Explaining the Factors Affecting Differentiation of Economic Activities among the Villagers (Case Study: Villages in Saqez, Iran)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor in Geography and Rural Planning, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Geography and Rural Planning, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

3 PhD Candidate in Geography and Rural Planning, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran


Today, many villages in Iran are vacated and many dwellers left their home villages mainly due to weaknesses and inefficiency of rural economy. Diversification of economic activities in rural areas is considered as a strategy for rural households to increase their income sources through which they can have an appropriate response and ability to deal with economic shocks. The stability of a settlement reflects the equilibrium and dynamism of rural settlements in relation to natural-ecological, socio-cultural, economic and spatial-physical structures. Thus, it ensures the stability of a settlement during spatial trends. Hence, special attention is paid to rural development, and adopting monetary and credit policies for the governments of the Third World Societies. This can play a major role in facilitating and directing development, and investment. Injection of financial resources can play a very important role in fostering rural livelihoods and achieving sustainable rural development goals. 
This research has a general quantitative approach using librarian-documentary and field survey techniques for collecting data. Firstly, for identifying the indices and indicators of diversification of economic activities with special emphasis on rural areas, we used the related studies. The components and items of sustainable livelihoods were identified based on a questionnaire designed as the main tool of the research in field studies. To increase the validity of the method, we also used the content and formality of the method. In this regard, the validity of the research tool was confirmed by a number of experts in the field using the Cronbach's alpha technique. The Cronbach's alpha value for this tool obtained 0.905 which indicated the appropriate reliability of this research tool. To identify the villages, they first were divided into 5 groups of 20-50 households, 10-51 households, 150-101 households, 152-150 households, 250-95 households and 525-500 households. After selection of sample villages, based on the Cochran formula, 300 families were selected as the sample size determined in proportion to the population of the villages.
Results and discussion
To investigate the relationship between educational variables and number of activities, as well as income and activity variables, we used Lameda, v Kramer, Goodman and Kruskal tests. The results of these tests show that since sig is less than 0.05, then there is a significant relationship between education and the number of activities. As the level of education increases, the number of household activities and number of income sources also increases. Field analysis showed that among the 123 out of 136 uneducated families with primary education, 123 cases had one activity and only 12 cases had two activities. The results of Lameda, V Kramer, Goodman and Kruskal tests confirmed that there is a significant relationship between the number of activities and income increase in the study villages. This means that the households with more economic diversity have higher income. Among the total households surveyed, 204 people have an annual income of 5 million or fewer. All these households have one type of economic activity. The research findings also revealed that among the 71 households with income levels between 5 and 10 million, 45 cases have dual activity and 6 cases have 3 types of economic activities. One of the weaknesses of rural households is that they do not have diverse economic activities and only rely on agricultural activities. This showed vulnerability of their income and livelihood to shocks (human and natural). For this purpose, Lameda, V Kramer, Goodman and Kruskal tests were used to investigate the relationship between livelihood vulnerability of rural households against shocks and number of activities. The results of these tests show that in the studied villages there is a significant relationship between the number of activities and their livelihood vulnerability to shocks. Therefore, the households have side activities with their agricultural activities are less vulnerable than those only with one activity. There are a number of economic activities in which there is an increase in income. This means that households with more economic diversity have more income. Among the total studied households (68.18%) who had only one kind of activity, their income and livelihoods were affected by climate shocks such as drought, floods and pests. Friedman test (rank average) was used to prioritize the key factors affecting the diversification of economic activities from the viewpoint of villagers. The statistical results of the test show that there is a significant difference between the factors at alpha level of 0.05. The average results of the Friedman test also indicate that the government support factor is ranked first for diversifying the activities.
The diversification of economic activities in rural environments can be seen as a consistent and dynamic process in response to threats and opportunities through which farmers can manage risk and can also increase their income and livelihoods, maintain their livelihoods and ultimately improve their living standards. Descriptive findings showed that from the perspective of the sample society, the government's financial support can have the greatest impact on the diversification of economic activities. The government supports are including enhancement of appropriate facilities to farmers, the availability of savings and financial resources for farmers, the purchasing guaranteed crops, promotion of horticultural and livestock, entrepreneurship development and intermediary removals in selling products, and raising the level of knowledge of the people about the affiliated businesses. In confirmation of the descriptive findings, Friedman's test also shows that addition to the factor of government support for diversification of jobs, the second factor that influences the diversification of economic activities from the perspective of the sample population is the financial resources and household savings. 


