- Title: "The state must support us" Algerian wheat growers demand help from government
- Date: 2nd July 2020
- Summary: MEDEA, ALGERIA (JUNE 30, 2020) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF WHEAT FIELD VARIOUS OF WHEAT SPIKES HAYSTACKS SEEN IN THE FIELD MOVING SHOT BETWEEN WHEAT SPIKES INVESTOR IN AGRICULTURE, SLIMANI YOUCEF, WALKING THROUGH FIELD YOUCEF GRINDING WHEAT IN HAND (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) INVESTOR IN AGRICULTURE, SLIMANI YOUCEF, SAYING: "Despite the lack of rain, we have harvested enough wheat, and if they (the government) provide us with the means and places for storing the wheat, we will not need to import wheat from abroad. That is because we own land and we are only lacking in storage space as well as the material means. People are avoiding working in wheat cultivation because of the lack of means." YOUCEF INSPECTING WHEAT IN HIS HANDS VARIOUS OF TRACTOR CUTTING WHEAT REFLECTION OF MAN DRIVING TRACTOR WHEAT GRAINS BEING POURED IN BAG VARIOUS OF WORKER EMPTYING GRAINS IN BAG VARIOUS OF TRACTOR MOVING THROUGH FIELD (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FARMER, SAADI MOHAMMED, SAYING: "The state must support us. The state must support us by any means and with money. We do our part, we do the cultivation. JOURNALIST ASKING FOLLOW UP MOHAMMED: "Because we work well in agriculture and if the state supports us, we will not import from abroad anymore. Our wheat will be enough for us." VARIOUS OF FARMERS DISTRIBUTING HAY STACKS ACROSS FIELD FARMER, OMAR, DRIVING TRUCK FARMERS DISTRIBUTING HAY STACKS USING TRUCK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FARMER, OMAR, SAYING: "Agricultural land is available. There are farmers to cultivate the fields. We don't want them to import wheat. Our wheat is enough for all of us. We just need government help." TRACTOR MOVING THROUGH FIELD FARMER LOOKING ON FARMERS WITH BAG OF GRAINS HAND MOVING THROUGH GRAINS
- Embargoed: 16th July 2020 10:06
- Keywords: Agriculture Algeria Environment Market Wheat
- Location: MEDEA, ALGERIA
- City: MEDEA, ALGERIA
- Country: Algeria
- Topics: Commodities Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA001CL4A9UD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: As the country's harvest season begins, Algerian farmers demand more support from their government, complaining of little help with storage and distribution of locally produced wheat across the country.
Meanwhile, official data shows that the country has imported larger amounts of wheat during the first quarter of 2020 compared to last year.
Farmers and investors said that Algeria - which is the largest buyer of European wheat - wouldn't have to rely on imports if the government provided more support for its local industry.
"Despite the lack of rain, we have harvested enough wheat," said agriculture investor Slimani Youcef. "If they (the government) provide us with the means and places for storing the wheat, we will not need to import wheat from abroad," he added.
While the land and skilled labour exist, Youcef said workers are increasingly avoiding the agricultural industry due to the significant lack of resources.
"The state must support us by any means and with money," said Saadi Mohammed, a 62-year-old wheat farmer.
Algeria has been trying to cut spending on cereal purchases and other goods to ease the impact of a fall in energy export revenue, the main source of state finances.
Despite attempts to cut back, the import bill for durum wheat, soft wheat, semolina and flour reached $629.50 million in January-March, up from $614.39 million in the first three months of 2019, according to customs' figures.
Algeria is among the world's biggest wheat buyers, sourcing most of its supply from France. It spent about $3 billion on wheat imports last year, including durum wheat, flour and semolina.
(Production: Abdelaziz Boumzar, Thaweb Herzallah, Nadeen Ebrahim)
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