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Food security: Algeria and Italy’s Bonifici Ferraresi” (BF) group signs contract to boost agricultural production

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Algeria and Italy have finalized a significant agreement aimed at enhancing food security and agricultural production in Algeria.

The project will focus on cultivating grains and legumes across an estimated 36,000 hectares in Timimoun, Algeria.

According to a joint statement released on Saturday, the agreement involves a 420 million euro (approximately USD455.3 million) investment from Italy’s “Bonifici Ferraresi” (BF) group and Algeria’s National Investment Fund.

The initiative is set to include the production of wheat, lentils, dried beans, and chickpeas, alongside the establishment of facilities for pasta production and storage. Scheduled to commence in 2024, the project aims not only to bolster Algeria’s agricultural output but also to significantly increase exports and create over 6,700 employment opportunities within the region.

Algeria’s strategic objective with this project is to achieve self-sufficiency in durum wheat by expanding cultivation areas to 500,000 hectares in the southern regions of the country and increase graim farminf by 18%.

Youssef Cherfa, Algeria’s Minister of Agriculture, emphasized the importance of reclaiming desert lands to bolster national grain production capabilities and ensure food security. He announced plans to initiate land reclamation activities this year, in collaboration with international partners, including entities from Italy and Qatar.

The newly signed Algerian-Italian agreement falls under the “Mattei Plan,” named after Enrico Mattei, the founder of Italian energy giant Eni. Dating back to the 1950s, this initiative underscores Italy’s commitment to fostering cooperative relations with African nations, aiming to bolster economic development and sustainable agriculture across the continent.

Algeria’s crops have had undergone months of climate-change induced drought. As the world’s fifth largest importer of wheat this partnership is needed to significantly influence cereal production capacity.

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