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Tunisia national TV anchor warns semi-skimmed milk is ‘not healthy for adults’

January 11, 2023 at 10:52 am

Empty shelve of milk in a supermarket in Ariana, suburb of Tunis, Tunisia, on September 9, 2022 [Chedly Ben Ibrahim/NurPhoto via Getty Images]

A Tunisian national TV presenter has started the 8 o’clock evening news with a warning that semi-skimmed milk is not healthy for adults.

The North African country has been experiencing a severe shortage of dairy products as food prices soar across the globe.

The price of fodder for cows, energy and water, have risen since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and dairy farmers have sold many of their animals saying they can no longer afford to produce milk at the state-mandated purchase price.

This has been exacerbated by a decision to reduce subsidies for energy and water as part of an IMF loan deal, and a drought which has affected the water supply.

Authorities raised the price of fuel five times last year as part of its plan to reduce energy subsidies.

In the summer last year, the government cut water supplies, worsening the water scarcity already prevalent, particularly in remote parts of Tunisia where livestock and agricultural production are concentrated.

READ: Inflation hits 10.1% in Tunisia

Several reports say that cows are being smuggled from Tunisia and into Algeria, which will further increase the shortage.

As well as dairy products, food essentials, such as sugar, flour and cooking oil are hard to find in the shops and supermarkets have informally rationed certain products.

Experts have said that food supply issues in the country were in place before the war due to Tunisia’s dire state finances.

In 2021 President Kais Saied seized far-reaching powers and has been accused of failing to resolve or even address Tunisia’s crumbling economy whilst concentrating on shoring up his position.

Saied has cracked down on his critics, imprisoned the former prime minister and accused the main opposition leader of supporting terrorism.

Since 2011, after Tunisia’s revolution, the economy has been slow and plagued with accusations of corruption.