Algeria’s grain imports are poised to decline 3.2 percent in the current season after domestic production increased, the United Nations said.
Total shipments may drop to 8.96 million metric tons in the 2013-14 season begun July 1 from 9.26 million tons in the prior period, the UN’s Rome-based Food & Agriculture Organization said in an online country report dated yesterday. Algeria’s wheat imports averaged about 6 million tons in the past five years, or about 70 percent of domestic consumption, the report showed.
This season’s national grain crop may expand 9.1 percent from a year earlier to about 5.47 million tons after spring rains were ample in many regions and temperatures were moderate in western growing areas, according to the report. Production this year was about 27 percent higher than the previous five-year average and includes 3.6 million tons of wheat and 1.75 million tons of barley.
“In addition to the weather conditions, the increase in production was also aided by timely availability of seeds and incentives for farmers such as seasonal interest-free loans, support for farm inputs, equipment leasing and the Rural Renewal Program aimed at revitalizing the country’s rural regions,” the UN agency said.
Higher grain output raised concern about insufficient local storage capacity, the FAO said. Algeria’s government said in November it planned to increase capacity by 1 million tons. A joint venture signed last month aims to build 30 steel silos for the Algerian Inter-Professional Office of Cereals, according to the report.
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