World News

Algeria increases wheat supplies after food riots

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria’s state grains agency will increase by 18 percent the amount of soft wheat it supplies to the local market each month, official media said on Sunday, amidst unrest over rising food prices.

The amount of soft wheat the agency supplies to processors will go up from 350,000 tones to 430,000 tones per month from January 9 until August 31, Kahal was quoted by the APS official news agency as saying.

“In terms of availability of raw materials, we have enough to cover our needs,” APS quoted Kahal as saying.

He said the move was part of a package of measures adopted by the government on Saturday in response to several days of rioting, triggered by price rises for sugar and cooking oil, which killed two people and injured hundreds.

Other measures adopted by the government include a suspension of customs duties and value added tax on imports of sugar and cooking oil.

But there have been no reports of any bread shortages and bread prices are controlled by the state.

Algeria is the world’s fifth biggest cereals importer. Kahal said OAIC had supplied flour mills with 4 million tones of soft wheat in 2010, up from 3.72 million tones the previous year.

Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Greg Mahlich