ALGIERS, ALGERIA — A lack of rain dropped Algeria’s grain production in 2021-22 by 38%, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA estimates total wheat and barley production will drop to 3.5 million tonnes.

As a result, imports are expected to increase. Trade data showed that 7.548 million tonnes of wheat was shipped to Algeria in 2020-21. For the 2021-22 market year, the USDA estimates imports will increase to 8 million tonnes, despite policies in place to reduce imports.

The government launched a 2020-24 road map aimed at reducing the nation’s food import bill by $2.5 billion. Part of the strategy is to increase production of durum wheat and barley. It plans to increase cereal production to 7.1 million tonnes and to cultivate oilseeds such as peanuts, soybeans and rapeseed on 50,000 hectares by 2024.