Tobacco farmers across Macedonia continue to face exceptionally low prices, with 2.5 EUR offered on average per a kilogram of this year’s harvest.

Compared to last year, this is a disastrous price. We are all angry. We can’t support a family on 5,000 EUR per year. Nobody in my family works, we rely on the tobacco, said farmer Zoran Gruevski from the village of Dobrusevo, speaking to Alfa TV.

Farmers from the village accuse the Government of being in the pocket of cigarette companies and of being an accomplice in the low prices. “If things continue like this, you can freely add the 130,000 tobacco farmers and families to the 400,000 people who live below the poverty line”, said farmer Nikolce Ilievski.

VMRO-DPMNE Vice President Aleksandar Nikoloski and the party’s Secretary General Georgija Sajkoski, visited Prilep today, which is the center of the main tobacco growing region in Macedonia, to discuss the crisis. “The mafia is eating away the labour of our farmers. But changes are coming to Prilep”, Nikoloski said.