Tobacco production in Azerbaijan may increase by late 2018 (Exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 20
By Ali Mustafayev – Trend
Tobacco production in Azerbaijan may increase by 30 percent by late 2018, Chairman of Azerbaijan’s Tobacco Producers and Exporters’ Association Telman Hasratov told Trend.
“Tobacco picking started relatively recently, but we already expect significant growth in production by the end of 2018,” Hasratov said. “Presently, the biggest volumes of tobacco production are concentrated in Balakan, Shaki, Ismayilli, Gabala, Lerik and Masalli districts.”
The main directions of export of Azerbaijani tobacco are Belarus and Russia, he said. The bulk of the tobacco produced in Azerbaijan, in turn, goes to the domestic market, he noted.
In parallel with production, it is planned to increase the export of tobacco as well by late 2018, he said.
Speaking about the purchase price of tobacco, which is presently unprofitable for producers, Hasratov said that this issue will be resolved at a meeting scheduled for July 27 by Azerbaijan’s Agriculture Ministry in Zagatala district.
“At the same meeting, issues of lending to tobacco producers will be discussed,” he added. “In 2017, 600 hectares of land were used for tobacco production in Zagatala district, while in 2018, the area increased to 800 hectares.”
He noted that tobacco producers also plan to upgrade their equipment.
Azerbaijan exported tobacco and its industrial substitutes worth $5.52 million in January-June 2018, and imported tobacco and its industrial substitutes worth $60.1 million, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee.
When compared to the same period of 2017, exports decreased by 9.06 percent and imports by about 17 percent.
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