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Open AccessArticle

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

Faculty of Medicine, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, 3630 Promenade Sir William Osler, Montreal, QC H3G 1Y5, Canada
Economic and Health Policy Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
Action for Economic Reform, Unit 1403 West Trade Center, 132 West Avenue, Quezon City 1104, Philippines
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2330;
Received: 7 June 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 27 June 2019 / Published: 2 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control: Policy Perspectives)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: tobacco control; tobacco farming; alternative livelihood; qualitative analysis tobacco control; tobacco farming; alternative livelihood; qualitative analysis
MDPI and ACS Style

Appau, A.; Drope, J.; Witoelar, F.; Chavez, J.J.; Lencucha, R. Why Do Farmers Grow Tobacco? A Qualitative Exploration of Farmers Perspectives in Indonesia and Philippines. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2330.

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