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Agriculture and industry: Interaction

The rise in the demand for food and in agricultural prices has stimulated the development of agriculture, its capacity to increase its purchases from industry and its deliveries of products to the market. Increased consumption of producer goods has been sustained by increased agricultural prices and state subsidies for the purchase of equipment more than by advances in agricultural productivity: the growth in agricultural production has been obtained by extending crops rather than by increased yields.

Agriculture's demand for industrial goods

Over the past decade there has been striking growth of agriculture's demand for industrially produced goods. Between 1965 and 1985 the number of tractors has more than doubled, from 24,510 to over 50,000; the number of combine harvesters increased from 2,450 to 4,800. Consumption of fertilizers and other chemical products has risen more slowly.

The greatest growth has been of goods and inputs, use of which ensures high production: mechanization, irrigation equipment, fertilizers and plant protection products for growing fruit and vegetables, and so on.

The public agricultural sector still absorbs the largest share of capital goods and intermediate products, but in the 1980s, the private sector has rapidly reduced the gap with consumption of some goods (irrigation equipment, building materials and means of transport) exceeding that of the public sector.17 Between 1980 and 1983, the private sector acquired 27.000 tractors. 4.000 hand ploughs. 10 000 transport vans. 2.000 lorries and 30.000 motor-driven pumps.

Table 4.5
Consumption of Agricultural Equipment: Private Sector

  Total consumption Private sector %
Haulage equipment 49 651 24 435 49
Harvesting equipment 43 524 15,835 36
Ploughing equipment 67,993 26,351 33
Motor-driven pumps 60.611 47,734 79
Fertilizers (metric tons) 226,320 56,700 25
Plant protection products (quintals) 170,620 36,075 28

Source: Algeria, Ministère de l'Agriculture.

Most private sector purchases are for livestock (transport, drinking water equipment), market-garden crops (irrigation equipment, fertilizers, pesticides) and cash crops, whose prices have risen strongly and continuously since 1980.

Fertilizer and pesticide use is, for example, almost wholly limited to market-gardening and to a much lesser extent to cereals; only the public sector is developing the use of mineral fertilizer on cereals and pulses along with a more intensive use of mechanization and improved seeds.

In private sector cereal farming, where topographical conditions are favourable, machines have replaced animal power and human labour, but without updating cultivation techniques to promote more intensive soil-use. Instead, there has been mechanization of traditional techniques, whose effects on soil conservation are negative.18 Private producers' use of mechanization is to reduce growing costs rather than as a means of intensification of production.

Unlike the demand for machines, which is potentially high following the reduction of the number of milch cows and the rise in wages, the use of fertilizers and chemical products seems to have stagnated for several years. Consumption levels are less than half the norms recommended by the crop intensification targets set by the Ministry of Agriculture, (For example, 203,951 metric tons in 1984, as against a target of 459.000, or only 44%.) This is because in years of inadequate rainfall, or in areas where annual rainfall is less than 400 mm, fertilizers have little effect on productivity.

Generally, despite more widespread use of chemical products and machines, yields for all crops and livestock have remained excessively low: six or seven quintals on average per hectare for cereals, 18 quintals for forage crops, 60 to 80 quintals for vegetables and fruit. 2.500 Iitres of milk per cow.

State policy during the period 1973-83 was to promote agriculture's use of industrially produced goods. Large subsidies were given for agricultural machinery, chemical products and irrigation equipment. In particular, it attempted, through the relationship between cereal and fertilizer prices, to increase the demand for fertilizers and plant protection products. As Table 4.6 shows, the wheat-fertilizer price ratio went from 1.15 to 1974 to 2.90 in 1985.

Table 4.6
Prices: wheat/fertilizer compared

  Producer price: wheat Producer price:fertilizers (NPK 12.18.18) Ratio: cereal/fertilizers prices Yield per hectare
1974 67.70 55.2 1.15 5.8
1980 125.00 55.2 2.26 6.4
1985 200.00 69.0 2.90 6.09

Sources: Adapted from various issues of Statistiques Agricoles.

