Current state and trends of wheat production in Algeria
Algérian Democratique and Popular Républic Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development Wheat for Food Security in Africa October 8 – 12, 2012, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Current state and trends of wheat production in AlgeriaBy Zeghouane. O & Benbelkacem.A
• Total area is 2.38 millions Km²(2 millions of desert)• 3.4 % is arable land, less thanone-fifth is cultivated thoughonly about 8.6 million hectares,or 3.5% of its total area is usedfor agricultural production.• Most agricultural activities arein the north of the country.The dominant crops are cereals,forages, food legumes andpotatoes.
There are five agro-ecologicalzones:• Sahel-type area along theMediterranean coast;• Sub-littoral plains;• Interior plains;• High plateaus and the stepperegion;• Sahara desert, with oases. Climate is : • Mediterranean type all over the north part of the country (hot summers and mild humid winters), • Semi-arid on the high plateaus • Desertic once we overpass the saharian atlas.
Cereals are the predominantcrops grown by Algerianfarmers, covering annually 3 to3.5 million hectares, nearly 40%of Algeria’s total agriculturalland and 2.5 million as fallow.Irrigated cereals cover about245,000 hectares.Algeria is one of the world’s leading importers andconsumers of cereals (220 kg per capita per year) whichis used for making couscous, pasta, local bread.Bread wheat is largely used for bread (baguette) and forcookies.
Pick yields(t/ha) Wilaya Species Average yield Pick yieldsAïn-Defla Durum 2,8 8Relizane Blé dur 1,7 7,3El-Tarf Bread wheat 2,7 6,8El-Tarf Durum 2,2 6,5Guelma Durum 2,5 6,5Bouira Durum 2,2 6,0Skikda Durum 2,0 6,0S. Bel Abbés Durum 1,6 5,8A. Temouchent Durum 1,8 5,8
Breeding activitiesThe Algerian wheat program has a close bilateralrelationship with the joint CIMMYT/ICARDA.As a result, most of the released varieties until the mid90’s were derived from CIMMYT/ICARDA germplasm.Since 1995, the germplasm movement to Algeria hasslowed down, reflecting the improved capacity of thenational breeding program through human resourcedevelopment efforts.
Constraints to wheat productionSemi arid environments is predominating with 43% of totalcereal acreage. Yields are low due to several abiotic and biotic stresses. - Scarcity and poor quality of underground water resources, - low and erratic rainfall, - drought recurrence, - high and low temperatures and salinity are the key constraints to agricultural production.
Technical constraints such as non respect of technical itinerary:• Abusing use of disc harrow and bad seedbed preparation,• Hand sowing or misuse of seed drill and use of low quality seed• Low application of fertilizers and weed control.• machinery adjustment, harvest losses are also causing problems.
New material selected during the yellowrust epidemic of 2004 has shown a realpotential of resistance. Out of this, fournew cultivars (Tiddis, Boumerzoug,Akhamokh and Massine) have beenreleased (2010-2011) and are beingdispatched to high performingfarmers for seed increase.With the collaboration with theCIMMYT/ICARDA we are releasing a newwheat cultivar (Yacine) with highresistance to Ug99 (2011).
Seed production program objectives• Improve the rate of certified seed use• Constitution of stocks• Introduction of the new varieties Seed availability : 2012 : 200 000 tons 2013 : 300 000 tons 2014 : 400 000 tons Stock s : 20%.
Cereal varieties produced by farmers Species Number of varietiesDurum wheat 19Bread wheat 10Barley 6Oat 5Triticale 1Total 41
Main agricultural policiesAlgeria has actually a veryfavorable macro-economic financial situation duemainly to the application of the structural adjustmentprogram of the government that permitted a resettlement of the large economic equilibrium in a short and medium term.
Main agricultural policies• The national plan of agricultural development (PNDA) started ten years ago by a plan in favor of cereal intensification using most appropriate farming systems in the favorable areas of northern Algeria. A battery of assistance means to farmers was allowed to improve production levels and reduce fallow fields.• Several mechanisms were adopted by stakeholders as policies called the policy of the renewal agricultural & rural (PRAR) to put in concrete form measures such as: Different credits with no interest, loans, subsidies, acquiring machinery with ease, irrigation equipments, technical and financial supports, insurance of a minimum price, bonus for seed growers, adoption of an appropriate technical itinerary…
Future plans for wheat productionMaintain assistance to farmers by allowing subsidies (credits,loans, leasing …),Assist them with a good technical itinerary with all requiredinputs.Develop irrigation (an objective of 1 Million hectares for2014).Modernizing machinery.Use an efficient transfer of technology and above all focusmore on human resource development (capacity building).