Sugar Cane Cultivation: A Successful Experiment in El Oued

Sugar cane cultivation has produced convincing results over the past season across El Oued province, specifically in the region of Ourmas and Guemar. It was introduced by Egypt (Upper Egypt) and Saudi Arabia (Jeddah), two regions that share similar climatic conditions (heat and humidity), and was initially adopted as a windbreak to fight against sand encroachment.

This experiment is in line with the State's agricultural forward-looking strategy, diverted towards the development of certain crops in the south region of the country, including sugar cane and soybeans.

Sugar Cane Cultivation

Introduction of sugar cane cultivation would undoubtedly be one of the finest achievements in the agricultural sector in Algeria, a major sugar consumer and importer. The stems of this giant, sugar-filled grass were first sown in the commune of Ourmas by Ibrahim Hazigue who is an experimental farmer. Up until this day, this precious plant is yet to be developed. Its stems are used as windbreaks and food for livestock. About five years ago, the first stems brought back from Egypt were sown in the land of Oued Souf. At first, the purpose was only to test the adaptation of grass to the soil and climate of the region, yet the results were found to be very encouraging. Sun, water and necessary heat to produce the stalks from which sugar is extracted are all available resources in this region. Cultivation of this perennial, which grows rapidly and does not need to be replanted every year, is simple and does not require much water (can be irrigated once a week). It also does not require too much monitoring and pesticides.

It is important to set out a well-studied strategy aimed at the optimization of this newly introduced crop, by implementing orientation, popularization and technical support mechanisms, in order to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, as well as food security.

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