ALGIERS, Algeria can effectively stop importing agricultural products within three years, says Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries Abdelkader Bouazgui, who notes that results achieved this year and the production indicators are likely to allow the sector to attain the level of self-sufficiency.

Bouazgui told Algerian National Radio Monday: “If we will be able to maintain the same level (of production) we will be able to stop importing agricultural goods in two or three years.”

The current level of production has been achieved thanks to the measures mobilized by the State, including the large investments in the areas of production, the extension of irrigated areas and the supervision of farmers’ use of technical processes of production.

In this regard, Bouazgui mentioned the record cereal production which hit this year reached 60.5 million quintals (6.05 million tonnes).

The results recorded in the cereal sector, however, are still not sufficient to stop imports now, in view of the high demand for consumption and processing, but maintaining the same level of production in the next two years will enable the country to achieve self-sufficiency in durum wheat.

The minister also welcomed the results achieved in lentils production, which increased from 4,580 quintals in an area of 920 hectares in 2001 to more than 300,000 quintals from a cultivated area of 27,000 hectares in 2018.

“Such results would allow us to ban the import of a wide range of vegetables (lentils, chickpeas and beans) in the coming years,” he said.

The import ban on many fruits and vegetables has also had a positive impact on local production, plus the State’s support which consisted of building infrastructures (dams, irrigated areas and electricity), and the direct support provided to farmers (supply of 50 per cent to 60 per cent of tools required), said the minister.

“The sector is progressing following the recommendations of the last National Conference of Agriculture and in accordance with the plan decided by President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika in 2009 in Biskra,” he added.