Main Subjects

  1. استانداری کردستان، معاونت برنامه‌ریزی و اشتغال، 1393، گزارش وضعیت توسعة درون‌استانی با شاخص‌های پایداری و توازناستان کردستان، دفتر برنامه‌ریزی و بودجه.
  2. جوان، جعفر و حمید حیدری مکرر، 1389، نقش چاهک‌ها در متنوع‌سازی اقتصاد روستایی (مطالعة مورد: شهرستان زهک در استان سیستان و بلوچستان)، فصلنامة پژوهش‌های جغرافیای انسانی، شمارة 76، صص 49-66.
  3. جوان، جعفر، علوی‌زاده، سید امیرمحمد و مهدی کرمانی، 1390، نقش متنوع‌سازی فعالیت‌های اقتصادی در توسعة پایدار روستایی، مطالعة مورد: شهرستان سمیرم، فصلنامة علمی-پژوهشی انجمن جغرافیای ایران، سال نهم، شمارة 29، صص 18-43.
  4. رکن‌الدین افتخاری و همکاران، 1392، تحلیل تنوع معیشتی در تاب‌آوری خانوارهای روستایی در شرایط خشک‌سالی، مطالعة موردی مناطق در معرض خشک‌سالی استان اصفهان، فصلنامة پژوهش‌های روستایی، دورة پنجم، شمارة 3، صص 639-662.
  5. سعیدی، عباس، 1377، توسعة پایدار و ناپایداری توسعة روستایی، فصلنامة بنیاد مسکن انقلاب اسلامی، سال دوم، شمارة 34، صص 221-258.
  6. عزیزپور، فرهاد، محسن‌زاده، احمد و حسنی حاصل، صدیق، 1390، تحلیل و ارزیابی اثرات اقتصادی اجرای طرح هادی در سکونتگاه‌های روستایی کشور، فصلنامة مسکن و محیط روستا، شمارة 30، صص 71-84.
  7. عنابستانی، علی‌اکبر و همکاران، 1393، تحلیل موانع متنوع‌سازی فعالیت‌های اقتصادی در روستاهای مرزی شهرستان مریوان، فصلنامة اقتصاد فضا و توسعة روستایی، سال سوم، شمارة 4، صص 87-111.
  8. قاسمی، مریم و جعفر جوان، 1392، تبیین رابطة تنوع‌بخشی فعالیت‌های اقتصادی و توسعة پایدار روستایی، مطالعة موردی: شهرستان مشهد، پژوهش‌های روستایی، دورة پنجم، شمارة ۲، صص 237-262، پژوهش‌های روستایی، دوره پنجم، شمارة 3، صص 639-662.
  9. نوروزی، مرضیه و داریوش حیاتی، 1394، سازه‌های مؤثر بر معیشت پایدار روستایی از دیدگاه کشاورزان استان کرمانشاه، علوم ترویج و آموزش کشاورزی ایران، جلد 11، شمارة 1، صص 127-143.

10. Kurdistan Governor's Office of Planning and Employment, 2014, Report on the Status of Development Within the Province with the Indicators of Stability and Balance in Kurdistan Province, Planning and Budget Office. (In Persian)

11. Javan, J, and Hedarimokarar, H., 2010, The Role of Wells in the Rural Economics Psychology Case Study: Zahak City in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Human Geography Research Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 76, PP. 49-66. (In Persian)

12. Javan, J., Alavizadeh, A. M., and Kermani, M., 2011, The Role of Diversification of Economic Activities in Sustainable Development of the Village Case Study: Semirom City, Journal of the Iranian Geographic Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 29, PP. 18-43. (In Persian)

13. Aftekhari, A. et al., 2013, Analysis of Livelihoods Diversity in Resilience of Rural Households in Drought Conditions Case Study of Drought Areas in Isfahan Province, Journal of Rural Studies, Vol. 5, No. 3, PP. 639-662. (In Persian)

14. Saedi, A., 1999, Sustainable Development and Rural Development Unstability, Journal of the Islamic Revolution Housing Foundation, Vol. 2, No. 34, PP. 221-258 (In Persian)

15. Azizpoor, F., Mohsenzadeh, A., and Hasani, S., 2012, Analysis and Evaluation of the Economic Impact of Conducting a Conduct Plan in Rural Settlements of the Country, Quarterly Journal of Housing and Rural Environment, Vol. 6  No. 30, PP. 71-84. (In Persian)

16. Anabestani, A. et al., 2015, Analysis of Barriers to Diversifying Economic Activities in the Border Villages of Marivan City, Quarterly Journal of Rural Space and Rural Development, Vol. 3, No. 4, PP. 87-111 (In Persian)

17. Ghasemi, M., and Javan, J., 2014, Explaining the Relationship between Economic Activities and Sustainable Rural Development, Case Study: Mashhad, Rural Studies, Vol. 5, No. 2, PP. 237-262 (In Persian)

18. Noorozi, M., and Hayati, D., 2016, Structures Affecting Rural Sustainable Life from the Viewpoint of Farmers in Kermanshah Province, Iranian Agricultural Development and Education Sciences, Vol. 11, No. 1, PP. 127-143. (In Persian)

19. Abimbola, A. O., and Oluwakemi, O. A., 2013, Livelihood Diversification and Welfare of Rural Households in Ondo State, Nigeria, Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics, Analysis of Theory and Practice,Geographical Paper, Vol. 5, No. 189, PP. 549-557.

