Continental Tobacco Group’s tobacco cultivation member DOFER Tobacco Processing Corp. has had a successful seedling and planting season on 1 005 hectares of contracted production area. The harvesting season should prove to be equally successful, which is also predicted by the current development of the plantations, the favourable weather conditions and the 50 percent increase in the purchase price by the company.

The family-owned Continental Tobacco Group, which owns the more than 130 years old tobacco factory in Sátoraljaújhely, is vertically integrated, covering the entire spectrum of tobacco-related activities, from tobacco cultivation, through the production of tobacco products, to sales, in a unique way in the domestic tobacco market. DOFER Tobacco Processing Corp. is the group member responsible for tobacco cultivation and purchases almost one third of the Hungarian tobacco production.

After the year 2022, which was also hampered by dry weather and the energy market crisis, DOFER started this year’s season on a brighter note: at the beginning of the year, the company signed a contract with growers for a total of 1,005 hectares, up almost 8 percent on last year, mainly in the Nyírség region, which was also significantly boosted by a 50 percent increase in the purchase base price. In most of the areas, the company grows and produces artificially cured Virginia tobacco, unfortunately the contracted area of naturally cured Burley tobacco is decreasing. This is due to the even greater need for live labour.

About tobacco growing

One of the key technological operations in tobacco growing is seedling establishment, which is now carried out using hydroponics, whereby plants are grown in an artificial medium and fed with nutrient-enriched water instead of soil. During the seedling establishment period from early March to the end of May, thanks to the use of appropriate nutrient supply and plant protection technology, growers plant healthy, hardened and homogeneously developed seedlings, which are repeatedly pruned.

The planting of seedlings, which began at the beginning of March, and the subsequent months of nursery and care work have also been successful. Temperatures and rainfall were ideal for the development of the plants after the initial, colder period, and they were well developed by the end of the period. All of these factors point to a productive harvest season and above average yields.

Csaba Füzi, CEO of Continental Tobacco Corp., the owner of the tobacco factory in Sátoraljaújhely, said that everything is in place for this year’s harvest to exceed last year’s results. As usual, the weather as an external factor may interfere, but the mood among producers is clearly positive, supported not only by the current development of the plantations but also by market conditions such as the institution of compulsory purchase and the 50 percent increase in the basic purchase price, which was implemented at the beginning of the year.