Comparative Analysis of Agriculture Policies for Tobacco Planting and Processing, and the Correlation With the Illicit Production and Trade of Tobacco Products in Countries of the Western Balkans

Etleva Muca, Fatmir Kazazi


Tobacco planting and processing has a long tradition in the Western Balkan region, including Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia; over the last 20 years, however, farmers have faced a significant decrease in production. In Montenegro and Kosovo, for example, the surfaces planted with tobacco are almost inconsequential.

Agricultural policies and legal and procedural frameworks regulate all related processes, such as tobacco seed distribution, registration of farmers, disclosure of land farmed for tobacco, production yield, and the various collecting and processing stages, as well as the enforcement capacities of the related law enforcement institutions. These factors have significantly impacted tobacco production and trade, including the levels of illicit production and trade.

This paper is based on empirical analysis, evaluation of the statistical data of tobacco-related state policies and country interviews related to tobacco production costs in the region, which affect sector-related policies.

Our findings indicate that Albania has a lack of clear and coordinated policies, procedures, and enforcement capacities to regulate and monitor all processes, from planting to the processing and trade of tobacco. North Macedonia is in a much better situation in this regard and a new draft tobacco law, associated with a series of implementation regulations is expected to result in further improvements. In the Albanian case, strong evidence suggests that there are considerable tracts of land planted with tobacco and many illegal tobacco-processing plants.

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Research in World Economy
ISSN 1923-3981(Print)ISSN 1923-399X(Online)


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