ALGERIA’S WHEAT PRODUCTION RISES 61 PCT IN PAST SIX YEARS

ALGIERS, -- The average production of wheat in Algeria has increased by 61 per cent over the past six years compared with the 2000-2008 period, says Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries Abdesslam Chelgham.

Replying to a question Thursday in the People's National Assembly (the lower house of Parliament) on the sector's strategy to ensure wheat self-sufficiency, the minister said the average annual production of hard wheat reached 21 million quintals 2.1 million tonnes during the 2009-2015 period, against 13.5 million quintals in the 2000-2008 period.

Through a five-year development programme covering the period from 2015 to 2019, Algeria seeks to reduce its cereal imports and to achieve self-sufficiency in hard wheat, he added.

In order to meet the country's wheat requirements, estimated at 80 million quintals per year, the minister emphasized the need to "resort to irrigation for cultivation of cereal crops and to step up efforts in research and development to improve technical performance".

In this regard, Chelgham said the government, through its programme of increasing cereal production through irrigation, launched in 2008-2009 in 13 provinces before being expanded to 43 provinces, aimed to achieve 600,000 hectares of irrigated land for cultivation of cereals by 2019.

The minister also recalled the incentives granted by the State to cereal producers for the purchase of irrigation equipment.

Source: Name News Network