Until 1982, industries had to directly subsidize agriculture for the acquisition of equipment and products, selling prices being imposed by the state and frozen at their 1973 level. Since 1983, when the government took otter direct aid to agriculture as a charge on the budget, it has begun gradually to reduce the amount of subsidies and align selling prices on acquisition (import) and/or manufacturing costs. To balance this, it has agreed to large increases in agricultural producer prices in order to maintain demand. For example, the price of one quintal of hard wheat in 1980 and 1981 was AD 125, in 1986 AD 220: soft wheat at AD 115 per quintal in 1980 and 1981 rose to AD 210 in 1986: milk. 1980 and 1981, AD 1.75 per litre, 1986 AD 4.00. Potatoes, beans and lentils showed similar increases between 1980 and 1986.

Prices of fertilizers and mechanical traction also rose. Thus the rise in the prices of agricultural commodities (partly home by consumers) more than compensated for the elimination of subsidies for purchasing agricultural producer goods.

The transfer of incomes, in the Algerian case of a fraction of oil sales, to agriculture through raising agricultural prices and wages can be justified by the high proportion of the population that agriculture must still retain. It avoids or slows down the transfer of workers when sufficient non-agricultural jobs have not yet been created. It also makes possible the equipment of farms to a higher level and, when the conditions are created, the modification of production methods. Increased agricultural productivity will enable the self-financing of agricultural development, enlarging the demand for industrially made goods and providing the dynamic force in relations between agriculture and industry.

Stagnation of agricultural productivity may of course call into question the validity of this pattern of financing, intensification through enhanced use of industrial inputs without advances in production would simply increase the waste of resources and encourage the substitution of capital for labour.

The volume of investment in agriculture depends heavily on agronomic and technical advances which condition advances in production and the level of profitability of investments realized. In Europe, for example, after the Second World War, with the implementation of a new model of production, mechanization, chemical fertilizers, and production specialization, the proportion of intermediate consumption in gross agricultural product rose from 27% in 1950 to 50% during the 1970s. Over the same period, agricultural productivity was rising by 4% p.a.

It should be noted that, ill-considered use of intensification techniques can, however, have a permanent negative effect on the conditions of production through destruction of the natural environment and acceleration of soil erosion, due to ill-adapted mechanization, and salting of soils when irrigation techniques are inadequate.

Agricultural production and productivity

It is premature to conclude that there is now a permanent tendency for agricultural production and yields to rise consequent upon a wider use of new inputs. Statistics published by the Ministry of Agriculture for 1985 and 1986 reveal a significant increase in final agricultural production compared to the average of the results obtained during the first half of the 1980s.

Agricultural production has been marked by the two very good cereal harvests, in 1985 and 1986, which substantially raised the average of the previous five years. Climatic conditions were particularly favourable but the results were partly owing to the effect of the Ministry of Agriculture's crop intensification programmes. The year 1985 even saw record production, with three million metric tons of cereals harvested: the ten-year average since the beginning of the present century has been around 1.8 million metric tons.

Compared to the best three harvests of the 1970s (1971, 2,362 million metric tons; 1974. 2,680: and 1975. 2,313 million metric tons), the 1985 and 1986 harvests registered an increase of 15%. These production volumes were obtained on slightly fewer sown areas (2.600.000 hectares) than the average for the 1970s (3,000,000 hectares) which indicates a major improvement in yields.

The pattern for other products, both vegetable and animal, was more varied. Vegetable production rose from I.43 million metric tons in 1980 to 2.54 million in 1986, an increase of 77%. For animal products, poultry meat rose sharply. 12% p.a., beef and mutton 3% and I % respectively, while milk production rose only 1% p.a. In total, increased production was markedly more for vegetables, fruit, white meats and eggs than for cereals, milk or other animal products.

