"Fish breeding at the gates of the desert: This was the bold idea that prompted me to build my own aquariums and start an aquaculture project in 2019.
I came up with the idea in 2016 after I attended training programs on fish breeding techniques in Gabes and Djerba. I first built aquariums and bought aquaculture feed, but realized I needed more funds to develop the project. I expanded by opening up a space where I could both sell fish products and serve fish dishes directly to visitors passing by to enjoy the beauty of this place.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I struggled to keep my business going. Government-imposed shutdowns and import disruptions affected my raw material supply, putting my business and the jobs of my three employees at risk.
Forced to sell my entire stock to make ends meet, I turned to my network of young entrepreneurs for support. They directed me to the US government's COVID-19 Recovery Grant Fund, delivered through the USAID Tunisia JOBS program. I applied to the program with the hope of diversifying my offerings and breaking into the aquaponics field. JOBS' grant helped make this dream a reality."
Mohamed Tounekti - Tounekti Aquaculture