Understanding the variables that affect farmers' decisions as to whether to grow tobacco and/or other crops provides important insights into their economic lives and can help to inform the development and implementation of policies that shape both tobacco production and tobacco control, such as increasing tobacco excise taxes. This study employs complementary quantitative and qualitative methodologies to identify variables that affect tobacco farmers' economic decision making in Indonesia, a major tobacco producer. The research focuses on the variables that affect tobacco farmers' decisions to continue tobacco farming or shift to non-tobacco farming. It finds that tobacco farmers' decision making is complex but also predictable. The results of the quantitative analysis suggest that farming profits and positive rainfall shocks are two of the key variables that affect the decision to cultivate tobacco. The qualitative results confirm these findings and further illuminate that access to credit, education (agricultural and otherwise) and information play substantial roles in farmers' economic decision making. Most of these variables are affected by the unequal relationship between the tobacco firms that buy tobacco and the farmers, wherein the farmers are consistently at a disadvantage in terms of negotiating key parameters such as prices and evaluation of leaf quality.
|International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
|Published - 2020