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Abstract

Territory and natural conditions in Macedonia are well known in the World market of high quality production of oriental type of tobacco. Production of oriental tobacco at such a small territory is insignificant towards other producers (Bulgaria, Turkey), buy it is very important for Macedonian economy. The high value of exported tobacco and other tobacco products is regularly above 100 million USD (113 million USD for 2006 and 106 million USD for 2007). As a family production with low grade of mechanized labor processes, it provides survival of more than 100 000 residents of Macedonia. These reasons are enough to evaluate the importance of tobacco for a country with a gross national income per capita of around $4,120 in 2008, (GNI, Atlas method) and high unemployment rate (over 35%). Natural resources for oriental tobacco production are relatively adequate for the most of the countries from Mediterranean region as well as Balkan Peninsula. However, the specific climate and soil conditions in Macedonia have a high comparative value for oriental tobacco. They enabled the tobacco to have definite value above all other crops from Macedonia, especially in areas limited with water resources and soil with low percentage of humus. High level of tobacco production in the previous period has resulted with building of many huge industrial capacities, warehouses for final processing as well as three factories for cigarette production. They have been all build for the great domestic market (for over twenty million people of Former Yugoslav Republic) and partly for export. Nowadays, these capacities insufficiently are used with annual production of over 5,500 t of cigarettes. Because of inadequate agrarian policy, tobacco production stagnates in the period of long transition and shows a high instability through the years. Therefore, the advantages of Macedonian region remain inadequately used. Macedonian region is characterized with arid climate, because the annual rainfalls are 742 mm/m² (average of 25 years), and the average of the last 10 years is only 582 mm/m² (schedule of the rainfalls is quite unfavorable). The biggest part of the oriental tobacco production is designed for export to the most famous markets (EU, USA, Japan, etc.), because the unprocessed tobacco has a high quality. Specific physical-chemical characteristics make Macedonian tobacco a component of the blend used for large number of the World’s famous tobacco brands of cigarettes. Considering as competitive product in the World market, many countries are interested in buying Macedonian tobacco (EU, SAD, Japan etc.).

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