Oxford Business Group: Algeria towards food security thanks to increase in agricultural output

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Algeria “is closer to achieving its goal of food self-sufficiency” and could, according to official forecasts, halt the import of agricultural products within three years, said a report of the Oxford Business Group (OBG) devoted to the Algerian agriculture.

 

Algeria made a record cereal production throughout the agricultural season 2017/2018, harvesting 6.1 million tonnes of cereals between July 2017 and June 2018, i.e. up by 74% compared with the previous agricultural season (3.5 million tonnes), said OBG, citing the announcement made by Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fishing Abdelkader Bouazghi.

This large output allowed Algeria to achieve, earlier, the objective of producing 5.3 million tonnes of cereals per year before 2022, said the source, adding that vegetable harvests were also very strong, said the report.

National production of chickpeas totalled 34,000 tonnes over 2017/2018 against 12,300 tonnes in 2001, while the annual production of lentils reached 30,000 tonnes over the same period.

In January 2018, Bouazghi said that Algeria is able to meet around 70% of the domestic demand of food products.

The minister added that if this level is maintained, the country could halt the import of agricultural products within three years.

The increase in production also coincides with an important jump in agricultural export earnings, according to OBG, referring to Ali Bey Nasri, head of the National Association of Algerian Exporters, who said that the value of agricultural exports had increased by 50% year-on-year in the first months of 2018.

According to his forecasts, export earnings will reach USD75 to 80 million by the end of 2018, against USD57 million in 2017.

The increase in production comes following the public investments, estimated at DZD2,500 billion, carried out over the past twenty years, as political officials consider agriculture as a key sector of the governmental strategy to boost non-hydrocarbon growth, added OBG.

APS

 

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