Tobacco Asia

Volume 18, Number 1

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Page 29 of 79

30 tobaccoasia Above: Hainan has succeeded in developing more than 60 cigar leaf tobacco varieties The cigar leaf tobacco industry in China is under- going changes as the country strives for home pro- duced tobacco of high enough quality to satisfy all aspects of the cigar making process. "A cigar in a real sense comprises the wrapper, the binder and the filler from outside to inside," says Xia Li, deputy director of the department of technology at the Great Wall Cigar Factory, of China Tobacco Chuanyu Industrial. "Speaking from a strictly technological and quality perspective, leaf tobacco for making the different parts of cigars should be air-cured. But the quality of raw materials of cigar leaf tobacco made in China is generally low because of prob- lems of traditional technologies for tobacco grow- ing, preparation and fermentation. "Domestically grown leaf tobacco can only be used for making the filler and binder," Xia con- tinued. "Imported leaf tobacco has to be used for making the wrapper of all high-end cigar products in China." In recent years, though, this heavy reliance on imported leaf tobacco has been undergoing a gradual change. Leaf tobacco experts believe that as China is a large country, it has in its regions the favorable climate and soil conditions needed for growing cigar leaf tobacco. These regions include Shifang in Sichuan Province and the island of Hainan, in south China. These areas have latitudes and longitudes as well China Finds New Ground A Breakthrough for Cigar Leaf Tobacco "[On a similar latitude to Cuba], Guangcun Township's large flat paddy fields are highly suitable for cigar leaf tobacco growing" By Allen Liao

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