WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Early prospects for Algeria’s 2016 winter wheat and coarse grain crops are favorable benefiting from recent widespread precipitation in eastern Algeria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) said in a March 23 report. Meanwhile, large swaths of land normally planted to cereals in western Algeria have suffered drought conditions due to a lack of rainfall.

Algerian Grain Agency (OAIC) reported more than 3.3 million hectares planted this season although plantings were stunted by a considerable dry spell that stretched into January. The drought primarily affected western regions of Algeria. Improved rainfall during the remainder of the season would partially mitigate the negative impact of early season dryness but is unlikely to a full production recovery, as reported by the Algerian Great Crop Institute (ITGC).

The market year 2015-16 grain harvest reached 4 million tonnes. The grain output was up 14.3% compared to the previous year at (3.5 million tonnes) despite unfavorable weather conditions that were well managed. The grain harvest reached 4 million tonnes of which bread wheat accounted for 1% of the total output.

As result to falling oil prices, the GOA implemented measures to reduce imports. Algeria is seeking to raise its grains production, mostly durum, to about 7 million tonnes per year over 2015-19 to reach self-sufficiency in durum wheat by 2019.