Purpose- Planning for optimum distribution of physical services and furniture in order to improve people’s welfare is one of the major purposes for rural planners. Rural furniture is the main purpose of developing rural settlements to decrease environmental side effects. The quality of human environments in villages highly depends on the quality of infrastructures of physical welfare including rural furniture. Rural furnitur e not only improves the quality of villages, but also keeps them consistent and permanent. The present study involves analyzing rural furniture and their effects on the environmental quality of rural settlements in Zoeram Dehestan, Shirvan. Design/methodology/approach- In this research we used an analytical-descriptive approach and data was gathered through library information and field study. Statistical population involves all rural families of Zoeram that equals to 258 families randomly selected through Cochran Formula with error level of 0.06. We used a questionnaire that its reliability was confirmed by a specific academic panel and its validity was calculated through α-Chronback coefficient. We also used SPSS software to analyze the data. Findings - The results obtained from Chi Square Test show that among all dimensions, aesthetic and visual beauty factors with mean of 2.70 and among all rural furniture, infrastructural furniture with mean of 3.17 are the most effective factors in increasing the quality of physical environment. Also, results from Spearman Correlation and Simple Linear Regression Models show that there is a strong, direct, and meaningful relationship (Sig: 0.000) between rural furniture and the quality of physical environment. In the end, using Gray Correlation Analysis and Vikor Method, we get the results that in these villages with different qualities in rural furniture, environmental quality is not the same level and according to Spearman Correlation there is a strong, meaningful relationship between the quality of rural furniture and the quality of environment. Practical implications- Today it is vital to consider and improve the quality of rural settlements, since it has been a major concern of local administrators and rural planners. In this respect, analyzing and measuring the level of available rural accommodations can be a helpful tool to understand and to show differences and inequalities in villages in order to provide better life quality in rural areas and be able to obtain more successful goals and objectives in establishing rural stable development and constant population growth. Originality/value- No direct research and study considering changes in the quality of rural settlements due to establishing rural accommodations have been done so far. Therefore, it is worth performing a thorough, comprehensive research and study regarding both rural accommodations and quality of environment to show the differences and innovations in this field.
Purpose- Considering that a diversified economy can lay the proper groundwork for improving quality of life, the present study investigates and analyzes the efficacy of diversification on rural households’ quality of life. Design/methodology/approach - The study is descriptive-analytical and its population consists of rural settlements in Golmakan Dehestan, Chenaran County. “Economic activities diversification” is the independent variable of the study which is quantified in two agricultural and non-agricultural aspects, using 14 indicators. “Rural households’ quality of life” is the dependent variable which is quantified in three social, economic and physical-environmental aspects, using 48 indicators. Questionnaires were handed to 258 rural families in 15 villages and the average score of each indicator was considered as the score of each of the villages studied. The validity of the questionnaire was established through confirmatory factor analysis (65.72%) and its reliability was established by Cronbach's alpha (0.83). Findings - The results of the step-wise regression show that diversity of non-agricultural activities has a meaningful influence on the variation of the dependent variable (rural households’ quality of life), such that a change of one standard deviation in non-agricultural activities leads to a change of 0.6 of standard deviation in rural households’ quality of life. Therefore, non-agricultural activities are influential in improving the economic conditions of families, and consequently raising quality of life among rural families. Research limitations/implications - Among the limitations of the study, the dispersed area that the villages are located in, the long distance between some villages, and the unwillingness of rural households for filling out the questionnaire can be mentioned. According to the role of non-farm activities on improving quality of life, suggestion of the study is to improve non-farming economy in rural areas. This, naturally, requires more attention to national macro-policies along with localization and necessitates implementation of successful global models regarding diversification of non-farming economy in rural areas. Originality/Value- A review of the studies regarding economic activities diversification in Iran and the world shows that, at the time of this writing, none has dealt with the influence of economic activities diversification on rural families’ quality of life.
Purpose- The present study aimed to investigate the most important obstacles to the promotion of agricultural land consolidation in the rural areas of Kangavar County. This study seeks to answer a key question: What are the main obstacles to the implementation of agricultural land consolidation policy in the villages of the study area? Design/methodology/approach - The present research is an applied one conducted in a descriptive-analytical method; field work was used for data collection and factor analysis was used for data analysis. The population of the study included 1216 land users. Using Cochran's formula, 211 questionnaires were developed and randomly distributed among the users. The stratified sampling method was used to determine the number of samples in the villages. Cronbach's alpha was used to determine the coefficient of validity of the questionnaire in the village; the validity of the questionnaire was 0.816, which indicated the data were suitable for the research. Findings- The findings show that ‘the factor of investment and fund’ accounts for 14.445% of the variance, which is the most important obstacle to the development of land consolidation in the rural areas. However, the lack of support of government agencies and organizations, infrastructural weaknesses, individual factors, lack of creativity, lack of intellectual participation and trust, lack of management and production practices, lack of knowledge and awareness, and lack of access to communication facilities in rural areas are important constraints on land consolidation in the rural areas of the study.
