Algeria has restricted the export of foods that the country primarily imports, citing a growing food crisis caused by Russia’s military activity in Ukraine.
At a meeting of the Council of Ministers, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune issued the prohibition.
“On the joint proposal of the Ministers of Agriculture and Trade, the President of the Republic ordered to prevent the export of all consumer products imported by Algeria, such as sugar, pasta, oil, semolina, and all wheat derivatives, and assigned the Minister of Justice to prepare a draft law criminalizing the export of materials not produced locally as an act disruptive to the national economy,” a statement from the Presidency says.
The president then directed that efforts be made to encourage “farmers who supply the state’s strategic stock of hard and soft wheat, as well as dry grains, with various incentives, such as loan support, fertilizer, and other perks.“
Algeria’s efforts came as other countries took steps to protect their food supplies in the wake of Russia’s ongoing military incursion in Ukraine, which has exacerbated a global price spike in vital commodities such as food and oil.
Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Ukraine is the fifth largest. They supply 19 percent of the world’s barley, 14 percent of wheat, and 4% of maize, accounting for more than one-third of worldwide cereal exports.
Russia’s ongoing military action has hampered exports, as the country is no longer able to sell as much as it once did due to sanctions.
Food prices, which had been rising since the second half of 2020, reached an all-time high in February 2022, according to FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, due to strong demand, input and transportation expenses, and port disruptions.