Algerian Grain Production Could Double
Estimates from the US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service indicate that about 3 million hectares of grains have been planted in Algeria in 2009 — 68% wheat, and 30% barley. Favorable soil moisture and good weather conditions throughout the country could bring total grain production to 4 million metric tons (MT). According to the Global Agriculture Information Network report, Algeria’s grain production over the past five years has averaged at an estimated 2.7 million MT, reaching a maximum of 4.3 million MT in 2007.
Approximately 2 million hectares of land have been planted with wheat, accounting for about two-thirds of Algeria’s total grain area in 2009. Durum wheat accounts for 1.3 million hectares, common (bread) wheat for about 600,000 hectares, and wheat intended for seed production 180,000 hectares. However, shortages in seeds and fertilizer supplies in some areas may slightly impact overall wheat output.
Barley ranks second behind durum wheat in order of importance of grain area. For MY 2009/10, barley plantings are estimated to be over 800,000 HA, with total production projected at about 980,000 MT. Barley production in market year (MY) 2008/09 was 560,000 MT, due to drought and poor weather conditions in that year, with the average yield at 0.8 tons per hectare. Barley imports in MY 2008/09 are expected to more than double their level in MY 2007/08. The exemption from value added tax (VAT) for corn and some other ingredients destined for animal feed manufacturing should encourage imports of these products.