Quantification of Virtual Water balance of Tunisia: Flows embedded in the main produced, consumed and exchanged Agricultural Commodities
New Medit, vol 16, n.2, (June 2017), pp. 11-18
Jel classification: Q25, Q27, Q17
This paper estimates the virtual water content and flows of Tunisia embedded in its main exchanged strategic agricultural commodities, with clear quantification of both green and blue water. Comprehensive surveys of inputs and outputs of the main agricultural commodities consumed and exported in Tunisia were conducted and validated in all bioclimatic regions of the country. Virtual water content was also estimated for the same crops in different bioclimatic areas. Our calculations show that Tunisia is a net virtual water “importer”. We also surprisingly show that, even though olive production is mostly rain fed, olive oil production is still identified as the most water-demanding commodity (7 m3/kg) in Tunisia due to the need of blue water for its processing. By exporting 145.9 thousand tons of olive oil and 97.8 thousand tons of date in 2013, Tunisia has respectively lost 1079.6 and 283.6 Million m3 of virtual water. On the other hand, by importing 2146.6 thousand tons of cereals and 15.7 thousand tons of potato in the same year, Tunisia has respectively saved 2901.7 and 3.14 Million m3of water resources.
trade, agriculture, virtual water, Tunisia