Syrian government raises purchase price of farmers’ tobacco crops

Tobacco harvest in the village of al-Dalia in the countryside of Jableh city in the coastal Latakia governorate, northwestern Syria - July 2023 (Enab Baladi/Linda Ali)

Tobacco harvest in the village of al-Dalia in the countryside of Jableh city in the coastal Latakia governorate, northwestern Syria - July 2023 (Enab Baladi/Linda Ali)

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The Syrian regime’s government has announced new prices for purchasing tobacco crops from farmers for the 2024-2025 season, with an increase that has nearly doubled the prices of the 2023-2024 season.

The official website of the Syrian Council of Ministers posted the decision today, Wednesday, January 24, on Facebook, specifying the price of hookah tobacco at 24,000 Syrian pounds per kilogram.

Meanwhile, the price of “al-Burli” tobacco was set at 23,000 Syrian pounds per kilogram, and “Virginia” at 24,000 Syrian pounds per kilogram.

The most expensive type of tobacco, whose price has been set, is “al-Basma,” which reached a price of 32,000 Syrian pounds per kilogram, while “al-Barleb” was priced at 28,000 Syrian pounds per kilogram, and “Shak al-Bin” at 27,000 Syrian pounds for the same amount.

The decision also set the price of one kilogram of “Katrine” tobacco at 28,000 Syrian pounds.

According to the official Syrian News Agency (SANA), the General Tobacco Corporation’s profits reached 19.5 billion Syrian pounds, with sales amounting to 445 billion Syrian pounds for the year 2023.

What were the previous prices?

The price increase announced by the Council of Ministers comes amidst the devaluation of the Syrian pound against the US dollar (one dollar equals 14,650 Syrian pounds, according to the S-P Today website).

In the last bulletin issued at the beginning of 2023, the Syrian Council of Ministers set the price of a kilogram of hookah tobacco at 7,500 Syrian pounds, and a kilogram of “al-Burli” at 7,300 pounds.

The price of “Virginia” tobacco was set at 8,300 pounds, and each of the types “al-Barleb,” “Katrine,” and “Shak al-Bint” at 9,500 pounds, and “al-Basma” at 10,500 pounds.

Tobacco cultivation is not considered as easy as other agricultural crops. The process requires several steps before reaching the production phase, along with expertise in cultivating this crop, as well as supervision by specialized technicians.

In a report prepared by Enab Baladi at the end of July 2021, a number of farmers in Daraa city said that tobacco cultivation had become more desirable to them than other crops, even though it requires more effort since it goes through many stages of work. However, its uniqueness in “government support,” like providing fuels at “subsidized” prices, in addition to fertilizers, medicines, and seedlings, made its cultivation more desirable.

Tobacco is cultivated in several Syrian provinces, including Daraa, and cities on the Syrian coast.

 

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