It should be noted that private farmers have put more stress on market-gardening (+45%), forage crops (+35%), and barley (+36.7%) intended for animal feed and meat production. The big state enterprises, the socialist agricultural estates, increased the areas under pulses, wheats, and forage crops for milk production. The state sector's policy thus attempts to correct the effects of the market and price system that favour the production of vegetables and meat over that of pulses, cereals or milk.

It must, however, be again stressed that increased production of some crops results more from an extension of areas cultivated than from improvements in yields. Areas devoted to market-gardening rose from 132,160 hectares in 1976 to some 260.381 in 1986 (+97%), those of forage from 239,330 (1975) to 468,840 (1984) and vegetables from 125.726 to 152.627 hectares (+21.3%). A partial substitution of barley for wheats should be noted, since barley, which accounted for about 26% of the cereals total in 1976, accounted for 37% in 1984 and 40% in 1985. The same applies to the relative growth in animal products, which is mostly owing to imports of soyabean cake, maize and barley, rather than development of forage crops.

Theoretically, the extension of forage crops, pulses, vegetables and fruit was achieved by the bringing into use of part of fallow land, which totalled on average three million hectares during the 1970s, 40% of the land under annual crops. By 1985-86 fallow land occupied only two million hectares and was expected to decline to 1,600.000 hectares in 1986-87.21 There is thus considerable potential for extending crops since it is estimated that some two million hectares, with good rainfall (more than 350mm) remain fallow. But these figures are only indicative of a trend, more marked in the public sector, towards improving crop rotation and developing forage crops to replace fallow.

Deliveries of manufactured goods have enabled agriculture to improve its equipment, extend the areas cultivated - forage crops and pulses, market-gardening and intensify some crops (cereals), but their impact on yields is not yet clear.

Average yields, measured since the 1980s, have remained low both for cereals and for livestock 7.35 quintals per hectare for cereals, 18 to 20 for forage crops. 80 quintals for vegetables and fruit. 3.6 for pulses. The only significant rise in yields was recorded as a result of the two very good harvests of 1985 and 1986.

It is, however, difficult to be sure that this is a permanent result of an advance achieved following the successful mastery of a technical change.

The increase in fertilizer consumption, for example, has not had all the effects expected on yields in the public sector, where they were most used. Similarly, the extension of mechanization, notably the widespread practice of mechanized ploughing (deliveries of equipment have doubled in the 1980s), has not much improved yields in the private sector. Thus, the process of agricultural intensification initiated by the agricultural services in the public sector, on the basis of a marked increase in consumption of capital, agricultural equipment, fertilizers and pest control products22 was achieved at very low levels of technical and economic efficiency.

The fact that the new technical methods were not adapted to local conditions, and that there has been no genetic renewal of seeds, together with the acute lack of trained manpower on farms, considerably limit the profitability of capital committed to increasing yields. The generalization of intensified rotation (cereals - pulses - forage replacing cereals - fallow rotation) makes the production units in the state sector bear the financial risks of insufficiently tested technical and agronomic choices. Production, for a majority of farms, does not cover growing costs and workers' wages, and each year the state has to balance the budget of cereal-growing.

Private farmers have limited the use of mechanization, seeking instead to develop sheep-raising to compensate for the losses recorded by cereal-growing. They have increased the consumption of inputs only for those irrigated crops (vegetables) that fetch the best prices on the market. In short, they prefer to maintain a more extensive productive system, using less fertilizers and then only in years with good rainfall, keeping more fallow and reducing their growing practices to limit expenditure on mechanization.

These observations demonstrate that the question of the productivity of inputs precedes that of the volume of investment to be devoted to increasing agricultural production. Opening up access to credit for farm equipment and running costs, and increasing public investment in agriculture can, indeed, make possible marked advances in production. But the costs are such that, even if they are borne by the state budget, it is legitimate to question the economic and social utility of a policy directed essentially at enhanced use of the material factors of agricultural intensification.

