Entrepreneurs in Tunisia are equipping farmers with tech tools and data to help the agriculture sector weather the country's worsening water crisis. The nation is enduring its fourth consecutive year of drought, threatening the agriculture industry, which is critical for its food security and struggling economy.
With Tunisia's dams drying up and poor crop harvests forecast, the government has started rationing public water supplies, hiked water prices for homes and businesses, and banned the use of potable water in agriculture until the end of September.
Tunisian start-ups are trying to alleviate the problem by providing farmers with tools and technologies to improve their agricultural methods and manage their crops with less water.
"Technology will offer solutions, but it will never be sufficient without other reforms," said Adel Ben Youssef, an economics professor at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis in France and a former climate finance negotiator for Tunisia. Ben Youssef said the Tunisian government should upgrade the country's dilapidated water networks to avoid leaks and wastage and make better use of wastewater and rainwater to meet demand.