By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Smoking is common throughout the world, and Azerbaijan is going to become one of the world’s main tobacco exporters in the near future.
Since the beginning of 2019, there has been an increase in requests for export of raw tobacco through the Azexport Internet portal, Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication, which is the portal operator, has said in a message.
The portal manager Aykhan Gadashev noted that requests for raw tobacco export come more often from countries such as Russia, Georgia, India, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, the U.S. and Oceania countries.
He said that growth in demand increased after excise rates increased in many tobacco producing countries, from 20 to 45 percent.
Gadashev noted that within the state program on tobacco and tobacco products production development in Azerbaijan, information about these products from such regions as Yevlakh, Sheki, Gakh, Zagatala and Balaken was integrated through the Azexport portal into international electronic trading platforms, such as All.biz, Agroserver, Tradekey, etc.
He added that after integration, the number of requests for export of raw tobacco began to grow.
President of Azerbaijan approved the state program on the development of production of tobacco and tobacco products in the country on August 10, 2017. The state program is scheduled for 2017–2021.
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.
One of the main objectives of this program is to increase tobacco productivity to 20 centners per hectare, to expand tobacco sown areas to 6,000 hectares and to increase tobacco production to 12,000 tons.
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.
Out of a total of 6,300 tons of raw tobacco, as much as 4,100 tons were exported in 2018.
At the same time, Azerbaijan adopted the law “On Restriction of the Use of Tobacco Products” in December 2017, which is a part of “Azerbaijan National Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases 2015-2020”, as the state cares about citizens’ wellbeing.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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