TIPASA – the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development plans to plant nearly 2.3 million drought-resistant fruit trees by 2023, alongside the planting operation of 31.5 million of tree seedlings during the 2020/2021 campaign.
According to a document distributed to the press, on the sidelines of the national reforestation campaign, the official launch of which was given on Saturday by the Prime Minister, Abdelaziz Djerad, from the wilaya of Tipasa, the forest services plan, under a program for the development of drought-resistant fruit trees, the “planting of more than 2.3 million fruit trees, including one million carob plants, by 2023”.
A total of 500,000 carob, olive, pistachio, almond and chestnut seedlings will be produced by the first quarter of next year, according to the document.
This program, registered under the sector policy aiming to develop, enhance and protect forest areas, aims to “improve the living conditions of rural populations”, like other programs dedicated to encouragement of the creation of small livestock and beekeeping units.
Algeria is endowed with a rich and diversified vegetation cover extending over an area of more than four million hectares, including 1.42 million hectares of forests. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of this forest area is occupied by Aleppo pine and 21% by cork oak, while 280,000 ha has been reserved for newly planted species. To this should be added 2.41 million hectares of maquis.
The document from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development cited a loss this year of more than 41,000 ha of national vegetation cover, following the forest fires that had recently broken out.
The forest resource has also recorded, according to the same source, significant degradation in recent years due to overgrazing, illegal logging, urban sprawl and forest fires, which annually devastate nearly 30,000 ha of vegetation.
To this are added natural factors that have accentuated this degradation, including climate change causing recurrent heat waves and drought that reduce and / or disrupt the role of ecosystems, it is lamented in the same document.
According to the same source, the forest services plan to plant more than 30,000 ha by 2024, including 19,356 ha intended for the renewal of degraded forest areas following fires, and 11,000 ha under the basin management program.