The Study of Rural Production Cooperatives Members’ Psychological Empower in Fars Province



Although farmers’ psychological empower is a core prominent for development but classic development approaches emphasis on land, capital and human forces for development. However, the new development models are focusing on every single person development in a community. This approach is followed up under theme of empowerment which is developing by doing researches in different disciplines such as medicine, organizational management and women studies. But it is undermined in rural development studies. For this reason, a research was carried out to study it among members of the Rural Production Cooperatives in Fars Province as well as to explain its effecting factors because of role of cooperatives on member’s psychological empower. To do this research Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory was considered and the following variables were used:
Competency: a self-believe on doing a job with full-skill and success with personal mastery and effort performance expectancy.
Meaning: Having a good sense about own job as a value-job which leads to job satisfaction.
Choice: An independent sense a person feels when she/he makes a decision to do a work as a part of her/his duties. Or she/he experiences freedom how to do it independently.
Impact: A person is facing with a situation where she/he can change strategies of his work so that affects her/his colleagues according to her/his own understanding.
Trust: It refers to relationship among people which depends on how a person considers her/himself as a competent, open and self-confident.
Self- Esteem: It is a psychological characteristic which causes specific attitudes toward own abilities and capacities absolutely and/or relatively.

Fars Province is a cultivation area in southwest where there are 281000 farmers who produce different agricultural products. The Province is ranked 1 at national level in terms of many products such as wheat. Almost 23% of employment in Province is in agricultural section. So, the role of agriculture is very important for politicians from a national development perspective. It is very important to do research how to empower farmers to save the Country in terms of food production and security. A survey method and stratified random sampling was used. A hundred and fifty members and 150 non-member farmers of rural production cooperation were interviewed by questionnaire which face validity was confirmed by an expert panel and a pre-test was carried out with an alpha coefficient of 94% result for whole questionnaire.
The major goal was rural production cooperatives members’ psychological empower in Fars Province. The followings were considered as objectives:
• To compare psychological empower between members and non-member farmers,
• To compare individual, social and economical characteristics between members and non-member farmers, and
• To calculate regression between each individual, social and economical characteristic and members’ psychological empower.

Study area information is shown in table 1 in belief.

Table 1: Study area information in belief.
Items Units
Farmers ‘age:
• Max. Ave. Min.
Literacy level:
Agricultural Experience:
Ave. income from:
• Agriculture activities
• Non-agriculture activities
Ave. Cultivation area:
Main Product:
Ave. membership of cooperatives:
Trained population:
Ave. educational classes participation:
Ave. general meeting participation
84, 45, 22 yrs.
9 yrs.
23 yrs.

10 classes
9 meetings

A t-test was used to compare psychological empower between members and non-member farmers. The results are shown in table 2. The two groups are significantly different in terms of competency and trust. In other words, those farmers as member of rural cooperation in study area fell more competent and trust more in others than non-members. Generally speaking, those farmers as members of cooperation are statistically more empowered than non-members.

Table 2: Comparison of psychological empower means of two farmers groups

Variables Members Non-members T- value Sig.
Mean* Std. Error Mean Std. Error
Competency 11.35 2.10 10.87 2.01 2.02 0.044*
Meaning 12.11 1.88 11.74 2.13 1.60 0.112
Choice 10.00 2.20 9.90 2.01 2.01 0.684
Impact 11.17 2.20 10.72 2.05 1.87 0.063
Trust 10.86 2.09 9.87 2.17 4.44 0.001***
Self-Esteem 11.41 2.72 11.45 2.91. -0.11 0.914
Total 66.90 8.70 64.46 9.23 2.40 0.017*
* Range of psychological empower point is 19-95. *p? 0.05 ***p? 0.001
A step-by-step regression was carried out to find factors affecting psychological empower. According to results shown in Table 3, job satisfaction can predict 26.7 % of psychological empower among study population. In next steps, this percent increases by 42.9% when class participation, communication, and education variables are entered into regression equation. The maximum prediction of psychological empower can be calculated by 32.8% by one standard deviation in job satisfaction rate.

Table 3: A step-wise regression finding independent variables’ affects on
dependent variable.
Variables B ? T Sig. R R2 Adjusted R2
Constant. Coe. 38.683
Job satisfaction 9.92 0.328 3.887 0.001 0.524 0.275 0.267
Classes participation 0.287 0.290 3.537 0.001 0.616 0.380 0.367
Communication 0.652 0.263 3.107 0.002 0.652 0.425 0.407
Education -0.335 -0.167 -2.176 0.032 0.672 0.452 0.429
F=19.767 Sig= 0.000

Psychological empower is a requirement for rural development. The rural production cooperation can enable members psychologically empower. To increase farmers’ psychological empower, the rural production cooperation should encourage more local and regional communications and access to information sources and training classes participation as more as possible. Also, local potential capacities of food production, process and marketing should be considered to increase farmers’ income. Because it would leads to job-satisfaction and consequently will increase their psychological empower.