Document Type : Thesis Article
Feasibility of changing cultivation from rice to beans, A solution for the development of the agricultural-rural sector in the conditions of drought crisis (the case of Lenjan region)
Today, general agricultural policies are moving towards sustainable agriculture and this is despite the fact that a big problem called drought and climate change has plagued countries, especially in the field of this important economic sector. Based on this, the correct understanding of the comprehensive conditions for growing an agricultural product is one of the important principles of sustainable agriculture, and in this regard, the general policies of growing inappropriate products should be changed and move towards better products. In terms of agriculture, Lenjan is considered as one of the most important rice producers in Isfahan Province. Lenjan region produces one of the best rice products in Iran. Other products of this region include wheat, sugar beet, summer fruits, tree fruits such as walnuts, almonds, etc. Due to the recent droughts and lack of water in Isfahan province and Lenjan city, the policies of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad in recent years have moved towards reducing the area under rice cultivation, so many rice farmers are not successful in cultivating rice, and many agricultural lands in this region are unused. According to the statistics obtained from the agriculture expert of Jihad Agricultural Organization of Lenjan, the area under rice cultivation in the past years was about 2000 hectares, but in the current crop year, this level has decreased to 360 hectares. Considering that agriculture is the main livelihood of the people in the study area, it is obvious that one of the solutions is to develop crops that require less water than rice. Considering that this issue has been raised in recent years at the regional level, therefore, the present study seeks to investigate the possibility of alternative cultivation. For this purpose, the possibility of replacing bean cultivation instead of rice cultivation in the study area was measured.
Considering the fact that according to the currently implemented programs, one of the solutions considered for the region studied in this research, (Lenjan region of Isfahan province) was the change of cultivation from rice to beans, so the aim of this research was to investigate the possibility of this change in the supposed area. The statistical population of the research included the experts of the Agricultural Jihad organization of Lenjan, the experts of the farmers trade union organization and progressive farmers of the studied area. Statistical sampling technique was random and about 170 persons were selected as research sample using Cochran's Formula. Also, a pre-designed questionnaire was used to collect data. Data analysis was done using SPSS software.
The results of the research showed that from the point of view of farmers, production, management and attitudinal factors and from the point of view of experts, all factors including relative advantage, timing, production, attitudinal, management and context are in desired conditions or even higher. This means that the conditions for changing cultivation from rice to beans were evaluated as favorable. From the point of view of experts in the region, it was possible to change the cultivation of rice to beans in all dimensions, and the existing average of each factor was evaluated as higher than the optimal situation, and it is possible to change the cultivation in the studied area. From the farmers' point of view, apart from the three factors of production, management and attitude, which were higher than the optimal situation, the rest of the factors were evaluated at the optimal level. Therefore, it is currently possible to change cultivation in the study area.
Discussion and conclusion
Based on the presented results, from the point of view of respondents, it is possible to change the cultivation of rice to beans in all dimensions, and although any change seems hard at first, it seems that both local officials and villagers (farmers) should follow up and take the necessary measures to change cultivation. Therefore, the existence of government support and also the existence of organizations to provide necessary information to farmers is effective and necessary. As a result, it can be said that if financial and informational support is provided to farmers and the financial support of the government and various organizations in different issues in changing the cultivation of rice to beans is with them, their desire to change cultivation will increase and as a conclusion, it will be considered as an approach towards sustainable agricultural and rural development of the region.
Keywords: Drought, Feasibility Study, Cultivation Change, Lenjan, Isfahan