Numerous authors have shown the relationship between the growth of the consumption of capital and technical change in agriculture.23 While usually technical change cannot occur without an increase in capital, this does not automatically lead to the adoption of new, more efficient farming methods, especially if, for example, they are not yet available. The volume of investment should depend on the margin of agronomic and technical progress available that condition the level of profitability of funds committed in the production process. In other words, the volume of investment can he increased, especially when it is realized partly in foreign exchange.24 and imported equipment, fertilizers and other intermediate products, and yet lead to a decreasing yield.

In fact, the agronomic and technical conditions for a greater use of machinery and chemicals in agriculture have not been created concomitantly with the construction of an industrial sector oriented towards the needs of agriculture.

In Europe, the development of modern industry after the 1950s went hand in hand with the achievement of decisive results in the selection and improvement of vegetable and animal varieties and new methods of farming and animal husbandry. The increase in purchases by agriculture occurred along with an improvement in yields and labour productivity. The share of intermediate consumption as a percentage of the gross agricultural product rose from 27% in 1950 to some 50% an average in the 1970s. Over the same period, agricultural productivity improved 2.5 times.

Numerous studies have stressed the decisive importance of technical change in the global growth of production, and especially of the chain of agricultural progress constituted by the link between research, training and development.25

Agronomic research

So far, in the area of biology and technology, Algeria has mainly sought to adapt the species and techniques of the North to its own less favourable natural conditions. Rather than adopting an autonomous approach agronomic research has opted for the idea of the transfer of technology, of the advances realized by developed agricultures. It has thus proceeded to import animal and vegetable varieties and equipment that are the product of selection in different ecological, economic and social contexts.

In the semi-arid regions, soil and rainfall conditions make any adaptation very difficult, and resort to imported technologies has proved to have little effect on improving productivity. It has, however, had the effect of deepening dependence on the industrialized countries, and increasingly placing agricultural reproduction in thrall to growing and costly imports.

In the North, for example, animal selection and research on livestock feeding have been carried out on the basis of large cereal surpluses, particularly in the USA.26 Transfer of the industrialized or semi-industrialized model of animal husbandry, aviculture and dairy cattle, has forced Algeria to import increasing quantities of animals and secondary cereals (maize, barley, soya-cake, for example) which it cannot produce in sufficient quantities.

Imports of barley (2.1 million quintals) and maize (1.8 million quintals) in 1977, rose to seven million quintals in 1983 and ten million in 1985 (in addition to the 30 million quintals of wheat intended for human consumption). The original proposal was to develop milk production through the exploitation of genetically improved livestock imported from France. Germany and Holland. The growth of herds from this imported cattle has been extremely slow. The number of milch cows increased from 10.000 head in 1966 to fewer than 100.000 in 1985, as against a local breed herd of 700.000 head.

Genetically improved animals require a rich and balanced diet, and environmental conditions that cannot be found locally. The animal, therefore, has to adapt to a type of diet, made up of poor quality hay plus imported concentrated feeds, which underuses its genetic potential.27 Milk yields are low, between 2,000 and 2,500 litres per annum, as against a potential of 4.000 or 5,000 litres. Despite major investments in the import of cattle, the building of modern cattle sheds, the veterinary network, for example, this type of livestock rearing accounts for only 12% of total production and 6% of consumption. Compared to local cattle, reared by peasant methods, milk yields have barely doubled on average. Stock breeding has totally ignored the potentialities of local cattle, certain breeds of which, for example the Guelmoise, had been improved during the colonial period. Local cattle, like local sheep, have thus not benefited from any effort at selection and improvement, whereas a productivity gain of 10% would have been enough to make up for the milk production realized from imported cattle.

