Why do Farmers Grow Tobacco?

Farmers grow tobacco for the following reasons:
• It is a legally traded agricultural commodity for which, in global terms, there continues to be brisk demand;
• It thrives on the less fertile soils on the farm or region;
• There is no better cash crop in most environments suited to tobacco;
• As a rule, sale is guaranteed and price negotiated or determined by free auctions;
• Holdings are generally small in tobacco areas, necessitating high value cash crops to ensure family income;
• Good returns can be achieved per unit area of land;
• Tobacco-growing attracts sound infrastructure providing financial aid, technical assistance, transport and storage;

The Tobacco Plant

Tobacco is a plant of the nightshade family. The term is applied also to the cured and processed leaves of certain varieties of the plant, which are used in the manufacture of cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and snuff. Nicotine, an alkaloid contained in tobacco, is used for medical purposes and as an insecticide. Tobacco is one of the most important commodities in world trade, and is of major importance in the economy of the United States.
China is by far the world’s leading tobacco producer, with the United States ranking second. Most of the United States crop is produced […]