Purpose- The purpose was to measure the social capital of rural settlements in Hassan Abad rural district of Islamabad-e Gharb as well as ranking and leveling the villages under study was based on social capital. Design/methodology/approach- The study was applied, quantitative, and survey, where documentary study and field research were used for data collection. The documentary method was used in problem statement, theoretical foundations, and the literature. The data were collected from the villages using field research and the questionnaire tool. SPSS software was used in statistical analyses. It is worth mentioning that the field operations were done by direct questioning. Findings- The villages examined were categorized into three levels of high, medium, and poor in terms of social capital. Out of 22 villages examined, 9 villages (40.90%) were considered to have high social capital, 5 villages (22.73%) medium, and 8 villages (36.37%) poor social capital. Moreover, Siah Khor Village with 128.44 was in the highest rank whereas Kamar Zard Village with the score of 114.09 was in the lowest rank. Research limitations/implications- In the present study, there were some problems including, scarcity, sometimes the lack of comprehensive information resources, limited access to the resources, scattered villages, the lack of appropriate access routes, low cooperation, and sometimes the lack of cooperation between some organizations and institutions. Practical implications- In sum, one can state that some significant ways to strengthen social capital. They were the presence of local authorities in the villages, holding forum meetings with villagers and presenting performance report to the people, using education and increasing the awareness of villagers about the importance of participation and its role in society, strengthening the norms and values and promoting them. Originality/value- Local planners and institutions associated with the village can use the results.
Purpose- Housing has been one of the basic needs of the human beings, and the settlements have also been considered as the basic needs in terms of human communities. In order to satisfy such needs appropriately, traditionally human beings have intended to supply such needs as dealing with their surrounding environment. The current research intends to define the indices of housing sustainability in order to investigate the sustainability of environment for rural housing in Marivan County. Design/methodology/approach - The required data was collected using documentary methods and field studies together with questionnaires. First, the environmental variables of sustainable housing for rural areas were defined. Next, using hierarchical sampling method together with Cochran formula, 295 rural households were selected as the sample of the study. The tool for collecting the data was a questionnaire with an acceptable reliability endorsed using pre-test, data analysis, and the calculation of Cronbach's alpha coefficient. Finally, in order to analyze the data, fuzzy interference system (FIS) was used within the MATLAB software. For mixing the results obtained from measuring the elements of environmental sustainability, the gamma fuzzy was used together with FIS. Findings - The results indicated that the environmental sustainability of rural housing in the current research included the values of 0.9, 0.7, and 0.5 for gamma fuzzy which respectively included 0.09, 0.22, and 0.52. This indicates that the environmental sustainability of rural housing is not desirable for the areas investigated in this study. Research limitations/implications - The most important problem with the current research was that the household heads in the rural areas could not be easily accessed for data collection. Practical implications - With respect to the results, it is recommended that the economic, cultural, and social conditions of the rural areas and the subsistence of their native residents should be in line with the climatic and geographical conditions of the areas. Originality/value - The results of the current research can pave the way for studying the sustainability of the rural housing, especially in the area which has been studied.
Purpose - Gender analysis is a sort of methodology offering a comprehensive image of the contribution and role of women and men in the economy of a community. In this exploration, it has been endeavored to investigate the role and contribution of women in producing and profiting from the financial benefits of saffron as an essential and exportable economic product. Design/methodology/approach- For this purpose, 253 saffron producers in 9 villages of the cities of Torbat-e-Jam and Bakherz were studied as a statistical sample using descriptive-analytic research method, including a questionnaire and a semi-organized interview. Data were analyzed by T-test, MANOVA, Duncan and Fisher test using SPSS software and Rural Participatory Appraisal (PRA) research. Finding - The outcomes of the study exhibited that there is a significant difference between the participation of family members in the studied area during different phases of production (planting, harvesting, cropping, marketing, and sales). Moreover, the inferential findings revealed that although the men's participation ratio of only 24% is significantly higher than women's participation in the production of saffron, the benefit rate of the gained saffron production profit for the men (i.e. 74/16%,) is significantly higher than the benefit rate for women (i.e. 25/84%). The Rural Participatory Appraisal method also revealed that there is a significant difference between the physical participation and saffron income between males and females. In other words, men possess almost all the financial benefits of saffron production; in fact, women are deprived of the sources that can help them be empowered in economic and social areas. Of course, rural women in the study area did not express dissatisfaction with this issue, and they believed that this income would be well spent for the whole family.