The development model for aviculture, for the production of chicken meat and eggs, relies on the importation of genetically improved strains and feed purchased abroad. Dependence is total, since strains, feed, veterinary products and certain equipment have all to be replenished from time to time.

Other factors of agricultural reproduction have to be imported which reduce the autonomy of local agriculture. Imports of potato plants rose sixfold, from 13,000 metric tons in 1971 to 83,000 metric tons in 1981, equal to 80% of the country's plant requirements. The same applies for forage seeds (86%) and kitchen garden plants (60%). Potato productivity is very low: production is equal to only three or four times the quantity of plants used, 0,3m mt of plants for fewer than 1 m mt of potatoes for consumption.

In addition to the difficulties of mastering the techniques of cropping methods, are the factors associated with plant health and the timing of imports. Essential products still depend on the quantity and quality of external supplies of intermediate goods, and shortages of foreign exchange can generate supply problems here.

The Ministry of Agriculture has embarked on so-called development research, that is, research that seeks to apply the biological techniques and advances achieved by industrial countries. This approach has led to the establishment of eleven development institutes, running programmes arranged by broad categories of crops and dismantling the system of agricultural research set up during the colonial period, which was better attuned to local resources.

By 1980, in its 15 research stations, the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) had only about 20 engineers and 30 technicians who, in principle, covered every area of agricultural research.

For the six experimental research stations of the most important development institute (concerned with cereal crops, pulses and forage crops, which are grown on 87% of the usable arable area), there were only 17 engineers and 50 technicians; the institute for market-gardening had nine engineers and six technicians; the institute for fruit tree research only five engineers and 18 technicians. In total, the research apparatus has only a few dozen experienced researchers for vast programmes, and they generally work in isolation from one another. The financial resources available for research are less than 0.5% of GNP.28

The education and training system has suffered from a similar approach, based on the idea that agricultural modernization can be achieved only by exogenous methods. The engineers and technicians who graduate from the schools of agriculture are theoretically responsible for disseminating new technical knowledge to replace old techniques. But the agricultural education system has developed independently of local research and the potential demand of peasant society.

In 1982, there were 50 teaching establishments, and the levels and possibilities of training have been gradually increased and diversified. Between 1973 and 1983, some 4,800 applied engineers and 1.000 state engineers completed their training course in the various schools of agriculture.

Despite the increase in the number of persons trained, however, the education system's impact on technical and social change in agriculture has been almost imperceptible. The agricultural education system has remained external to rural society in two ways: 1) the recruitment of students: and 2) the fact that the schools themselves are situated in urban areas. Thus recruitment favours not the children of peasants or those destined to set up as farmers, but those of city-dwellers, aspiring to be civil servants. Furthermore, virtually all the products of education are absorbed by state departments or para-statal agencies involved in agriculture.

There has been direct training of producers only for the lower levels of the various teaching grades, through those adult training centre programmes aimed at agricultural workers and wage-earners in the public sector, and for short courses - usually introductory or general - of between a week and a month. Over the ten years 1974-84 they involved only 64,000 workers, compared to the working agricultural population of 1,100,000.

As Table 4.7 shows, only an insignificant proportion of the peasantry has received any specialized training at all. This external orientation of the education system in relation to rural society, which also performs functions other than those of simply advancing that society, calls into question the relationship between training and development.

Table 4.7
Employed population by qualification (%)

  General education Specialized training Experience No training Total
Farmer/herder - 0.2 89.8 9.9 100
Full-time agricultural worker 0.6 3.0 79.6 16.8 100
Seasonal agricultural worker 0.3 2.6 46.6 50.4 100
Family helper 0.1 - 58.5 41.4 100

Source: Algeria, Office National des statistiques. Enquête main d'oeuvre et démographie

Effects of structural reforms

Material advances are not the only factors in technical change in agriculture. Equipment cannot be modernized without changing the methods of cultivation, neither can new techniques be widely disseminated without implementing the necessary structural reforms. The dialectic between equipment and organization, to use De Bernis' expression,29 is essential to an understanding of the interactions between agriculture and industry and the dynamic of the growth of agricultural production. Structural reform refers not only to the distribution of land among agricultural holdings of different sizes but also to the social forms of the organization of labour and the manner in which the peasantry is integrated socio-politically into the global society.

