Agricultural Commercialization in Rural Farming Systems and Causal Interpretation of its Determinants Using Structural Equation Modeling and Path Analysis

Document Type : Research Paper


Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Rural Planning, Faculty of Geographical Sciences and Planning, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.


Commercial agriculture means production in large scale, specialized, and market-oriented cropping. The present study aims to identify the commercialization components of strawberry cultivation in Marivan township and to evaluate its determinants causally. A stratified random sample comprising of 191 stakeholders were interviewed to collect data. The dependent variables of strawberry cropping commercialization includes the area under cultivation, crop specialization, crop intensification, under cultivation area addition, crop yield and sale proportion. A set of economic, social, technical, and institutional factors operationalized and measured as the independent variables. Measuring of dependent scale was modeled using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and the path analysis approach was used to interpret its causal relationships with independent variables. Farms average area under cultivation, literacy and acquaintance of the family head, satisfaction with job and future hopefulness, informal vocational training, the degree of modern irrigation usage and level of wage labor utilization were the final constructive variables set of the study’s causal-structural model. First three variables are external- while the remaining are internal-structural model variables. Based on the total direct and indirect effects, farms average area under cultivation, satisfaction with job and future hopefulness and degree of modern irrigation usage had the most influence on commercialization of strawberry cultivation. Contrarily, the level of wage labor utilization, acquaintance, and literacy of the family head had minor influences on the commercialization of the strawberry.


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