Ambassador Blome traveled to Tabarka to visit the Professional Training Center for Fishing to see its new fishing simulator, which is the first of its kind in Tunisia. The simulator was purchased by the U.S. Embassy as part of the $5 million FARMER project, which is working with the Agency for Training and Agricultural Extension to create 5 training schools of excellence across Tunisia. In Tabarka alone, more than 200 students – almost half of whom are women – are gaining new skills and accessing new markets thanks to the training and new equipment provided through the FARMER project.
Good afternoon. I am delighted to be here in Tabarka to visit the Professional Training Center for Fishing. I would like to start by thanking the Director General of the Agency for Training and Agricultural Extension Khmaies Zayani and all of those involved in ensuring the success of the U.S. Embassy’s FARMER program, which is creating agricultural-focused training schools of excellence across the country.
With a long Mediterranean coastline, Tunisia has always been a country of sailors. And fishing has always been an activity of great cultural, social, and economic importance. The U.S. Embassy recognizes the strategic importance of the fishing sector, which generates more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs. We are proud to help fishers stimulate economic growth by gaining access to modern technology and new educational tools.
Today I had the opportunity to see the newly purchased 700,000 dinar navigation and fishing simulator in action. It is the first of its kind in Tunisia. I was impressed with the realistic models of different fishing conditions including boat position and speed, sea movement, and wind speeds. I was pleased to learn that the simulator will allow fishers to catch more fish in much safer conditions.
I would like to recognize a group of 14 female fishers, who successfully completed roping and fishing net setting training this month. The Embassy’s FARMER program strengthens the role of women role in the fishing sector, creating a more inclusive economy.
Creating jobs and boosting private sector-led growth are priorities for U.S. economic assistance in Tunisia. We are making this investment across the country because hard-working Tunisians like you are creating new jobs in your communities and helping Tunisia’s economy rebound.