20. Bandyopadhyay, S., and Skoufias, E., 2013, Rainfall Variability, Occupational Choice, and Welfare in Rural Bangladesh,Policy Research Working Paper 6134, Washington, DC, World Bank.

21. Barlybaev, A. A., Akhmetov, V., and Nasyrov, G. M., 2009, Tourism As A Factor of Rural Economy Diversification, Studies on Russian Economic Development, Vol. 20, No. 6, PP. 639–643.

22. Barrett, C. B., Reardon, T., and Webb, P., 2001, Nonfarm Income Diversification and Household Livelihood Strategies in Rural Africa: Concepts, Dynamics, and Policy Implications, Food Policy 26, PP. 315–331.

23. Cavatassi, R., Lipper, L., and Winters, P., 2012, Sowing the Seeds of Social Relations: Social Capital and Agricultural Diversity in Harangue Ethiopia, Environment and Development Economics, Vol.17, No. 5, PP. 547-578.

24. Coppard, D., 2001, The Rural Non-Farm Economy In India: A Review of the Literature, NRI Report No. 2662, Chatham: NRI.

25. Davis, J., 2006, Rural Non-farm Livelihoods in Transition Economies: Emerging Issues and Policies, Electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics (jade), Agricultural and Development Economics Division (ESA) FAO, Vol.

26. Delgado, C. L., 1989, The Changing Economic Context of Mixed Farming in Savanna West Africa: A Conceptual Framework Applied to Burkina Faso, Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Vol. 28, No. 3 and 4, PP. 15-55.

27. Ellis, F., and Mdoe, N., 2002, Livelihoods and Rural Poverty Reduction in Tanzania, LADDER Working Paper No. 11, February 2001, Overseas Development Group, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

28. _______, 1997, Household Strategies and Rural Livelihood Diversification, Paper Submitted to the Journal of Development Studies.

29. ________, 2009, Small-Farms, Livelihood Diversification and Rural-Urban Transitions: Strategic Issues in Sub-Saharan Africa, In the Future of Small Farms: Proceedings of a Research Workshop, Wye, UK, 26-29 June, Washington, DC, International Food Policy Research Institute.

  1. 30.  ________, 2005, Small-Farms, Livelihood Diversification and Rural-Urban Transitions: Strategic Issues in Sub-Saharan Africa, Paper Prepared for the Research Workshop on “The Future of Small Farms”, Withersdane Conference Centre, Wye, Kent, UK, 26-29 June.

31. Heyer, J., 1996, The Complexities of Rural Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa, Oxford Developmentstudies, Vol. 24, No. 3, PP. 281-297.

32. Kabeer, N., 1990, Poverty, Purdah, and Women's Survival Strategies in Rural Bangladesh, In H. Bernstein, B. Crow, M. Mackintosh and C. Martin (Eds), The Food Question, Profits Versus People? London: Earthscan.

33. Khatun, D., and Roy, B. C., 2012, Rural Livelihood Diversification in West Bengal: Determinantsand Constraints, Agricultural Economics Research Review Vol. 25, No. 1, January-June 2012, PP. 115-124.

34. Lipper, L., Cavatassi, R., and Keleman, A., 2010, The Contribution of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture to Food Security and Sustainable Agricultural Development, The Second State of the World of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, FAO, Rome.

35. Marter, A., 2007, The Rural Non-Farm Economy in Uganda: A Review of Policy, Nri Report No. 2702, Chatham: NRI.

36. Newsham, A., and Thomas, D., 2009, Agricultural Adaptation, Local Knowledge and Livelihoods Diversification in North-Central Namibia. Tyndall Working P. 140.

37. Niehof, A., 2004, The Significance of Diversification for Rural Livelihood Systems, Food Policy 29, PP. 321–338

38. Page, M., and Beshiri, R., 2003, Rural Economic Diversification- A Community and Regional Approach, Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 7, PP. 1-7.

39. Reardon. , 2006, Transforming the Rural Nonfarm Economy. Baltimore, MA, USA, Johns Hopkins University Press.

40. Smith, D. R. et al., 2011, Livelihood Diversification in Uganda: Patterns and Determinants of Change Across Two Rural Districts, Food Policy 26 (2001) 421–435.

41. Twigg J., 2001, Sustainable Livelihoods and Vulnerability to Disaster, Benfield Gerig Hazard Research Centre for the Disaster Mitigation Institute (DMI).

42. Watts, M., 1988, Coping with the Market: Uncertainty and Food Security Among Hausa Peasants, in I. De Garine and G. A. Harrison (Ends) Coping with Uncertainty in Food Supply Oxford: Clarendon Press: 260-90.

43. Bright, H. et al., 2000, Rura Nonfarm Livelihoods in Central and Easten Europe Central Asia and the Reform Process: A Literate Review NRI, PNFE, Report No, 2433.

44. Ersado, L., 2003, Income Diversification in Zimbabwe: Welfare Implications from Urban and Rural Areas, FCND Discussion Paper No. 152, International Food Policy Research Institute, Food Consumption and Nutrition Division.