In the Algerian strategy, the option for an autocentred development model implied the choice of a structural policy involving exploitation of the whole potential agricultural space and full employment of the agricultural population. In other words, it involved the rejection of the colonial and/or capitalist pattern which consists in concentrating the development of agriculture on the best land and on the water resources available to them. In fact, a rejection of a process of socially excluding the majority of peasants from the conditions of agricultural modernization, leading to the destruction of soils and the deterioration of the factors of agricultural reproduction in vast areas of the country.

The conditions of long-term agricultural growth rested on nurturing a natural environment that had been destroyed by earlier modes of exploitation.

The response to agrarian dualism appeared in the 'agrarian revolution' programme initiated in November 1971, in the first phase of the take-off of the plans for industrialization. Restriction on the size of privately owned land in favour of landless peasants was the aspect that attracted most attention, at the expense of the new pattern of exploiting agricultural resources that it heralded.

It was proposed to increase the cultivable area by two or three million hectares in order to bring the total usable area to about ten million hectares through gradually putting into effect programmes of rehabilitating the soil, mobilizing water resources, planting trees and achieving full employment of all the available agricultural labour force. This option had the advantage of considerably increasing the amount of agrarian reform land by adding areas of soil rehabilitation so as to assign them to landless peasants and those whose farms were too small.

Finally, it was intended that the 'groupments de mise en valeur' (development groups), a form of work co-operative and a means of the organization of collective labour, by landless and small peasants, to carry out soil improvement programmes should eventually be transformed into agricultural production co-operatives which the state would provide with enough land and equipment for them to function.

The implementation of the agrarian programme during the 1970s showed the limited and largely formal character of the measures put into effect to accompany the industrialization process. While the nationalization of settler estates in 1963 had enabled the state to build up a sizeable agricultural domain of two million hectares, 27% of the usable agricultural area, the impact of the 1971 agrarian reform on private land ownership was very slight. The national agrarian reform domain had only some one million hectares, of which only 438.774 had been taken from private ownership, a little less than 10% of the total amount of land cultivated by individual farmers. The total number of collective assignees did not exceed 7% or 8% of the total number of agricultural workers, or 90.000 beneficiaries, organized, from above, into production cooperatives Public ownership thus increased from 2,084.000 hectares to 3.206.580.45% of the total usable agricultural area (7.710.810 hectares, leaving 4.504.230 in private hands).

By the end of the 1970s, about one-third (330.000) of the agricultural labour force was employed in the collective work sector, the other two-thirds 1600, to 650,000) were individually farm holdings of various sizes, most of which were too small to support the households

There was no real impetus to encourage small peasants to accept the new structures and collective forms of mutual assistance and co-operation, which were at the very heart of the strategy of agrarian modernization. The 'groupements de mise en valeur', the centrepiece of the plan to mobilize and organize the landless and small peasants, have a total of only 5.650 members settled on slightly under 100.000 hectares. Under other legal forms- peasant mutual assistance co-operatives - 16.000 other peasants have formed producers' associations based essentially on shared use of equipment.

In fact, the emphasis has principally been upon building-up a public agricultural sector and expanding state control over production and distribution. As in many African countries, the co-operatives have served more as a means of state control over the peasantry than as a democratic structure for organizing the peasantry and enabling their participation in the process of transforming agriculture.

Disaffection towards the agrarian reform and the co-operatives soon appeared among the peasants, especially as, without political and technical back-up, they had to face the inherent difficulties of introducing collective labour discipline and managing an agricultural enterprise.

