Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fishing Abdelkader Bouazgui said, Saturday in Sidi Bel Abbès, that Algeria has made significant strides to ensure its food security.
Speaking at the opening of a “national conference on food legumes,” in Sidi Bel Abbes, in the presence of representatives of the Inter-professional Council on Legumes and Local Farmers, the minister said that “Algeria managed, as part of the strategy of President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to develop the agricultural sector and made significant strides to ensure food security, deemed as one of the fundamentals of the national sovereignty.”
Bouazgui stressed the need for combining the efforts of all the players to increase the production, meet the needs and achieve the food security.
“Since 2000, a genuine national mobilization has been launched on the sector of agriculture and rural development, through the elaboration of a National Plan on Agriculture Development. It aims to improve the living conditions of the rural populations, preserve the forest resources, modernize fishing and aquaculture,” added the minister.
For this, “the State has allocated more than DZD 3,000 billion and mobilized all the national support mechanisms,” he said.
“Thanks to this economic development policy, agriculture currently accounts for 12.3% of GDP and achieved a 3.25% growth rate, the equivalent of a value of DZD3, 216 billion.”
With regard to the “strategic” legume industry, the minister emphasized its economic importance for it is cultivated in 35 provinces and employs more than 200,000 persons.
In the past year, the “cultivated surface exceeded 112,000 ha while production hit 1.3 million quintals, i.e. DZD 16 billion, making a 60% growth rate compared with 2010,” he said.
The Agriculture sector ambitions to intensify the pulse crop acreage, guaranteeing water resources, high quality seeds and modern tools.
The Agriculture ministry plans to cultivate pulse crops in the set-aside lands, he said. More than 78,000 ha of set-aside lands have been recovered, including 10,000 ha devoted to the pulse crop acreage.
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