Embassy Sponsors Conference to Combat the Red Palm Weevil

The Chargé kicked off a three-day international conference in Tunis on combating the red palm weevil, a global pest which threatens the country’s date palm orchards.  More than 60,000 Tunisian households depend upon the date harvest for their livelihood, and dates comprise Tunisia’s second most important cash crop, behind olives (making up 12% of the economy).  Through a series of lectures and workshops, conference participants discussed best practices for treating Tunisia’s date palms and critiqued the government’s strategy for protecting an annual harvest valued at more than $200 million.  PAS supported the conference with a grant to local NGO “SOS Environment” to organize the conference and fund the participation of some of the world’s leading experts on the topic, including several Americans.