ALGERIA – The Foreign Agricultural Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts wheat production in Algeria to reach 3.3 million metric tonnes in 2022/23 market year due to good climatic conditions.
Post officials at FAS Egypt also forecast barley production to amount to 1.17 million MT at 1.2MT per hectare.
The figures are in line with the previous two seasons and slightly higher than the figures cited by the Government of Algeria (GOA) at 3.2MT for wheat and 772,000 MT for barley.
On the planted area, post maintains its marketing year (MY) 2022/23 wheat harvested area at just over 2M hectares (ha) and barley harvested area at just over 1M ha.
The estimations are in line with the previous two seasons but a slight increase from figures estimated by GOA which generalized at 2.6M ha for the land allocated for grains.
According to Post, the stagnating growth was ascribed to excessive dry season across the country in 2021/2022 year coupled with extreme heat which had adverse impacts on yields and resulted in a below-average harvest which impacted the farmers’ bottom line
Moreover, the stagnating growth was attributed to the fact that about 70 percent of Algeria’s farmland consists of family farms of less than 10 ha, which further constrains meaningful planted area expansion.
However, Post is hopeful that the MY2023/24 will realize higher yields since Algerian farmers began to sow their MY 2023/24 crop in September 2022 earlier than the normal October in anticipation of benefiting from possible early rains
The Ministry of Agriculture has also provided certified seeds, fertilizers, and technical and financial resources to the farmers together with dispatched supervision commissions for plantings to all the regions (referred to as wilayas) of the country to optimize yields.
Regarding weather and soil updates for 2023/24, the satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) chart by region shows poor vegetative conditions lying in the west and east coasts and highlands. Overall, precipitation has been inadequate, and it is reflected in the soil moisture
However, with substantial rain received in mid to late January, Post expects precipitation levels and crop conditions to show recovery.
For MY 2022/23, Post’s forecasted wheat imports to align with the USDA figure at 8.2 MMT and are based on projected lower production and stable consumer demand, as well as on private trade reports of a relatively strong pace of imports by the Algerian Office of Cereals (OAIC)