ALL ABOUT CIGAR PRODUCTION IN NICARAGUA

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The story behind Nicaraguan cigars has a lot of drama. There is a lot of crises that is also crowned by the many achievements the cigars have attained. The people of Nicaraguan have also shown a lot of endurance over the hard times. Some of the best cigars that are available in the markets are from the Nicaraguan farmers. For them to attain this, the journey has not been easy.

The history of Nicaraguan cigars started back in 1959 when some great Cuban cigars farmers left Cuba. They were looking for new space to grow tobacco and roll their cigars. Cigarette tobacco had been going on in Nicaraguan for a long time but cigar tobacco started being supported when the Somoza government came up with a way to exploit Castro’s revolution.

This exploitation was carried out by taking Cuba’s best cigar men, best Cuba seeds and finance that they used to develop the today’s Nicaraguan industry. There a number of major producers that played a great part in this. This players are: Oliva, Plasencia, Bermejo and Padron. There are other players that joined later.

The Somoza dictator government came to its knees to the Sandinistas in the year 1979. The northern Nicaraguan actually become a corridor of revolutionaries. This lead to the factories located here to be liquidated and shared by the new authority. The only production that was left was of barley and cigarette production.

In the 1970s the Nicaragua Industry was able to produce some of the finest cigars then. They had the chance to produce the best premium cigar brands in the world then. This lead, Joya de Nicaragua brand to become the most popular cigar in the country of Nicaragua. This industry growth was cut short in the year 1979. This is the year the leader of Sandinistas took over.

The people of Nicaragua endured 10 years of civil war. This was between the Sandinista government and the rebels who were called Contras. Most of this fights happened in the north of the Esteli town. This is one of the best places that tobacco was grown. This lead to the destruction of tobacco plantations and others converted to military bases.

The ruthless leadership of the social government came to an end in 1990. This was after the election of Vileta Chamorro. This leader brought the much needed stability to the country. With this new stability, cigar producers started all over again and the industry was able to come back to its feet in the 1990s

There was another setback that hit the industry.in 1998, there was a hurricane that wiped most of the tobacco plantations. The hurricane caused a lot of damage and lead to the death of a lot of people. There was also a heavy down power than was experienced in four days that wiped all the topsoil from many farms. This lefts field covered with rocks only

After this natural disaster, the industry started over again. Since then the Nicaragua has been producing the finest cigars that have been competing with the Cuban cigars. Their main brand being Joya de Nicaragua. Despite the political turmoil that was being experienced in Nicaragua, the great cigar culture remained until to date.
Esteli is the heart of the great Nicaraguan cigar production. This is a town that is located on the north and has a population close to 100000 people. This people have been supported almost entirely by coffee and tobacco industries. In this town there are a number of big factories. This factories include: Segovia (Plasencia) and NATSA.

If you follow the road towards the north, you will find the great Congega valley. This is a conducive home for tobacco fields and factories too. If you travel east of the town, you will find the Jalapa Valley. This is a very important part of the great Nicaragua Tobacco crown. The Jalapa valley is also very remote.

People say that the tobacco that is grown in Esteli is stronger that that grown in Jalapa. This Esteli tobacco is used for filler. The tobacco that is grown in the Jalapa valley is sweet and also rich it is mostly used to make wrappers. There is a third leaf that is called the Condega leaf. This tobacco leaf is between the other two in terms of texture and strength.]

Most of the tobacco that is grown in the northern corridor, is of Cuban origin. Most of the seeds were smuggled from Cuba directly into the Nicaraguan fields. There are also other new hybrid varieties that are also being grown here, an example is the Criollo 98 that is mostly used for the filler. They are grown and developed in Nicaragua too.

Nicaragua is located south of Honduras. It is also to the north of Costa Rica, this is in Central America. The Nicaragua industry has undergone a lot of setbacks throughout its history, they were able to stabilize the country and produce some of the finest cigars that can comfortably compete with Cuban cigars.

There is an island that is located near the Nicaragua coast. This island has volcanic soils that are very fertile, providing ideal conditions that favored the growth of crops. This crops included cigar tobacco. Tobacco that has been grown in this island is described as sweet and has a spicy taste too. An example is the UpperCut by Punch.

Photo Credit: Jorge Mejía peralta via Flickr.com