REFAT (Renewable Energies for Agricultural and Rural Development in Tunisia), is a  cooperation project between the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea, and the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries. 

The project forms part of the international effort to combat climate change through the mitigation of greenhouse gases and adaptation to the adverse effects of these changes, with the aim to achieve the objective of 2 degrees Celsius. REFAT represents a real concretization of national efforts to reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels. 

  • Project implementing Agency: The Mediterranean Renewable Energy Center – MEDREC
  • Under the patronage of : The Embassy of Italy in Tunisia

Project in numbers

  • Start date: October 2018
  • Duration: 26 months
  • Total budget: 2 195 800€
  • Contribution of the Ministry of Agriculture (Tunisia): 222 800€
  • Contribution from the Ministry of the Environment (Italy): 1,973,000€


  • Reducing the energy consumption of water supply in small-scale irrigation and drinking water production in remote areas;
  • Integrating renewable energies sources adapted to the specific territorial needs;
  • Promoting the economic, social and environmental viability of small Tunisian farmers.

Watch video in Italian and French 

Outputs of the project

  • Promoting renewable energies and sustainable water management for agriculture (capacity building, start-ups, pilots and studies;
  • Installing a 500 kW photovoltaic power plant in SONEDE (National Water Distribution Utility) pumping station for drinking water in Gabes, Tunisia.

Expected results

  • photovoltaic power plant of 500 kW for pumping drinking water in rural environment;
  • pilot of desalination plants with slightly salty water for small-scale irrigation;
  • pilot of phyto-purification stations;
  • 10 pilots of photovoltaic solar pumping stations for small-scale irrigation;
  • 26 young graduates to receive trainings on renewable energies, sustainable practices and entrepreneurship, serving the Tunisian farmer;
  • 10 agents form the Regional Development General Commission (CRDA) to receive trainings on renewable energies and sustainable agricultural practices to support the small Tunisian farmer;
  • 10 start-ups in renewable energies and sustainable practices fields serving the small Tunisian farmer;
  • studies: (1) potential markets for sustainable technologies for agriculture, (2) proposing mechanisms to promote renewable energies in the agricultural sector;
  • B2B workshop on sustainable techniques and technologies for small-scale farming.

Ministero dell'ambiente e della tutela del territorio e del mare (MATTM)

Funding Authority

Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Ressources Hydroliques et de la Pêche Maritime

Funding Authority

Mediterranean Renewable Energy Centre (MEDREC) 

Executing Agency

Ambasciata d'Italia in Tunisia