Document Type : Research Paper
Master of Geography and Rural Planning
Department of Geography, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran
Faculty Member, Department of Geography, University of Golestan
The Role of Greenhouse Farming on the Sustainable Livelihood of Rural Families
Case Study: Daland Township, the City of Ramian
Considering the provision of artificial conditions of production, neutralizing the environmental factors, elevating the quality of products and making optimized use of limited water, soil, energy, fuel and agricultural input resources, greenhouse farming is specifically important in promotion of agricultural processes and evolution of rural economy. The important thing in the rural agriculture is sustainable livelihood of residents, because the income of farming directly affects the lives of rural families. The objective of this survey is to study the role of greenhouse farming on the sustainable livelihood of Daland Township in the city of Ramian. In the studied region, this type of farming already exists in small and traditional units; therefore, considering the agricultural capacities of the region, development and propagation of greenhouse farming can be followed more seriously, and enabling the villagers requires further efforts. Hence, this survey tries to find answers for these questions: is there any relationship between natural powers and development as well as propagation of greenhouse farming? Is there any relationship between development of greenhouse farming and improvement of economic and social factors of rural families? Is there any relationship between development of greenhouse farming and elevation of physical factors of rural families?
In terms of objective, this survey is applied and in terms of nature, it is descriptive-analytical. Statistical population of this survey is all 6188 families in Daland Township; and by the use of Cochrane’s formula, 365 householders were selected as the sample size to fill out the questionnaires. Mann-Whitney and Independent T tests were used to analyze data in SPSS software; and ArcGis software was used for preparing the maps. The statistical population of this study includes 6188 families settled in the rural regions of Daland Township. Out of this population, 365 householders were selected by the use of Cochrane’s formula as the sample size to fill out the questionnaires, and their replies were analyzed. Questionnaires were distributed in the studied villages by the use of simple random method. The householders were evaluated in two main groups i.e. villagers with greenhouse farming and villagers without greenhouse farming. Validity of questionnaires was approved by university professors and experts of rural planning. For measuring the reliability of questionnaires, Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was used which was achieved as 83%. Considering the research hypotheses, the research variables also were designed and analyzed as natural, economic, social and physical powers.
Findings and discussion
In order to achieve the objectives of hypothesis 1 in the survey (relationship between natural powers and development and propagation of greenhouse farming) and considering the type of present indexes in the natural factor, Mann Whitney test was used. Considering the quantity of Mann Whitney statistic and significance level of natural powers variable (independent variable) on the dependent variable (development and propagation of greenhouse farming), the research hypothesis is approved. In relation to the role of greenhouse farming development on the sustainable livelihood of rural families in Daland Township, there is a significant relationship between development of greenhouse farming and different economic and social aspects. According to non-parametrical Mann Whitney scale, comparison of the mean values of economic indexes between the two groups of villagers with greenhouse farming and villagers without greenhouse farming show that there is significant relationship in the items of income increase in the agriculture sector, satisfaction level with income increase in the agriculture sector, variety of products in different seasons, and satisfaction level with variety of products in different seasons. Also, there is no significant relationship between the items of increase in the efficiency of products and consistent production of them, and satisfaction level with efficiency increase of products. Comparing the effectiveness level of social factors between the two groups (villagers with greenhouse farming and villagers without greenhouse farming) by the use of non-parametric Mann Whitney scale showed significant difference between the items of participation level and interest in decision-making and executive activities in villages, investment safety on greenhouse farming in the villages, increase of correlation and social solidity between villagers, and preference of starting business in the villages rather than in the city in the field of greenhouse farming. There is a significant relationship between the two groups of villagers with greenhouse farming and villagers without greenhouse farming in the items of financial participation, physical participation and consultation participation. Evaluation and analysis of people’s participation in preparation and implementation of development plans showed that compared to villagers without greenhouse farming, villagers with greenhouse farming had higher levels of participation. In order to achieve the objectives of the third hypothesis of the survey (the relationship between greenhouse farming development and elevation of physical-skeletal factors of rural families), considering the type of indexes in the physical-skeletal factors, Mann Whitney scale has been used. Comparing the effectiveness level of physical-skeletal factors between two groups of villagers (with greenhouse farming and without greenhouse farming) by Mann Whitney non-parametric scale show significant difference between items of easy access to neighborhood villages and city, easy access to transportation vehicles, and satisfaction level with disposal of surface waters in the village.
The survey results show that there is 95% significant relationship between natural powers and development of greenhouse farming because of climate conditions, land fertility, etc. There is also significant relationship between development of greenhouse farming and improvement of economic factors (income increase, variety of products, etc.), social factors (participation of villagers, investment safety, etc.), and elevation of skeletal factors of villager families (easy access, easy transportation, etc.). The results show that by the use of statistical scales, up to 95% significant difference was observed between the studied indexes in the two groups of families with greenhouse farming and families without greenhouse farming. Therefore, the suggested solutions are providing financial and training supports, insuring greenhouses, implementation of hydroponic systems, and presenting new and reformed inputs.