Structural Analysis of Agricultural Rurality Evolution in Isfahan Province

Document Type : Thesis Article


1 PhD Student, Department of Geography and Rural Planning, Faculty of Geographical Sciences and Planning, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.

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


Rural areas have experienced various evolutions in terms of structure and function, causing some vagueness regarding rural conceptions and identities. Agriculture, as the most fundamental rural activity, has had severe evolutions. This paper aims to structurally analyze the spatio-temporal evolutions of agricultural rurality in Isfahan province by conducting a comparative study considering villages consisting of more than four households during two agricultural censuses in 2003 and 2014. The same variables were extracted and two series of cross-sectional and one series of longitudinal indicators of agricultural rurality and its evolutions were calculated. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal evolutions were modeled using structural equation modeling and bootstrapping procedure. Rate of employment in agriculture, stakeholders’ per capita land, irrigated lands and irrigated cultivation were the indicators affecting agricultural rurality in both years. Results generally showed that water as input and its sub-indicators have a more determinant role in agricultural functionality than land; also, this functionality has mainly been based on farming rather than gardening. Regional analysis on the mean structures of agricultural rurality indicated the negative impact of the changes in employment rate in agriculture and farming stakeholders and contrarily the positive impact of the changes in farmers’ literacy rate and gardening stakeholders on the evolution of agricultural rurality among three groups of mountainous, plain and desert rural regions. This impact has been more influential in terms of employment and literacy rates. The changes of irrigated lands have only affected the evolution of agricultural rurality in desert rural regions.


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