Review and analysis of the challenges of monitoring the agricultural sector of Iran

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Human Geography, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization, Tehran, Iran

10.22059/jhgr.2024.370671.1008664

Abstract

Nowadays, in the agricultural sector, agricultural monitoring is considered a modern approach to agriculture and is introduced as an intelligent decision support tool towards achieving goals such as self-sufficiency, food security, and sustainable agricultural development. On the other hand, the agricultural monitoring process in Iran faces challenges that identifying and creating measures to address these challenges is one of the most effective actions in the successful agricultural monitoring process. Therefore, the present study was conducted with the aim of identifying and analyzing the challenges of agricultural monitoring in Iran. The research method in this study is qualitative with an exploratory nature. A semi-structured interview method was used to collect information. For the research sample population, purposive sampling and snowball sampling methods were used. In this regard, 60 people from various groups active in this field (monitoring experts, agricultural experts, and farmers) were selected as the statistical population of the study. Using content analysis method, in the first stage, the primary codes obtained from open and axial coding were classified and categorized. Thus, those categories that have a close relationship with each other were placed in a main category. As a result of data coding, 15 concepts were obtained in axial coding and 6 main categories in selective coding. 1- Technical, specialized, and educational, 2- Structure of laws and communications between organizations and institutions, 3- Data and information resources and systems, 4- Market and credits, 5- Practical application of the agricultural sector, and 6- Political and public are among the main challenges of agricultural monitoring in Iran. In our country, besides climatic conditions, factors such as underdeveloped agricultural institutions, financial markets, inadequate financial tools for implementing medium and long-term agricultural projects, small-scale farming units, and high natural risks like seasonal heavy rains, droughts, etc., coupled with a lack of investment in the establishment and expansion of processing and complementary industries, difficulty in attracting foreign capital due to unclear agricultural regulations, and the existence of political, economic, and executive risks have hindered agriculture in Iran from achieving comprehensive self-sufficiency. Essentially, agricultural observatories serve as decision support tools in agriculture, providing a modern approach. The Iranian Agricultural Observatory, designed to monitor and measure the status of key indicators in various agricultural sectors, serves the organizational mission and responsibilities of the Ministry of Jihad-e Agriculture. It aims to provide data, information, and knowledge to decision-makers, managers, experts, and stakeholders in the field of agriculture, influencing their intelligent decision-making in spatial planning, land development, and identifying the capacities, capabilities, and constraints of the agricultural sector. However, challenges in agricultural monitoring, such as the lack of accurate and up-to-date information, comprehensive oversight of cultivated areas, production, supply, demand, etc., the absence of organizational systems and coordination, mismatch between production and target markets with interventionist government policies, insufficient supply chain organization leading to waste, and disparities in the agricultural product market system, contribute to challenges in the successful implementation of the monitoring process. For instance, the initial step to ensure the country's food needs and address challenges facing the agricultural sector is to assess the current situation using precise statistics and information. In summary, major challenges in agricultural monitoring include the absence of accurate information, lack of organizational systems, coordination, and challenges in the market system, supply chain inadequacies leading to waste, and price disparities between producers and consumers. This research aims to categorize and present the challenges identified by agricultural experts and professionals and provide recommendations and effective solutions.

Methodology:The methodology employed in this research is qualitative with an exploratory nature. Semi-structured interviews were used for data collection, employing purposive and snowball sampling methods for the research sample. The sample consisted of 60 individuals from various groups active in this field (monitoring specialists, agricultural experts, and farmers). After conducting interviews and extracting the challenges, content analysis was employed to code, interpret, and categorize the data through open, axial, and selective coding stages.



Results and Discussion:Using the content analysis method, in the first stage, through open and axial coding of the data, initial codes were classified and categorized. In this manner, those concepts closely related to each other were placed under a main category, resulting in 66 concepts in this stage. As a result of data coding, 15 concepts were obtained in axial coding and 6 main categories in selective coding. The main challenges in the monitoring of the agricultural sector in Iran include 1- Technical, specialized, and educational challenges, 2- Legal structure and communication between organizations and agencies, 3- Data and information resources and systems, 4- Market and credits, 5- Practical aspects of the agricultural sector, and 6- Political and public challenges.

Conclusion:

The Agricultural Observatory is designed with the aim of monitoring and measuring the indicators of various agricultural sectors in Iran in line with the organizational mission and responsibilities of the Ministry of Jihad-e Agriculture. It aims to provide data, information, and knowledge to decision-makers, managers, experts, and stakeholders in this field, influencing their intelligent decision-making in spatial planning, land development, and identifying the capacities, capabilities, and constraints of the agricultural sector. This understanding will allow us to utilize the national space in accordance with the capacities and capabilities of different regions of the country.

In this research, an attempt was made to identify and analyze the main and core challenges in line with the goals of the agricultural observatory. These challenges in various areas and dimensions, such as 1- Technical, specialized, and educational challenges, 2- Organizational structure, laws, and inter-organizational communication, 3- Data accuracy, information resources, and systems, 4- Market and credits, 5- Practical aspects of the agricultural sector, and 6- Political and public challenges, were identified and categorized. Constructive participation and interaction among the government, private, and civil sectors to empower and achieve agricultural goals, clarification of defined laws, online definition and detailed explanation of duties, streamlining bureaucratic processes, creating a framework for education and awareness, integrating information systems, implementing incentive measures, emphasizing accurate self-reporting by operators, monitoring, or eliminating intermediaries and brokers, and taking legal deterrent actions are among the effective solutions to address the challenges of the agricultural observatory

Keywords

Main Subjects



Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 15 May 2024
  • Receive Date: 06 January 2024
  • Revise Date: 14 May 2024
  • Accept Date: 15 May 2024