropagation technology at the laboratory level to the marketing of new commercial Tunisian potato varieties, in which private sector actors play a key role. The direct beneficiary of the project is the Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology of ENIS, but the project will ultimately benefit the whole Tunisian population, particularly people living in the poorest agricultural regions and small-scale farmers. The duration of the project is three years, and its budget is 690 000 euros. The activities, capacity-building and training of the project aim to achieve three results: the development of the field research capacity and laboratory of ENIS, particularly the establishment of the micropropagation technology, for the development of national potato varieties; increased knowledge and capacity at ENIS to carry out research on potato bioactive compounds; and the enhancement of the production and marketing chain of Tunisian seed potato. The possible risks identified in the project include unexpected changes in the political, economic or security situation of the country and challenges involved in the introduction of new technologies.

Funding decision  25.11.2014

690 000 €

Objectives monitored by OECD's Development Assistance Committee

  • Trade development
  • Aid to environment
  • Desertification
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate change - mitigation
  • Climate change - adaptation
  • Participatory development/Good governance

Field of activity

  • Agricultural research 25%
  • Agro-industries 25%
  • Food crop production 50%

Funding channel

  • Suomen julkinen sektori
  • Kehitysmaan julkinen sektori



Code for the object of funding