The Algerian government says the country’s agricultural sector now fulfills more than 70% of the required annual domestic staple food requirements.
In his evaluation of the performance of the agriculture in 2017, Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fishing Belkacem Chadi said the focus should now shift to cutting down production deficits in some key staples and lessening agricultural imports while increasing exports.
“Algeria’s domestic agricultural production currently covers more than 70% of its needs for food. Production surpluses have also enabled Algeria to maintain a presence on the international fresh produce market with dates, olive oil, vegetable products, potatoes and fruits,” Chadi said.
He attributed the production upsurge to sector reforms implemented by government over the past 2 decades through 5-year economic growth programmes. Among other growth achievements, Chadi said the production of cereals had increased by 298% between 2000 and 2017.
Soft wheat production recorded an increase of 83% in the same period. Tomato production and processing went up by 160%, and vegetable production went up by more than 200%. In the same period, the production rose by 182%.
However, the dairy sector continued on a sluggish growth trajectory, producing 3.5 million litres in 2016, up from just 1.5 million litres recorded at the inception of agricultural sector reforms in 2000. Major production upsurges were recorded in the meat sub-sector, which grew by 114%.
Significant increases were recorded in the production of eggs, oats, stock-feeds and fodder, pulses, tobacco, onions and grapes. To maintain the momentum, Algeria plans to increase the national capacity for processing and cold storage for fruits and vegetable products.
Following the upsurge in production and a growing export market, the contribution of the agricultural sector to the national gross domestic product (GDP) had gone up from 8% in 2000 to 12% by the end of 2016.