Tobacco, which is different from other agricultural products in terms of production, usage, domestic and foreign trade, is one of the most important products symbolizing Turkey’s agricultural exports. Although controversy regarding the effects on health increases day by day, tobacco is an important product for Turkey due to the economic opportunities it creates and the added value it provides. While Turkey ranks eleventh in world tobacco production, it is first in the world in oriental tobacco production. According to the year 2016 product data, 250 thousand families make a living out of tobacco. The number of people working in the tobacco and tobacco industry sectors together with family members is 1.5 million. Tobacco in Turkey continues to be an important agricultural product with its added value for the economy and employment opportunities despite the decline in the amount of production and the number of producers in recent years.
In the sector exceeding 1 Billion Dollars export figures in 2016, 35% of exports of 1 billion 10 million Dollars in 2016 are leaf tobacco and 65% is tobacco products. It is observed that 41% of leaf tobacco exports, which amounts to 358 million dollars, are made to the USA. Other countries where leaf tobacco is exported are are Belgium, Indonesia and the Russian Federation. Tobacco exports to the top 10 countries account for 82% of total exports. When we examine the export of tobacco products by country, we see that our first three exporting markets are Iran, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. A total of 652 million $ in tobacco products accounts for 76% of the total exports to the first 10 countries.
Contracted production started in Turkey in 2002; the prices of manufactured tobacco are determined according to the mutual agreement between producers and / or buyers of tobacco products and producers and / or their representatives. Purchases of contracted tobacco are started in January and February of the following year / next year. In 2016, 76 thousand tons of leaf tobacco was produced as a result of contractual farming with 55 thousand producers.
In order to increase the production of tobacco and its exports in parallel, various studies are being carried out by the Aegean Tobacco Exporters Association (ETİB) and companies that export tobacco and tobacco products. In this context, ETİB registered 4 new tobacco types suitable for export within the scope of the project carried out together with Aegean Agricultural Research Institute. In the last three seasons, production of these varieties is made in line with the demands of the companies.
However, in order to support the work carried out by our tobacco exporter companies to prevent drug residue in tobacco, joint studies are being carried out with the laboratory called ARGEFAR, which operates under Ege University.