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Algeria’s agricultural sector, which contributes about eight percent of gross domestic product (GDP) but employs fourteen percent of the workforce, is unable to meet the food needs of the country's population. As a result, some forty-five percent of its food is imported. The primary crops are wheat, barley and potatoes. Farmers also have had success growing dates for export. Cultivation is concentrated in the fertile coastal plain of the Tell Atlas region, which represents just a slice of Algeria's total territory. Altogether, only about three percent of Algerian territory is arable. Even in the Tell, rainfall variability has a significant impact on production. Government efforts to stimulate farming in the less-arable steppe and desert regions have met with limited success. However, herdsmen maintain livestock, specifically goats, cattle, and sheep, in the High Plateaus region.

Since Roman times Algeria has been noted for the fertility of its soil. About fourteen percent of the inhabitants are engaged in agricultural pursuits. More than 7,500,000 acres (30,000 km²) are devoted to the cultivation of cereal grains.[citation needed] The Tell is the grain-growing land. During the time of French rule its productivity was increased substantially by the sinking of artesian wells in districts which only required water to make them fertile. Of the crops raised, wheat, barley and oats are the principal cereals. A great variety of vegetables and of fruit]s, especially citrus products, is exported.

A considerable amount of cotton was grown at the time of the American Civil War in the United States, but the industry declined afterwards. In the early years of the 20th century efforts to extend the cultivation of the plant were renewed. A small amount of cotton is also grown in the southern oases. Large quantities of crin vegetal (vegetable horse-hair), an excellent fibre, are made from the leaves of the dwarf palm. The olive, both for its fruit and oil, and tobacco are cultivated with great success.

Algeria also exports figs, dates, esparto grass and cork. It is the largest oat market in Africa.

Wine production[edit]

See also: Algerian wine

Throughout Algeria the soil favours the growth of vines. The country, in the words of an expert sent to report on the subject by the French government, "can produce an infinite variety of wines suitable to every constitution and to every caprice of taste".

The growing of vines was undertaken early by the colonists, but it was not until vineyards in France were attacked by phylloxera that the export of wine from Algeria became significant. In 1883, despite precautionary measures, Algerian vineyards were also attacked but in the meantime the quality of their wines had been proved. In 1850, less than 2,000 acres (8 km²) were devoted to the grape, but in 1878, this had increased to over 42,000 acres (170 km²), which yielded 7,436,000 gallons (28,000 m³) of wine. Despite bad seasons and ravages of insects, cultivation extended, and in 1895, the vineyards covered 300,000 acres (1,200 km²), the produce being 88,000,000 gallons (333,000 m³). The area of cultivation in 1905 exceeded 400,000 acres (1,600 km²), and in that year the amount of wine produced was 157,000,000 gallons (594,000 m³). By that time the limits of profitable production had been reached in many parts of the country. Practically the only foreign market for Algerian wine is France, which in 1905 imported about 110,000,000 gallons (416,000 m³).

The Algerian body responsible for wine cultivation is called the National Office of Marketing of Wine Products (ONCV).

See also[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_Algeria — Please support Wikipedia.
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4 news items

ENPI Info Centre
Thu, 21 Nov 2013 08:20:08 -0800

The European Commission announced today the adoption of a programme of pilot projects for rural development and agriculture in Algeria, under ENPARD (the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development), worth an amount ...
Wed, 29 Aug 2012 01:47:41 -0700

Jilani. Aug 31, 2012. This is not the right decision to do. Many issues should be solved, the first is corruption to solve for in agriculture in Algeria. Other ones are only purchasing by credit letter which lead to monopoly for "large" businessmen.
Brookings Register
Fri, 22 Jul 2011 21:27:00 -0700

“The soil in Algeria is exposed to erosion by wind and rain; that's why the agriculture in Algeria, I believe, must change practice and practice no-tillage, in order to improve soil fertility, especially in semi-arid and arid regions,” said Ourida ...
Global Arab Network - English News
Fri, 12 Mar 2010 09:59:59 -0800

For further information about agriculture in Algeria see the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development: www.minagri-algeria.or and the National Chamber of Agriculture/Fishing and Aquaculture: www.chambrespeche-dz.com. Electrical and Electronic ...

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