Factors affecting the food security of farmers' households in small-scale farming units of Hamedan province with an emphasis on the effect of resilience

Document Type : Extracted from the dissertation


1 Ph.D. Graduate of, Department of Agricultural Development and Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran,Karaj,Iran

2 Department of Agricultural Development and Management, Faculty of Agriculture University of Tehran,, Karaj,, Iran

3 Department of Agricultural Management and Development, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Agricultural Development and Management, Faculty of Agriculture University of Tehran,Karaj, Iran

5 Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

6 Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tehran, Karaj,




The increasing in global population, including Iran, has led to a continuous rise in food demand. Addressing this demand and ensuring food security necessitates improvements across the entire food supply chain, from production to consumption. Recent years have presented challenges to food production systems, particularly due to climate change-induced factors like drought. Strengthening the resilience of agricultural units emerges as a practical response to this phenomenon, offering enhanced food security for farming households and benefits across the agricultural sector. Iran has faced food security challenges from climate change, population growth, and water scarcity, impacting agricultural production. Safeguarding national food security requires resilience against natural and economic fluctuations, enabling households to withstand crises and maintain food security. Resilient farmers exhibit greater adaptability to climate change effects, embracing sustainable production methods based on modern knowledge in small-scale agriculture. Studies highlight the impact of climate change on strategic food production in Hamadan province, particularly affecting small-scale farming crucial for farmers' livelihoods. Inadequate risk mitigation systems exacerbate climate change's negative effects, diminishing farmers' resilience. Effective strategies for enhancing resilience, reducing vulnerability, and transitioning to resilient agricultural systems for small-scale units are underscored. Technological interventions like water-saving technologies positively impact farmers' income and food security. Shifting cropping patterns towards drought-resistant crops and improved water management enhances production and crop quality. Nonetheless, reduced food production and smallholder incomes exacerbate rural poverty and food insecurity. Despite small-scale farmers' commendable efforts, concerns persist regarding food security and climate change resilience in their households. Household vulnerability to climate change correlates with varying degrees of food insecurity. Augmenting household resilience is pivotal in ensuring food security and enabling farmers to sustain livelihoods in a changing climate. Resilience emerges as a key agricultural strategy to confront climate change challenges and meet food production needs. However, limited research on the relationship between farm resilience and food security underscores the necessity for further investigation. This research aims to identify factors influencing food security in small agricultural units in Hamedan province, a significant area for diverse agricultural cultivation, focusing on evaluating resilience impact.


This applied research aimed to explore the determinants of food security among smallholder farmers in Hamedan province, specifically focusing on resilience. Through an extensive literature review, key influencing factors were identified. An adapted resilience assessment model encompassing government policies, socio-economic capacities, and local-agricultural actions was utilized. The Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) was the food security assessment tool supplemented by additional questions. The study targeted small-scale farmers, the study's statistical population, who owned less than 10 hectares of land, and it was estimated to be about 75,442 individuals in Hamedan province. Data collection involved interviews adopting cluster and simple random sampling techniques where a sample of 300 farmers applying Cochran formula was selected. Experts confirmed the content validity of the questionnaire, and reliability was approved using Cronbach's alpha coefficient. Data analysis employed SMART PLS3 and SPSS software via structural equation modeling. During the validation of the structural model, Cronbach's alpha index and the composite reliability coefficient were computed to be greater than 0.7, indicating strong internal consistency and reliability. This suggests that the model's internal validity and similarity are robust.

Results and Discussion

The study identified significant factors influencing food security among smallholder farmers in Hamadan province, including access to clean water, financial resources, effective financial management, organic fertilizer usage, personal savings, and risk management; a positive economic situation correlated with increased food security, improved food choices, and greater purchasing power. Psychological factors such as self-confidence and belief in individual capabilities were associated with enhanced psychological well-being and life satisfaction, positively impacting food security. Social aspects like household decision-making involvement, village cooperation, and participation in local organizations also significantly influenced food security. Strong correlations between agricultural unit resilience and food security were observed. Challenges related to food insecurity, such as reduced meals for children due to financial constraints, affected food insecurity prevalence among farming households. The study underscored the importance of securing production resources for sustainable food security. While growing crops like potatoes and cereals positively affected food security, market reliance, and procurement complexities posed challenges. Overall, the findings highlighted the multifaceted nature of food security, emphasizing the need for comprehensive strategies.


The study revealed that a substantial portion (69.7 percent) of smallholder farmer households in Hamadan province experienced varying food insecurity. Resilience to climate change exhibited a strong positive relationship with food security. Economic, psychological, and social factors emerged as primary determinants of food security levels. The intricate relationship between agricultural practices and food security was highlighted, particularly the emphasis on cereal consumption and self-sustaining crop production. Addressing these challenges requires holistic strategies integrating economic empowerment, psychological well-being, social cooperation, and sustainable agricultural practices. The insights from this study offer valuable guidance for interventions to enhance food security among smallholder farmers in the region, especially by building farmers' capacity to adapt to climate change. Based on the results, recommendations for enhancing the food security of these households include proposing a range of governmental interventions in social services. These interventions may involve offering food subsidies to those in need, expanding avenues for income assistance, and enhancing their access to healthcare services.

Keywords: Food Security,Hamedan Province, Household, Resilience, Small Scale Farming Units.


This research received some financial and administrative support from the University of Tehran and Iran's National Science Foundation.

Authors’ Contribution

The authors contributed equally to the conceptualization and writing of the article. All of the authors approved the content of the manuscript and agreed on all aspects of the work declaration of competing interest none.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflict of interest.


The authors acknowledge the University of Tehran and Iran's National Science Foundation (Grant No. 98002929) for providing support for this study.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 13 March 2024
  • Receive Date: 18 December 2023
  • Revise Date: 12 March 2024
  • Accept Date: 13 March 2024