Purpose - Rural production cooperatives (RPCs) play an important role in sustainable development in rural areas by considering three principles: domination, possession, and agency in the agriculture sector. The purposes of this study are to measure the stability of RPCs and presenting effective strategies to achieve it from the managers’ view point. Design/methodology/approach - The present study is a mixed-research method using analytic-descriptive method, including two different questionnaires. One questionnaire aiming at prioritizing and measuring the stability of the RPCs was prepared and presented to the members of RPCs. Stability was measured with 24 indices in three economic, social, and environmental dimensions using Shannon Entropy technique, according which the cooperatives were prioritized. The other questionnaire was prepared to present the best approach to achieve sustainable development from the view point of the managing directors and the board of directors. The best strategy was adopted using SWOT and ANP analysis. Findings - Regarding the sustainable development, the findings of the study indicated that among rural production cooperatives in Isfahan, 12 cooperatives were unstable, 8 cooperatives were semi-stable, and 8 cooperatives were stable; this type of farming system is semi-stable. Developmental strategy (SO) was adopted as the best strategy to achieve sustainability, and the focus was on endogenous development through reinforcing internal strengths to obtain external opportunities. It includes promoting self-reliance through increasing members’ participation in cooperative, empowering the staff and members (i.e. the experienced managing director and the staff with required specialty and expert holding promotional classes), using multilevel, multi-sectorial, multi-cluster, collaborative, and holistic approaches to manage the RPCs, and promoting systems based on collaborative team work. Practical Implications - In rural sustainable development planning, sustainable farming systems must be considered as the focal core of any development plan. Since a big part of farming system in rural areas is devoted to smallholdings, promoting cooperation culture by the rural development planners can prepare the ground for empowering the villagers to obtain sustainable development. Originally/value: For the first time in Iran, the current research attempted to present functional strategies for RPCs development using a mixed-method design.
Purpose- The aim of this study is to identify and prioritize the obstacles to capacity development in gardening exploitations of the villages of Padena Olya in Semirom County. Design/methodology/approach - The present study has been done with causal - descriptive research method and the data has been completed using questionnaire and interview tools. In addition, 273 samples were chosen (using Cochran formula) from the family farming of Padena Olya Village as the statistical population and it has been completed by the random sampling method. Data analysis is done using both quantitative method, including descriptive and inferential statistics (path analysis and structural equation modeling using Amos Graphic software), and qualitative method, including Atlas software. Findings - The analysis of qualitative findings based on semi-structured interviews and focus groups showed that the main obstacles related to capacity development are of social, economic, and environmental dimensions. Data coding based on the grounded theory also showed the most important obstacles in marketing categories, the environmental obstacles, the obstacles of participation, also and educational and promotional obstacles. Finally, the quantitative data analysis using structural equation modeling, in addition to the obstacles presented in the qualitative model, has estimated production capacities and empowerment as mediating variables in the final model of capacity development obstacles in the study area. The economic obstacles with 0.33 and environmental obstacles with 0.17 have the greatest effect on the lack of capacity development of the exploitations in the study area, respectively. Research limitations/implications - They include the lack of cooperation of relevant organizations in the presentation of information, as well as the low interest of operators to participate in the interview and cooperation to collect the qualitative data which led to an increase in the duration of attendance within the study area, held more group sessions, and thus slowed down the process of study. Practical implications - We propose a plan for increasing government support to gardener in various affaires, such as increasing the share of insurance premiums. It is also advisable to attempt to determine the fair price or the guarantee purchase of the gardeners' products and create cooperatives to manage the sales and marketing of the product to remove the brokers and dealers. Originality/value - The present study stresses the capacity development process of horticulture through identifying and analyzing the effects of obstacles and capacity building and empowerment of farmers. This research explores the hidden variables and the barriers to capacity development in gardening exploitations.
Purpose- In this study, the second home tourism discourses are represented to identify the subjective perception of urban residents (rural idyll experiences) in rural areas. Design/methodology/approach- Qualitative approach and discourse analysis method was used to extract subjective perceptions of urban residents (rural idyll experiences). Accordingly, 38 semi-structured interviews were purposefully conducted with the owners of the second homes. The present study is carried out in the summer in the recreation surrounding of Sabzevar City known as Tabas area which includes Tabas, Sang Sefid, Razghand, Bazghand, and Divandar villages. Finding - The results showed that the culture of the expansion of second homes is based on rural idyll experiences and the ideal concepts of the rurality which correlates with the common triple discourse in the history of research and empirical studies around the world. The results suggest that the Sabzevar second home landscape is seen as (1) wilderness, (2) life at second homes imitates visions of traditional rural life, and (3) the environment is used for traditional consumptive and leisure activities. Practical implications - Other components of the village's past, such as agricultural production, contentment, and simplicity in construction, social solidarity, and collective actions should be added to the triple discourse, because they present a unique pattern of rural idyll images and should be considered. Originality/value- It is argued that the culture of the expansion of second homes is based on post-productivist and consumerist views in order to have fun and leisure time and enjoy the pristine nature and the calm and healthy environment of the village. The theoretical framework of this research includes the redevelopment of the concept of rurality and the various types of rural idyll experiences associated with it derived from the general literature and empirical studies in the field of tourism on second homes. A three-fold image of the second home countryside can be presented such that the second home landscape is seen as wilderness landscape, traditional way life and second home activities.