Municipality of Prilep
Municipality of Prilep
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Tobacco production

In the agricultural production domain, and even more as an industrial culture, tobacco adopts a very significant place not only in the economy of Prilep municipality, but also in the Republic of Macedonia. This industrial culture enables benefit on a relatively wide low-productive surface of the land being cultivated. Such surfaces are very common in this region, and besides, tobacco is imposed as the most important source of income since it enables participation in the production process of that workforce which cannot be included in other production capacities of the economy and this gives the tobacco a special place and importance. In addition, a great number of the population deals with tobacco production apart from their main occupation or business to increase their low family budget and ensure their existence.

Most of the population dealing with agriculture grows tobacco besides growing other cultures.
It is impossible to determine the exact date when tobacco was brought within the boundaries of Republic of Macedonia. According to certain sources, tobacco was brought more than 400 years ago, but it is a well known fact that the first tobacco storage in Prilep was built in 1873, by the Ottoman management of the monopoly.

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The first tobacco storage built in Prilep in 1873

 

That day denoted the birth of tobacco industry by us and the creation of the Tobacco Industrial Complex as the biggest giant in the former Yugoslavia. The establishment of this storage enabled fast growth of tobacco which replaced other agricultural cultures, as well as growth of this region into the biggest production centre for oriental tobacco in this part of the Balkans. Tobacco production noted a rapid growth during the Young Turk Revolution (1908-1912) and it represented the main branch of the Prilep agriculture. After the First World War on the territory of Macedonia and Serbia the situation with the tobacco categories was chaotic, because there was a great number of seeds from various categories. Having considered the need for improvement of the quality of tobacco production the Management of state monopolies for tobacco production at that time brought a decision to establish an Experimental Tobacco Station in Prilep. This decision was realized on 24 December 1924 in Prilep - the tobacco town - and the greatest contribution for this belongs to the well-known expert for tobacco and a scientific worker, the engineer Rudolf Gornik.

The establishment of the Experimental Tobacco station in 1924 marked the birth and development of young tobacco science in this part of the Balkans, and already in 1936 it grows into a Tobacco Institute. According to the Law on Scientific-Research Activity, the Institute for Tobacco since 1996 performs its research activity in tobacco production as a Public Scientific Institution, and since 1979 it has become a member of the University “St. Kliment Ohridski” from Bitola.

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Tobacco Institute – Prilep

 

The main task of the Institute is to improve production, procession and economics of tobacco crop. The Tobacco Institute is the only one authorized to provide tobacco seeds from certain brands and types of tobacco for the separate regions in RM. As a result from the scientific-research work of the Tobacco Institute, 18 brands for separate tobacco regions as well as for the needs of the tobacco industry have been created.

 
Harvest
Tobacco production in kg
ha
kg/ha
1996
3.017.986
2.320
1.301
1997
7.034.464
3.862
1.821
1998
9.909.116
4.876
2.032
1999
9.148.977
5.000
1.634

 

For the development of tobacco production in Prilep in the most part Tutunski Kombinat from Prilep is responsible. Tobacco production is due to a long tradition in the region of Prilep, the favorable soil and climate conditions for growing tobacco. For quite some time this production is the only way of existence for most of the population in Prilep municipality.

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View of Tutunski Kombinat – Prilep, year 1999

 

The devotion of Tutunski Kombinat in Prilep for a stable and quality production was crowned in 1966, with the construction of the hydro storage lake for irrigation of tobacco in an area of 3.000 ha and the irrigation of other crops from over 2.000 ha.