The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abdelhamid Hamdani, announced today, Thursday, in Algiers, the revival of the plant and animal gene bank project, which has been suspended since 2007.
During his visit to the research station of the National Institute for Agricultural Research, which will host this bank, Hamdani said that all financial and technical obstacles that led to the suspension of this project have been removed, noting that the progress of works is currently estimated at 70 percent.
The minister pointed out the importance of this project, which, according to him, contributes to enhancing the country’s food security by providing seeds locally and reducing their import.
He added that this bank, which will be one of the 100 most important gene banks in the world, will play a pivotal role in achieving food stability in light of climate change and the health crisis in the world.
The bank is expected to enter service in 2022, according to the minister, who confirmed that his ministerial department is currently working to retrieve all the seeds of Algerian origin that are in international gene banks.
In a press statement on the sidelines of the visit, Mr. Hamdani revealed that with the entry into service of the gene bank and in cooperation with the “Galal” center, Algeria will not import potato seeds within 2024, adding that the import bill for potato seeds last year shrank by about 50 to 60 percent compared to previous years.