Algeria and Italy have sealed a 420-million-euro agreement ($455 million) for an agricultural initiative in Algeria, according to a statement from the Algerian agriculture ministry. The project, described by Italian officials as their nation's biggest agricultural venture in the southern Mediterranean, spans 36,000 hectares (89,000 acres) in Algeria's Timimoune province. It aims to cultivate wheat, lentils, and beans, among other crops, with the goal of boosting Algerian exports outside of hydrocarbons. Officials noted during the signing ceremony that the project is also anticipated to generate 6,700 jobs. This deal follows a $3.5 billion accord with Qatar's largest dairy company, Baladna, to set up a large-scale cow-breeding facility for powdered milk production. Algerian officials highlighted that Saturday's agreement is part of a broader strategy to extend agricultural production areas in the southern desert to 500,000 hectares. The initiative aligns with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's "Mattei Plan," which seeks to curb irregular migration from Africa through investments. Named after Enrico Mattei, the founder of Italian energy firm Eni, the plan originally proposed a "non-predatory" cooperation program between Europe and Africa, valued at 5.5 billion euros, focusing on energy, agriculture, water, health, and education. Italy has also signed related agreements with other African nations, such as Tunisia and Libya.