If Local Tobacco is Better, Why Must Import?

Inadequate domestic production capability makes it difficult to stop importing Virginia tobacco. The government and the tobacco industry are expected to be able to protect and embrace local farmers.

Based on data from the Ministry of Trade, Virginia's domestic tobacco production reached 59,385 tons per year, while imports of this type of tobacco in 2011 were around 46,570 tons or an increase of about 19% compared to 2006 of 39,149.8 tons.

China is still the biggest supplier with 28,288 tons per year. The rest are from other countries, such as Turkey, Brazil and Zimbabwe.

The absence of import duties applied by the government resulted in this imported tobacco having a lower price. The price of imported Virginia tobacco ranges from US $ 2 to US $ 3 or around Rp. 18,000 per kg. While the price of local tobacco production is around Rp. 25,000. This is what makes industry players prefer imported goods. Even though the quality of local tobacco is better than imported Virginia.

According to the Ministry of Trade's website for example, Virginia Lombok tobacco has good quality with a distinctive color and aroma. Lombok tobacco krosok has specific quality and character with high flexibility, so it can almost be used by all cigarette factories in Indonesia. Among the characteristics are: red character (can compete with the quality of Brazilian tobacco), yellow character (better than tobacco from China), and other characters better than Virginia Zimbabwe tobacco.

By implementing high import duties, it is expected to be able to make local tobacco prices competitive. In addition, coaching for farmers must be carried out for the fulfillment of domestic Virginia tobacco supply.