In 1982-83,the formal policy of agrarian reform was abandoned in favour of a conception of the development of agriculture based more on market forces and activity by individual producers. In the general framework of restructuring the economy, the agrarian reform co-operatives were dissolved as they had been formed: without consulting the peasants who belonged to them. The public domain was split almost equally between the 'socialist agricultural estates', new names for self-managed agricultural enterprises, the area of which thus rose from 2,084,580 to 2.800,000 hectares or 36.03% of the usable agricultural area, and the individual sector- whose relative share grew- with 63.7% of the cultivated area. The service co-operative agencies (set up in each commune) were also dissolved: these had previously given assistance to the agrarian reform sector and small peasants, especially in the area of mechanization. This last measure was immediately followed by a sharp rise in charges for hiring agricultural equipment on the market.

The experience of agrarian reorganization shows that the strategy of agrarian modernization in Algeria has been largely frustrated by the desire to keep the agrarian reform within limits that retain the general balance of class relations within the rural areas. State action was presented as a measure to preserve social order in favour of the poor population in the countryside. Even so, it did not disarm the fractions of the middle and well-off peasantry, hostile to the agrarian reform process, whose positions might be threatened by any extensive democratization of social relations in the rural areas.

Slowing down the process of social differentiation, limiting the size of holdings and redistributing land, as has been observed in many countries, rather consolidated the position of middle peasants in whose favour the new agricultural policy has been implemented since 1982.

Abandoning the programme of assigning the potential agricultural labour force to extending the exploitation of agricultural resources based on control of the natural environment has, however, resulted in limiting agricultural growth and the role of agriculture in meeting the food needs of the population. It has also accentuated earlier trends towards soil deterioration, particularly in livestock farming and mountainous areas, further reducing the possibilities of agricultural reproduction in the long term.

The global dynamic of employment was thus sufficient to orient the rural labour force to other non-agricultural activities throughout the 1970s and the early 1980s and, through employment and mixed incomes, to keep a large number of small peasants on the land. But, today, it seems that with the fall in the growth rate of the economy and the concomitant fall in external receipts, the problem of employment is again leading to the question of which path the development of agriculture should take.


1. Meaning productivity per worker per annum. In China, for example, a stagnation of the value of the working day per employed worker but an increase in the number of days worked in the year, and hence an increase in production per worker and per annum can be observed. See Thomas G. Rawski, Growth and Employment in China. World Bank. 1978.

2. As Mahmoud Ourabah stresses, the cliches peddled about the Algerian economy's choices are long-lived, such as 'the alleged deliberate choice to sacrifice agriculture in favour of industry, industry allegedly sought more as an end than as a means, or again the option for heavy industry over light industry...' Les transformations économiques de l'Algérie, ENAP. Published 1982.

3. If the cultivated areas appear to have remained at 7.5 million hectares for several decades, presumably there must have been an extension of crops in the least favourable regions, notably in the steppe, to make up for the good land in the plain overtaken by urbanization. The stability of the usable agricultural area contradicts what can be observed and thus conceals a deterioration in the quality of the land being cultivated.

On the distribution of usable agricultural land by country see Terres vives et population. FAO 1984.

4. According to Monjauze, 'Expose de doctrine sur la rénovation rurale en Algérie', Direction de l'Agriculture et des Forêts, Algiers 1959.

5. See Le Maghreb, Hommes et Espaces, Armand Colin, Paris 1985, Jean Dresch, Géographie des Regions Arides, PUF, Paris 1982.

6. 'The Algerian Tell is very disadvantaged, not only because it has few real plains. [and] a good part of them are in the rain shadow of the littoral chains, but also because their geological structure does not really lend itself to the mass infiltration and retention of the water that flows there. Most... simply runs into the sea.' See Monjauze, 'Le sol et l'homme', Algérie Agricole, Algiers 1966.

7. By comparison, in Morocco, surface water is estimated at 16 billion m3 and underground water at five billion m3 for a total of 21 billion m3 as against 17 in Algeria.

