Born in Hessi Jerbi, a small coastal village 20 km from Zarzis, Salem Dhaifallah is a fisherman's son. Unlike many young people in the region, he went to university and despite having graduated in mathematics, physics and computer science in 2004, he is still working with his father in fishing.
In 2011, he launched a small project of IT services, sales and maintenance that struggled to succeed. He then decided with five other fishermen friends to create the Agricultural Development Group (ADG) of Hessi Jerbi in 2015, an organization to represent their interests in discussions with the regional authorities and to gradually help solve the problems they encounter.
At 20km from Zarzis, and with 450 fishermen working on nearly 300 boats in the natural cove of Hessi Jerbi, seafood is struggling to be sold in the region at a competitive price. Based on this observation, Salem realized through the ADG the importance of an ice sales unit. "To solve this problem, we have decided to create a large scale ice-making unit "El Hachana ice", which will temporarily preserve fishery products from Hessi Jerbi and localities nearby. We then thought about the creation of two silos with a storage room, requiring an investment of 71,000 Tunisian Dinars."
"In 2016, we were contacted by the Regional Expert of the Mashrou3i Program organized by UNIDO and funded by USAID, the Italian Cooperation and the HP Foundation. Supporting the realization of the business plan and linking with this expert allowed us to compete in a multi-stakeholder program of the region and to obtain the first prize. His intervention also allowed us to obtain several financial supports, loans and grants, more advantageous than the classic bank financing, through organizations or programs such as Mercy Corp, FAO, ADDCI and NEMO II, that without him we would never have known about."
"Thanks to his assistance, we also benefited from training on fishing techniques in Japan for a ADG member, as well as a UNDP grant for the acquisition of office equipment and training in fishing techniques. In parallel and always thanks to the program Mashrou3i, I was able to benefit from the HPLIFE e-Learning training which taught me technological tools that enable me to better manage my project in the future, as well as its marketing. "
“El Hachana ice” company, with 4 permanent jobs will be able to produce enough ice and also provide storage facilities to meet the needs of 500 fishermen from the region.
"Thanks to the support of Project Mashrou3i and its experts, our vision is clear. We expect to acquire a refrigerated van in the short term to market and open a point of sale for marine equipment. With FAO, and under the guidance of the expert Mashrou3i we will also work on the long-term fish processing and study the opportunity to produce packaged sardines."