Although fruit tree cultivation occupies only 3% of the agricultural area, the production of this sector and its value have been on an upward trend in recent years. The proof, the production reached the threshhold of exports.
For the Minister of Agriculture, the fruit tree cultivation sector occupies an important place in the politics of his sector. Supporting figures, he recalls that the area planted with fruit trees, all fruits combined, was 154 000 ha in 2000 before reaching 262 000 ha in 2018, an increase of 70%. “In 2018, trees occupy 3% of the area useful for agriculture,” he said yesterday at the meeting on the field of fruit tree cultivation held in Algiers.
Abdelkader Bouazghi dwelt on the various statistics that show that in 2018, tree production was 16 892 480 quintals against 4 523 370 quintals in 2000, an increase of 273%. He gives the example of stone fruits with a production of 6,110,640 quintals and pips fruits with a production of 8,095,581 quintals.
It also highlights the rise in the value of national fruit production in 2018 to reach 197.8 billion dinars against 121.6 billion in 2010, an increase of 63%. “This value represents 8% of the value of global agricultural production in 2018,” he says.
As for exports, the minister says that Algeria exported in 2017, nearly 409 tons of stone fruits and seeds to mainly Thailand, Spain, Vietnam and Russia.
It also emphasizes the important role played by nurseries in the fruit tree cultivation sector since “they are a breeding and production center for high quality plants”.
For his part, Mohamed Kheroubi, central director in charge of the regulation and development of agricultural production at the Ministry of Agriculture, remarked on a “clear expansion” of planted tree areas. According to him, farmers are showing more and more enthusiasm for this sector. “We all noticed that there was no import last year, including apples and pears,” he notes.
Describing the national production of “very good” quality, he considers, however, that there are still efforts to be deployed for the development of this sector. To this end, he insists on the establishment of new plantations, the regeneration of old plantations and the introduction of new productive and intensive varieties in order to “guarantee a good income for farmers”.
Mohamed Kheroubi talks about the last planting campaign of more than 9,000 ha. These, he says, “will go into production crescendo.” In 2022, he continues, “we intend to increase production to 22 million quintals that will ensure the needs of the local population, and this, concerning the various species including kiwi and banana.” It also specifies that the fruit tree cultivation sector mobilizes more than 1.5 million direct jobs as well as jobs generated through processing and packaging.
Le Soir d’Algérie