Hungarian-Algerian agricultural relations have gained new impetus. Minister of Rural Development Sándor Fazekas, acting in representation of the Hungarian government, and Algerian Minister of Agriculture Rachid Benaissa, have signed an Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA) in Algiers on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Benaissa, who studied as a veterinary surgeon in Hungary, was last in Budapest in September 2011, attending the OMÉK agriculture fair, where he signed a Hungarian-Algerian Agricultural Cooperation Agreement with his Hungarian counterpart. Significant advances have occurred during the past six months within the areas covered by the agreement. On March 6, four other agreement were concluded in Algiers in the presence of the two Ministers. The Algerian National Institute of Soils, Irrigation and Drainage (INSID) and the Research Institute for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Irrigation (HAKI) of Szarvas, Hungary, signed an agreement regarding joint training of experts, research and development, and the creation of water-saving model facilities.

The Algerian Technical Institute of Breeding (ITELV) and the Herceghalom Research Institute for Animal Breeding and Nutrition (ÁTK) concluded an agreement on the development of dairy cattle stocks, rational and economical feeding methods, the genetic development of the local Cheurfa breed, and on the certification and branding of agricultural products.
The two institutes have been in contact since 2008. The ÁTK was involved in preparative work on the trading of stock animals for breeding and of materials for breeding (bulls, heifers, frozen sperm, embryos) between the two countries, as a result of which embryos produced in Hungary were implanted into animals that were bred in Algeria. Based on experience gained with Hungarian grey cattle and on scientific data, the ÁTK and the North-African research institute are working jointly to prepare a programme for the preservation and modern utilization of the original genetic stock of autochthonous Algerian cattle breeds. Algerian experts will arrive at the research Institute in Herceghalom during the first quarter of 2012 for a one-month post-graduate training course on reproductive biology care and feed-testing methods. It is well known in Algeria, that Hungary has great experience in the preservation of the genetic material of autochthonous domestic animals.

The Algerian National Centre of Artificial Insemination and Genetic Breeding (CNIAAG) and the Pécs-based EMBRIO Ltd. concluded a contract on the use of state-of-the-art biotechnology in the development of their dairy and meat cattle, and their horse breeding programmes.

The Algerian Holding Company for Animal Production, SGP PRODA, and Bábolna-based Bábolna Tetra, concluded an agreement on the establishment of a joint venture corporation. The company, which would be involved in the breeding of poultry layer pairs (Tetra hybrid), will serve the Algerian, regional and international markets.

Discussions are also close to conclusion regarding the rehabilitation of Algiers Zoo and the attached 307 hectare park by Hungarian partners with the help of experts from the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden. Successful restoration of the establishment could well be the spectacular flagship project of renewed Hungarian-Algerian economic cooperation.
Agreements on the elaboration of apiary, viniculture and mushroom growing programmes were also concluded during the official visit.

(Press Office of the Ministry of Rural Development)