ALGERIA – Algeria is planning to plant 45,000 hectares under sunflowers as part of sunflower production campaign aimed at improving local supply and shielding the country from erratic and expensive imports.

The initiative was announced by Mohamed Haroun, a member of the Confederation of Algerian Industrialists and Producers (CIPA), ahead of 2023 sunflower production campaign 2023to be launched this month.

Algeria is a net importer of cooking oil with 2020 imports accounting for about 84% of total consumption, according to data from Malaysian Palm Oil Council.

In 2021, the production of edible oils in Algeria was 188,000 metric tons and is forecast to reach 212,000 metric tons by 2026.

 On consumption, the country stands at 684,000 metric tons and is forecast to reach 715,000 metric tons by 2026, according to Report linker outlook 2022-2026.

In addition, Trademap platform data reported that Algeria imported almost all of its sunflower seed needs in 2021, which cost the country nearly US$16 million.

The campaign, therefore, is intended to stimulate the production of oilseeds to support the demand for raw materials for crushing plants as well as reduce import costs.

According to the state officials, seeds will be imported and distributed through the network of grain and pulse marketing cooperatives and yields should be between 2 and 3.5 tonnes per hectare

Mr. Mohamed, in an interview with the local daily TSA, revealed that the state has singled out Cevital, the largest private conglomerate in Algeria with interests in the agri-food sector as the sole buyer of the harvest.

Tanzania Agricultural Seeds Agency urged to increase palm oil seedlings

Meanwhile, as Tanzania schemes to boost the cultivation and production of palm oil, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has directed the Tanzania Agricultural Seeds Agency (ASA) to increase production of palm oil seedlings to at least 300,000 in a year.

The directive aims to halt the importation cost of edible oil which costs the country TSH470bn (US$201M) every year.

This comes after a recent call by the minister for politicians to use their platforms in promoting the cultivation of palm oil among their citizens.

Tanzania aims to increase its production which stands at 290,000 tonnes to meet the annual demand of 650,000.

According to the minister, the county has been covering for the deficit by importing 360,000 tonnes which translates to 55.4% despite having the potential to self-sufficient.

Majaliwa stated that an increase in production and distribution of the seedlings will automatically stimulate and assist more farmers to chip in and start cultivating the crop, the needed helpful development which will improve edible oil production within the country

As part of responding to the prime minister’s directives, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at ASA, Dr. Sophia Kashenge said the Agency was working to intensify palm oil production nurseries at its three main farms in Bugaga (Kigoma), Mwele (Tanga) and the Morogoro-based Msimba farm.

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