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ALGIERS, July 17 (Reuters) – Algeria’s grain production is expected to increase to 4.6 million tonnes for the 2017 season versus 3.3 million in 2016 thanks to good levels of rain, a source at ministry of agriculture told Reuters.
“We are expecting a little more than 3 million tonnes durum and soft wheat, and around 1.5 million tonnes of barley,” the source said.
Official figures should be released by the end of July. The output rise is due to a better rain fall, particularly in December and January, the source said.
Algeria’s total land used for grain is estimated at 3.5 million hectares for this season compared with 3.3 million hectares in 2016.
“It is roughly 1.6 million hectares for durum, 0.5 million hectares for soft wheat, and 1.3 million hectares for barley,” the source said.
Algeria is one of the biggest importers of grains (durum,soft wheat and barley) in the world with an average of 5 million tonnes per year, according to official figures.
But the government has been trying to reduce imports to help offset the impact of the slide in global oil prices.
(Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; editing by Patrick Markey)