VIRTUAL CEREAL WATER IN ALGERIA: BLESSING OR CURSE?
This work attempts to understand and analyze the concept of virtual water, a newly introduced device used by developed countries to better refine the evolution of the water situation subject to these inter-country water transfers. However, the transfer of this invisible water hides underlying challenges of supporting and promoting the agricultural economies of exporting countries. The key argument put forward in this new concept of international trade is that of water productivity, particularly in cereal production. However, it is clearly still relatively lower in poor and less developed countries. The very ones that matter a lot and export very little. This is the Algerian case where cereal farming is basically rainfed. In this respect, the application of Ricardo's theory of comparative advantages, from which the concept of virtual water derives, is therefore an instrument of unilateral subjection. Because the virtual quantities of water imported with cereals do not really contribute to Algeria's water balance. This is only possible in the case of irrigated crops. It is therefore more sensible and advantageous to redouble efforts to increase yields and the current cereal area, by absorbing the enormous potential of fallow land and mastering the technical route. On the other hand, it is imperative to provide clear answers to this excessive consumption of cereals. In this way, the country hopes to free itself from massive wheat imports.
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