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Algeria imports potatoes to compensate for shortages

The Algerian Ministry of Agriculture has decided to import potatoes to compensate for dwindling supplies this Autumn. The import won’t be higher than 2% of the national total. Potato production this year is estimated at 0.4 million tons. In 2008, this was 2.1 million tons.

Most industry people say they are “relieved” with the decision. Initially, there was scepticism, but now that the resolution is clearly meant as a compensation for the meagre supplies, most traders are positive. Furthermore, people have been assured that local distributors will handle the import, as opposed to 2007, when foreign traders were allowed to run the distribution, at the expense of Algerian growers and distributors.

The measure can proceed as long as it adheres to all technical, phytosanitary and safety conditions.

The Algerian potato harvest suffered from enduring heat waves, the Ramadan and a lack of workers. If it turns out domestic supply suffices to meet demands after all, the import will be stored as stock.

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