By Narmina Mammadova
Tobacco cultivation has been developing rapidly in Azerbaijan recently.
Deputy Head of the Department of Plant Production and Monitoring under the Ministry of Agriculture Farman Karimov reported that Azerbaijan will expand the tobacco cultivated areas.
The amount of tobacco produced has witnessed a considerable increase.
This year, the tobacco cultivated areas amounted to 3,400 hectares, Karimov said.
He noted that, last year, the figure was 3,200 hectares, 5, 700 tons of products were collected from them, and in 2017 this figure was 5,100 tons.
“In the future, cultivated areas will increase to about 6,000 hectares. We plan to develop this area in our country," the deputy head stressed.
He added that tobacco production does not meet domestic demand.
Karimov pointed out that, in addition, part of the tobacco produced by Azerbaijan, is exported to Russia and Turkey.
“Last year tobacco valued at $116 million was imported, while tobacco worth $10 million was exported," he said.
The volume of tobacco production in Azerbaijan in aggregate expression is expected at the level of 62.7 million manats ($36.8) in 2018, which is 37.5 percent more than last year.
This is stated in the concept of socio-economic development of Azerbaijan and the forecast figures for 2019 -2022.
In subsequent years, according to government forecasts, tobacco production will expand. Thus, in 2019, this figure will be 76.9 million manats ($45.1), in 2020 - 94.4 million manats ($55.4), in 2021 - 115.7 million manats ($67.9), in 2022 - 141.7 million manats ($83.2).
Earlier, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree approving the "State Program for the Development of Tobacco Growing in Azerbaijan for 2017-2021" on August 10, 2017.
According to the order, the State Program is aimed at the development of tobacco growing, deepening the sphere of tobacco processing, increasing profitability and export potential as well as increasing employment of the rural population.
The state program takes into account all the necessary factors for the development of this industry - control over the quality of seeds, phytosanitary.
This shows that the state aims to create all conditions and provide targeted support for the development of tobacco growing.
Tabaterra CJSC intends to cover 80 percent of the demand for tobacco products in Azerbaijan, the company told Trend.
According to the company, the plant plans to install 5 production lines with an annual production capacity of 11 billion cigarettes. At the same time, the company added that, at present, the annual demand for cigarettes in the country is 14 billion pieces.
Currently, the bulk of raw materials that are used in production falls on imported products, but at the same time, the company is taking steps to localize the purchase of raw materials, the "Tabaterra" noted.
Azerbaijan eyes to minimize the import of tobacco products. To this end, the manufacturer of tobacco products “Tabaterra” built its first factory in the Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park in November 16, 2018.
The factory produces 7 billion cigarettes per year.
Under the project, which cost $48 million, 200 jobs were created.