Algeria to Launch a Digital Grain Stocks Management System
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Post maintains Algeria’s (MY) 2022/23 Wheat harvested area at just over 2 million hectares (ha) and barley harvested area at just over 1 million ha, in line with the previous two seasons. Post estimates are slightly higher than the figures cited by the GOA officials. In December 2022, the Minister of Agriculture, Abdelhafid Henni, reported during the plenary meeting of the Nation’s Council at the Senate that the area allocated to Grains reached 2.6 million hectares (ha) in 2022 which represents 31 percent of agricultural land in rotation. Post’s forecast for stagnant growth in Wheat and barley is based on several factors.
The 2021/22 season was arid across much of the country. It also had extreme heat; weather events adversely impacted yields and resulted in a below-average harvest, impacting the farmers’ bottom line. In addition, Post believes that due to the pandemic and the squeeze on labor and financial resources, Algerian growers are, at best, keeping pace with past seasons’ plantings. Finally, about 70 percent of Algeria’s farmland comprises less than 10 ha of family farms, further constraining meaningful planted area expansion.
Post’s area forecast considers Government incentives to expand plantings, as well as fixed Wheat prices. In late 2020, the GOA launched an Agricultural Roadmap to develop the sector, focusing on essential commodities such as Wheat, corn, soybeans, and sugar. The roadmap seeks to broadly modernize crop farming in Algeria by using drones and satellites, for example. In addition, the strategy envisions the expansion of irrigation.
Only 10 percent of Algeria’s agricultural land was irrigated when the strategy was launched. In 2021, then Minister of Agriculture Abdelhamid Hemdani announced additional plans to expand Algeria’s Wheat-planted area to 3.5 million ha. Hemdani did not establish a timeline for nearly doubling Algeria’s Wheat area. However, to date, Post does not have evidence to indicate that Algeria’s 2022/23 Wheat and barley area has grown meaningfully.
In December, current Minister of Agriculture Abdelhafid Henni outlined all the Government measures to develop cereal production, including the launch of a digital Grain stocks management system. The system will track stocks held by the OAIC and the private producers. The Minister highlighted that digitization would enable the government to have precise information on domestic supply and to review the distribution of supplies to the 432 flour mills nationwide, thus ensuring better coverage of the needs of each wilaya. Henni also noted the creation of a seeds bank, using drones and satellites to track crop production and the launch of a census for strategic crop harvests.
President Tebboune’s decision during the Minister’s Council to increase purchase prices for the 2022 crop. According to the directive, the purchase price for durum Wheat increased from 45,000 A.D. to 60,000 A.D (about $468 based on the official exchange rate) per MT, and bread Wheat purchase price increased from 30,000 A.D.to 50,000 A.D. ( about $390) per MT and barley and oat from 25,000 A.D. to 34,000 A.D (about $265.62) per MT. As the government seeks to control the Wheat and barley sector, raising official purchase prices aims to avoid speculation and transform cereals intended for human consumption into animal feed.
Wheat Import in Algeria
According to the AgFlow data, Bulgaria led its import market with 0.3 million tons of Wheat in May-June 2023, followed by Russia (0.2 million tons), Romania (0.12 million tons), and Canada (0.12 million tons). Post forecasted that in MY 2022/23 (July 2022-June 2023), Algeria’s Wheat imports will reach 8.2 MMT, the highest level since the 2016/17 season when imports hit 8.4 MMT.
Other sources: USDA
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