According to a new bill №3548, which was registered in the Verkhovna Rada, domestic raw material should be increased in tobacco products. So if the law is adopted, in 2017 Ukrainian cigarettes must contain 1% of Ukrainian tobacco, in 2020 – 10%, and until 2024 this figure should increase to 30%.
According to the draft law, violators will be revoked a licence. However, as specialists say, Kharkiv region doesn’t cultivate tobacco commercially.
“Special equipment is required for growing and drying of tobacco. I’ve never heard about such techniques in Kharkiv. We import ready-made raw, and then only pack it. The equipment is expensive, the culture is specific, so farmers are not in a hurry to grow it,” explains the leading researcher of The Рlant Production Institute, Sergei Avramenko.
According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, was allocated only 100 hectares to the domestic tobacco cultivation, which is 60 times less than 10 years ago, and 360 times less than in the 90s. As the cigarettes manufacturers noticed to fulfill the bill requirements in practice is an unreal task.
“Our climate is not suitable enough for tobacco industrial cultivation. It is impossible to grow there all three types of necessary raw materials ( “Burley”, “Oriental”, and “Virginia”),” said the director of corporate affairs of “JTI Ukraine” company, Alexander Kohut.
Kharkiv entrepreneurs don’t comment on the bill. Also, they don’t disclose what tobacco their products contain.
“Trade secrets are never disclosed. Most likely, the new law would change nothing. For large enterprise will not be difficult to pass this test. I can say that there is no good tobacco. It is easier to call it chemistry than tobacco. Good tobacco is very expensive and, therefore, the companies are always looking for ways to reduce costs – using the cheapest Moldovan tobacco, then mixing it with an expensive one, adding various chemical components,” said a former employee of the company.