Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 4

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58 tobaccoasia / Issue 4, 2016 September / October images courtesy of Alliance One International Tobacco has been grown in Indonesia at least since the mid-17th century when the Dutch groomed their colony to be a reliable tobacco supplier for the homeland. Today, Indonesia is the fifth larg- est tobacco producer worldwide. Output peaked in 2012 at some 260,000 tons according to FAO- STAT (see table 1), but this dropped to only about 186,000 tons in 2015 after a rather disastrous year due to prolonged heavy rainfalls compounded by the environmental effects of the Mount Raung volcanic eruption (see side box). While Indonesian leaf generally enjoys a good reputation among ex- porters, importers, and traders alike and is a cov- eted raw material utilized by tobacco manufactur- ers worldwide, continuous efforts to assist local growers achieve excellent crop quality are never- theless indispensable and in fact can always make do with further improvements. PT. Mayangsari Founded in 1960, PT. Mayangsari, located in East Java's Jember region is 100%-owned member of Hail & Cotton International Group (HCIG). The company is one of the leading Indonesian exporters of Besuki Na Oogst (Besuki NO), but also supplies Jatim VO, Kasturi VO, and DFC Boyolali, special- izing in wrapper, binder, and filler production for major cigar manufacturers around the globe. "We have lately implemented many improve- ments in our agronomy efforts to increase gen- eral leaf quality and yields," said Emmanuel Ard- ian Kristanto, HCIG's chief agronomist. "Direct farmer contracting has also greatly contributed to this since farmers are being assisted more inten- sively [by us]. Additionally, we are making prog- ress in reducing the CPA residues on the leaf, but this is still an area for concern and a main focus for HCIG. The Indonesian archipelago looks back at a long history of cultivating tobacco crops. But what are mer- chants doing to maintain and improve high-quality output to help Indonesian tobacco stay competitive in the world market? TOBACCO ASIA talks to several global traders. High-Quality Leaf from Indonesia The Merchants' P.O.V. PT. AOI-contracted tobacco field in Indonesia By Thomas Schmid

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