• Tunis

  • Monday, November 27, 2023 at 6:27 AM
    Last Update : Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 5:29 AM

Tunisia Faces Renewed Bread Shortage Due to Flour Supply Disruption

(AWP) - Signs of a crisis in bread production have loomed in recent days in Tunisia once again with long queues of consumers outside bakeries due to irregular flour supplies.

With bread being a daily staple of the Tunisian diet, fears are growing amid the public and in political circles over a repeat of last summer’s crisis when citizens in the North African nation had to stand in long queues outside bakeries.

Youssef, a Tunisian citizen, complained of the lack of bread saying, “The citizens are suffering from a lack of bread. Often, we do not find bread and return home without it. We always get the same answer; “No bread.” This is a huge problem for us.”

Ayman, another Tunisian, said there are always queues outside bakeries, but most of the time there is no bread available. He also said, "There is no flour and wheat either.”

Owners of bakeries complain too. They say the flour quotas they receive do not meet the daily needs of the citizens and they are demanding more flour to avoid a bigger crisis.

One baker said, “I have a problem with the shortage of flour. I receive 118 sacks of flour each month, but this is not enough. Not everyone is able to buy bread. I start working at 3:00 a.m.”

Sadek El Habboubi, the treasurer of the National Chamber of Bakery Owners, blames the crisis on the lack of additional amounts of flour for the October and November quotas.

Habboubi explained, “The problem faced by bakery owners is the lack of flour. Each bakery gets four sacks of flour and starts working at 11:00 p.m. Four sacks are insufficient. This is the key problem that has been discussed. There have been calls to provide bakery owners with more flour.”

He warned that bakeries could possibly stop working during the next few days because of the crisis, stressing, however, that the authorities are responding in order to reach a solution as soon as possible.

He said, “So far, there are promises to increase the quota for some bakeries with small quantities that get 118 sacks per month. There has been some response by the trade ministry so far.”