Document Type : Original Article
Laboratory Promotion of Innovation in Agriculture in Arid Regions, University of Biskra, Biskra, Algeria
Laboratory the Diversity of Ecosystems and Dynamics of Agricultural Production Systems in Drylands, University of Biskra, Biskra, Algeria
Cereals remain the main crop practiced in farms of some rural provinces of Biskra, south-eastern Algeria. The present study aims to analyze agricultural practices in cereal growing and to provide solutions to the constraints encountered. For this purpose, a transversal survey was carried out within 259 farms where irrigated cereals are grown, generally using borehole water, associated to other crops and livestock. Results showed that despite the availability of irrigation water, the production means in this region remain insufficient to promote the improvement of cereal yields. The extension of land in a non-regulatory way in cereal cultivation is an obstacle for farmers to obtain subsidies and bank loans allocated by the State. Also, mechanization is very underdeveloped and farming operations are largely performed manually. In addition, flood irrigation remains is very widely used and seeds used are farm-saved ones, especially in small holdings. The low doses of fertilizers and applied phytosanitary products negatively affect yields. The availability of unskilled salaried and family labor reduces the overall efficiency of technical itineraries. To fight against these constraints, farmers must first be encouraged to regularize the land situation of plots exploited in a non-regulatory manner in order to be able to benefit from State subsidies and bank loans. However, the success of this sector imperatively depends on the respect of the technical itinerary, the introduction of agricultural mechanization and its intensification. This can contribute to strengthening the country's food security in terms of cereals.