8. D. Dubost. 'Notes pour une nouvelle strategic de développement agricole des regions sahariennes', Bulletin d'Agronomie Saharienne. No.5. July 1983. Ministère de l'Agriculture. Algiers.

9. Ministère de la Planification et de l'Aménagement du Territoire, Algeria.

10. For the period 1978-79 and 1980-84, investment in irrigation is not included in agricultural investment. With two-thirds of water resources used by agriculture, it is logical to increase the figure for agricultural investment by the same proportion.

11. See the IREP/Ministère de l'Industrie study on the needs of the agricultural sector for industrial goods. 1970.

12. Compared to the norms recommended by the technical services, the use of fertilizers is less than 41% of prescribed needs in the public sector and 18% in the private sector: the quantity prescribed for the whole of agriculture totals 500.000 metric tons.

13. The economically active population includes the employed population plus those seeking work and women working part-time. The employed population includes the population working at the time of the census or who worked at least six consecutive days in the month preceding the census.

14. In Egypt, the share of material production in the employed labour force was 66% in 1978-80. See Dowidar, 'La politique économique de l'Infitah et la construction industrielle', L'Egypte Contemporaine. No. 397. July 1984.

15. A. Prenant. 'Aspects de la croissance relative des petite centres urbains en Algérie'. Tours, November 1973.

16. See ONS No. 7. April-June 1985. 'La loi d'Engels de la baisse relative des dépenses alimentaires par rapport au budget est-elle verifiable en Algérie?'.

17. The rise in agricultural prices led to an explosion of private sector demand in the areas of construction (cement, concrete, iron, bricks etc.) goods intended for replacing dwellings and, more rarely, speculative buildings.

18. In the private sector, soil is generally prepared for sowing by two treatments with an offset disc harrow: seeds from the previous harvest are hand sown. The recovery of seed is also done with the harrow. Exclusive use of the offset disc harrow for soil preparation frequently forms a ploughing shield that resists rainwater infiltration end root penetration. Use of the same implement for covering seeds also leads to a random lifting followed by poor development and bad tilling after the lifting.

19. These prices must be seen as floor prices applicable to the public sector which delivers its production of cereals, pulses and milk to state marketing and processing agencies. Market prices valid for the private sector are much higher.

20. There were two successive rises in the prices of semolina bread and cereal derivatives: 20% in 1985 and 20% in 1986.

21. See interviews with the Minister of Agriculture in El Moudjahid, 24 June 1986.

22. The budget head 'supply of so-called "intensification" factors' rose from AD 1.500 million in 1982 to AD 2.250 million in 1986.

23. See Keith Griffin. The Political Economy of Agrarian Change, Cambridge. Mass.. Harvard University Press 1974.

24. The foreign exchange cost of production for some staples can reach 90% for battery eggs: in Morocco, it is approximately 60% for cereals.

25. Yamada and Hayami assert that in Japan 40% of global agricultural growth is due to an increase in inputs and 60% to technological change. Griliches' analysis of the growth of total productivity in US agriculture demonstrates that farmers' educational level accounted for 13.5%, and extension and research 27.4%. J. P. Wampach. 'La croissance de la productivité agricole', Développement Economique et Agriculture - Cahiers de l'ISEA, Vol. IV. No. 2, 1970.

26. See Revel and Ribond, Les Etats-Unis et la strategic alimentaire mondiale. Paris, Calmann-Lévy 1981.

27. See K. Hadjait. 'Dépendance alimentaire et modèles de développement de l'élevage', in L'Evolution de la Consomation Alimentaire en Afrique, Geneva. Editions Sociales.

28. FAO, Rapport sur la recherche agricole en Algérie, Rome 1985.

29. 'De l'existence de points de passage obligatoire pour une politique de développement Cahier de l'ISMEA, Vol. XVII. No. 2. February 1983.

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