Monthly per capita income of the tobacco farmers is twice as much as the average in Brazil

19 . OCT . 2023 Releases

October 2023 – The Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, through its Study and Administration Research Center (CEPA/UFRGS) published the report on the results of the second edition of the research ‘Socio-Economic Profile of the Tobacco Farmers in the South Region of Brazil’. Just like the first edition, conducted in 2016, the study was implemented at the request of the Interstate Tobacco Industry Union (SindiTabaco) and conducted from June 30 to July 20, 2023, and covered 37 municipalities where tobacco is produced in the South Region of Brazil.

Coordinated by Prof. Dr. Luiz Antonio Slongo, the research relied on support from Prof. Dr. Rafael Laitano Lionello (ESPM/SP) and doctorate candidates Lucas Dorneles Britto (PPGA/UFRGS) and Nathalia Soares Brum de Mello (PPGA/UFRGS), along with university technicians. Data collection was based on personal interviews, held at the farm households. The population chosen for this study consisted of tobacco farmers in the South Region and, for the purpose of sampling, a total of 1,145 cases were taken into consideration, with a maximum sampling error of 2.9%.

The research results point to good socioeconomic conditions of the tobacco farmers in the South Region of Brazil. “They clearly have access to essential household items, as well as items related to hygiene and health products. Such conditions are made easier by a good family and per capita income level, which exceeds by far the national averages, along with access to information and modern devices. What the research also ascertains is the fact that the tobacco farmers are very satisfied with their status as farmers and, in particular, proud to be tobacco farmers. This ascertainment is ratified by their self-evaluation of their living standards”. Slongo concludes.

According to SindiTabaco president Iro Schünke, the results reaffirm the economic and social importance of tobacco in the rural setting. “At several moments we have heard that the tobacco farmers endure vulnerability conditions, but the research destroys this tale. Just like in 2016, the results come as no surprise to those who know the tobacco sector, but they could come as a surprise to those who still believe in information based on ideology”, Schünke declares.

Access the full research


  • Taking into consideration all income sources, the tobacco farmers in the South Region of Brazil get and average monthly income of R$ 11,755.30;
  • The average per capita income of the tobacco farmers in the South Region amounts to R$ 3,540.75, while per capita income in Brazil is R$ 1,625 (IBGE, 2022);
  • 73% of the tobacco farmers have other income sources, besides the one from tobacco. This extra income comes from the cultivation of other agricultural crops and from such income sources as retirement pay, permanent or seasonal jobs, self-employed jobs, rent, land lease or financial investment income.


  • The tobacco farmers in the South Region of Brazil, in particular, fall into the category of classes “A”, “B1” and “B2”;
  • The percentage of tobacco farmers in classes “A” is 6.7%, which is equivalent to more than twice as much as the situation in general terms in Brazil. Only 2.9 percent of the Brazilian population fit into this social stratum;
  • Similar behavior is ascertained in stratum “B1”. While in Brazil the number of people who fall into this stratum is 5.1%, among the tobacco farmers this stratum amounts to 6.1%;
  • A great number of the tobacco farmers fit into class “B2”, with 67.2%. This percentage corresponds to more than four times of what is ascertained in national terms, where, only 16.7% fit into this stratum;
  • The superior social pattern of the tobacco farmers is also ratified by an analysis of the other extreme end of the scale, that is to say, the one that corresponds to the lowest levels. While in Brazil classes “C1”, “C2”, “C3” and “D”, comprise nearly 76% of the population, among the tobacco farmers, these classes correspond only to 19.6%.

CONNECTED – The research attested that the farmers are getting increasingly connected. In 2016, for example, less than half of the farmers had access to the internet. It 2023 this reality was drastically altered: nearly 94% have access to the internet, more than 92% in their own household. As far as social networks go, the participation of the farmers is already very expressive. WhatsApp and Facebook are the two most used social networks by the tobacco farmers in the South Regions, with 98.9% and 84.6%, respectively. On the other hand,  the Instagram and Youtube are used by 37.8% and 24.1% of the farmers. Twitter (1.7%) LinkedIn (0.8%) are used less than all the others.


  • Nearly 73% of the tobacco farmers live in masonry houses predominant in civil construction (65% in 2016);
  • Nearly 72% have three or more bedrooms per household;
  • All households have, at least, one bathroom or toilet room, but nearly 36.4% have more than one;
  • Nearly 95% have a septic tank for sewage treatment;
  • 29% have artesian water;
  • 97.1% have running water;
  • Almost all households have access to electrical energy, via national power grid (98.6%);
  • 13.5% have access to other sources. Of those who use other sources, 12.3% use solar energy;
  • Practically 100% have heated water (99.6%), at least for shower and bath, and to this end, they use electric energy, permanently.


  • 100% of the tobacco farmers have an automobile or a van (89% in 2016) and 62.7% have a motorbike (61% in the previous survey);
  • 13.7% of the tobacco farmers have a second property, besides the home where they live (10% in 2016);
  • More than 97% of the households have a washing machine and 65% of them equally have a tumble dryer;
  • Households equipped with air-conditioning went up 61% since the first survey, in 2016. Nowadays 33.4% have air-conditioning and 80.7% have ventilators;
  • 57.2% of the households have a vacuum cleaner;
  • 88.6% have an electric oven and 67.2% have a microwave oven;
  • 80.9% of the farmers own a tractor and 13.4% a micro tractor;
  • Practically 100% have a color television, 90.5% of them flat screen TVs;
  • 100% own, at least, one cellphone, 85.1% of the smartphone type;
  • 36% have a computer.


  • Nearly 60% of the householders have more than 8 years of schooling, meaning they have competed their elementary education, or more; among them, 32.2% have more than 11 years of schooling, corresponding to high school, and some have taken college courses, either completed or still underway;
  • 95.6% of them have already attended courses on safe pesticide handling practices;
  • 50.2% have already attended correct soil management courses;
  • 46.4% have already attended courses on rural property organization or management;
  • 98% consider themselves properly informed about safe tobacco harvesting procedures;
  • 96% of the farmers rely on technical assistance from the companies.


Rio Grande do Sul: Arroio do Tigre, Boqueirão do Leão, Caiçara, Camaquã, Canguçu, Chuvisca, Crissiumal, Ibarama, Mata, Santa Cruz do Sul, São Francisco de Assis, São Lourenço do Sul, Vale do Sol and Venâncio Aires.

Santa Catarina: Canoinhas, Içara, Iporã do Oeste, Itaiópolis, Ituporanga, Orleans, Palmitos, Papanduva, Petrolândia, Riqueza, São João do Sul and Vidal Ramos.

Paraná: Agudos do Sul, Ipiranga, Irati, Piên, Prudentópolis, Quitandinha, Rio Azul, Rio Negro, São João do Triunfo, São Miguel do Iguaçú and Três Barras do Paraná.

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