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  1. #288
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    رغم الإنتاج الوفير الذي تسجله ولاية الأغواط خلال السنوات الأخيرة في إنتاج البطاطا، يبقى سعر هذه المادة الأساسية في السوق المحلية جد مرتفع، لاستحواذ بعض التجار القادمين من ولايات أخرى على هذا المنتوج والقيام بتخزينه.

    عرفت ولاية الأغواط في السنوات الأخيرة اتساعا في المساحات المغروسة بالبطاطا، بفضل النتائج المسجلة سواء بالجهة الشمالية أو الجنوبية للولاية، وارتفاع نسبة الإنتاج في الهكتار، مما شجع الكثير من الفلاحين الوافدين من ولايات أخرى كمعسكر وبومرداس وتيارت على مزاولة هذا النشاط من خلال استئجار مساحات فلاحية ببلديتي وادي مرة وآفلو في الجهة الشمالية، وبن ناصر بن شهرة وقصر الحيران والعسافية بالجهة الجنوبية، أضف إلى ذلك إقبال الفلاحين المحليين على اختيار هذا المنتوج بفضل النتائج المسجلة، الأمر الذي ساهم في اتساع المساحة المغروسة إلى أكثـر من 1329 هكتار. وقد تم في الأيام الأخيرة جني 65 ألف قنطار من منتوج البطاطا من مساحة تصل إلى 217 هكتار بالبلديات الجنوبية كبن ناصر بن شهرة وقصر الحيران بنوعية جيدة، فيما يرتقب جني 300 قنطار في الهكتار من بلديات الجهة الشمالية الشهر المقبل لتدعيم هذا الإنتاج الوافر، والشروع في غرس البطاطا بعد الموسمية في تاونزة والمخرق على امتداد 300 هكتار، مع توقع إنتاج أكثـر من 75 ألف قنطار.

    إلا أنه ورغم هذه النتائج الإيجابية المسجلة في إنتاج البطاطا بالمنطقة، فإن السوق المحلية لا تستفيد كثيرا من هذا المنتوج الذي يقوم بعض التجار بشرائه جملة من البساتين وتحويله إلى الولايات الشمالية للتخزين، بينما تمون السوق بنوعية رديئة وبأسعار ملتهبة وصل من خلالها الكيلوغرام الواحد في فترة الجني هذه إلى 50 دينارا للكيلوغرام.

  2. #289
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    May 8, 2011 -- A New Brunswick farmer who sells potatoes overseas has spent the past 48 days behind bars in a jail in Lebanon, with no windows, no proper toilet and little or no hot water. Hendrik (Henk) Tepper has not been charged with committing a crime. But the Algerian government has accused him of attempting to import potatoes into that country that were not safe for human consumption. The international police agency, Interpol, issued a Red Notice warrant to detain him, at the request of Algeria. “Since in jail I have a rash on my legs which is spreading pretty fast!!!,” Mr. Tepper said in a message dated May 3, relayed by a prison guard to his sister, who arrived in Beirut last month. “Headaches every day and a sore back and painful bones due to sleeping on 4-inch mattress on a cement floor.”

    How a 44-year-old potato farmer from Drummond, New Brunswick, has become entangled in a tale of international intrigue, with his passport confiscated and facing possible extradition to Algeria, dates back to 2007, when he travelled to that country to market his farm’s table stock potatoes to importers. The potatoes were safe for people to eat, Mr. Tepper’s Canadian lawyer, Rodney Gillis, said in an interview on Sunday. However, the potatoes were not good for growing. An unscrupulous importer, he said, reportedly repackaged the table potatoes used in homes and restaurants as commercial seed potatoes, which can be sold for 20 times as much. “Algeria is abusing Interpol’s warrant system in order to make an example of Henk, who had nothing to do with any scheme to mislabel potatoes,” Mr. Gillis said. “He was simply selling perfectly edible potatoes into Algeria.”

    Mr. Tepper has been in the Palais de Justice in Beirut since March 23, where he shares a cell measuring 5.5 by 10.7 metres with as many as 28 other detainees and prisoners, including some charged with murder. He describes the conditions in another message dated last Thursday: one bathroom, with a toilet consisting of a four-inch hole in the floor, no toilet paper and no soap. He is allowed to shave once every five or six days. Mr. Gillis said Mr. Tepper has received no assistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs or the Canadian embassy in Beirut. A spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs countered in an e-mail statement on Sunday that Canadian officials in Lebanon have “actively” provided consular assistance and support to Mr. Tepper since his detention. “Canadian officials continue to engage with senior Lebanese authorities to register our interest for due process, fair treatment and timely handling of his file,” Lisa Monette says in the e-mail.

    Mr. Tepper owns and operates Tobique Farms Ltd., one of the largest potato producers in New Brunswick. Tobique sells potatoes nationally and internationally and its primary market is Cuba. He was taken into custody in March, when he travelled to Beirut to market his farm’s table stock potatoes to importers in that country. While clearing customs, he was detained without arrest by Interpol under the Red Notice. No details of the crime he is alleged to have committed have been given to him, his lawyer said. Mr. Tepper says in his message that he did not need reading glasses before he was detained. But his eyesight has since weakened. “I have not seen the sun since I have been detained,” he says. “There is not a lot of fresh air and my clothing really is smelling bad; they stink.”

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