Algeria: Massive funding to grow wheat in the desert, and it pays off

Algeria has had the flair to diversify its sources of wheat supply, a winning feature in this global situation where the leading producers – Russia and Ukraine – are virtually at a standstill. Algiers adds another string to its arc by massively financing grain production in the south, in the middle of the desert …

The great southern Algeria has been busy with activity since the end of April, the harvest is in full swing on the irrigated land which grows wheat. Investors have responded to the call and the harvest will be very good. “Look at the size of these ears (…) It is good agricultural land, the yield could be doubled”A 60-year-old farmer told Adrar, reports ASD this Tuesday, May 24th. “Alhamdulillah, el aam zinn [l’année est bonne] and mild temperatures. We are on our land, there are large areas, water is available and in the south the harvest is early“, he added.

Another farmer in his 30s welcomed the authorities’ support for operating in the area: “They gave us the land and we developed it little by little. The state helped us. Last year, we achieved a yield of 40 fifths of wheat per hectare. hectares, this year we expect to make 55 or even 60 fifth.”.

Same tone in Timimoun: “I grow 200 hectares of wheat. I would like to thank the state. You dig a well, it finances you. You install a pivot, it finances you. You buy input, he finances you. We thank the state. And on our part, we respond by producing. Before, we used heating oil to power a generator. Today, the state has connected us to the electricity grid”.

Another farmer displays 500 acres of wheat and barley. According to him, the connection of the fields to the electricity grid has done wonders. “We were not connected to the electricity grid, but following the instructions of President Tebboune, we now have electricity”He stressed.

We have 6 pivots on each 30 hectares. Last year we reached 65 quint / ha. And this year it should be better (…). We archived files. They supply us with manure, seeds, machines for harvesting“, Excites another agricultural promoter.

In Gassi Touil, Hassi Messaoud’s director of agricultural services said the cereal area is 1,300 hectares compared to 900 in 2021.

In the light of this agricultural accident, the Algerian Interprofessional Grain Office (OAIC) ​​has already planned the opening of three collection points.

It is time to stabilize irrigation systems in these arid areas. It is a real technical challenge, with these underground water mirrors to be found and which in the long run will be rare. According to studies, the natural renewal of Sahara’s groundwater reservoirs is only up to 40%. In some places, the situation is already critical.

In addition, there is the problem of soil salinization. The water contains 2 to 8 grams of salt per liter. Every time we water this salt settles on the ground. Since it does not rain, this salt does not disappear, on the contrary, it concentrates. And sometimes after 5 years it is impossible to cultivate, we are so obliged to move the pivot.

And then all these operations (pumping, power supply to the pivot points, transporting manure over hundreds of kilometers, of the manure that we have to use massively on these sandy surfaces) are expensive. In fact, farmers can not keep up without government subsidies – e.g. half the price of electricity …

You will have understood: Sustainable solutions must be invented so that agriculture in the desert can be maintained as culture in the oases.

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