Why Do Farmers Grow Tobacco? A Qualitative Exploration of Farmers Perspectives in Indonesia and Philippines




Appau, Adriana
Drope, Jeffrey
Witoelar, Firman
Chavez, Jenina Joy
Lencucha, Rapahel

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MDPI Publishing


Tobacco supply remains a pressing challenge to tobacco control. Tobacco remains a dominant cash crop in many low- and middle-income countries, despite the evidence suggesting that it is not as profitable as industry claims and is harmful to health and the environment. In order to implement successful and sustainable alternative livelihood interventions, it is important to understand why farmers continue to grow tobacco. This study explores this question from the perspective of farmers in Indonesia and Philippines. This study was informed by interpretive description methodology. Data was collected through focus group discussions (FGDs) (n = 7) with farmers (n = ~60). The FGDs were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and then translated into English. An inductive thematic analysis of the data was conducted to identify and categorize the reason provided by participants. We identified two overarching themes: (1) perceived viability (profitability, ready market, and environmental factors) and (2) financial context. Financial context included lumpsum payments and access to financial loans and credit facilities in light of their lack of capital. These results highlight that, in addition to identifying viable alternatives to tobacco, institutional factors such as improved access to credit and well-developed supply chains are key to the successful uptake of alternative livelihoods.





International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


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Open Access

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Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license



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