A promising model of farmers' resilience in Coping with floods (Case study: Sistan plain)

Document Type : Thesis Article


1 Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Garmsar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Garmsar, Iran

2 Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Garmsar Branch Islamic Azad University, Garmsar, Iran.

3 Department of Agriculture, Payame Noor University, Tehran



Floods are one of the most common and severe natural hazards worldwide. Due to climate change, the risk of severe floods is expected to increase. Currently, many organizations aim to enhance community resilience and manage flood hazards through educational measures. The purpose of this study is to investigate the resilience of farmers and the factors that affect their resilience, as well as its impact on reducing vulnerability to floods. To achieve this aim, a mixed-methods research approach was employed. This approach involved using grounded theory and survey methods in the qualitative and quantitative phases, respectively. The qualitative findings were analyzed using Atlas. ti 9 software, and the factors influencing farmers' resilience to floods were identified during this phase. Meanwhile, a model for investigating the factors affecting resilience and vulnerability to floods was developed during the quantitative phase. The model was designed and validated using structural equation modeling (SEM) with the partial least squares (PLS) method in the SmartPLS3 software. The findings from the qualitative phase demonstrated that the factors influencing farmers' resilience to floods include economic, extension and educational, legal, environmental, and infrastructure factors. In the quantitative phase, the modeling results revealed that access to basic services (ABS) was among the important dimensions of resilience. Furthermore, educational and extension factors had a significant positive effect on increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability to floods.

Keywords: Flood; Grounded theory; Resilience; Structural analysis; Vulnerability.

Introduction- 1

The severe and widespread flooding in recent decades has caused instability in agricultural production and reduced yields, posing a serious challenge to the agricultural sector's ability to provide sustainable food. Academics and programmers are working to reduce the damage caused by natural hazards, including flooding, by developing different approaches and appropriate programs. One such approach is to empower and strengthen the capacities of vulnerable local communities, enabling them to better prepare for, cope with, and recover from the detrimental effects of natural hazards. The lack of coherent policies for coping with natural risks, such as flooding, and the implementation of partial policies without sufficient attention to resources has placed a significant strain on development policies and have presented serious challenges in areas such as the Sistan Plain.


The mixed method was used for this research. In the qualitative stage, factors influencing the farmers' resilience in the face of flooding were identified. The statistical population in the qualitative phase consisted of experts from the social working group of Sistan Plain, consisting of 20 managers and experts in plant production, irrigation, agricultural education and extension, as well as facilitators. The participants were selected through a non-probability purposive sampling method. The data analysis was performed simultaneously with the data collection process using Atlas. ti 9 software in three stages: 1) Open coding; 2) Axial coding; and 3) Selective coding. The survey method was used in the quantitative phase. The statistical population consists of 56,639 farmers, of whom 382 were surveyed using the Morgan table and a simple random sampling method. The data collection tool was a questionnaire. Smart-PLS 3 software was applied for the analysis of quantitative data.


Qualitative data analysis revealed that several factors play a critical role in increasing the resilience of farmers to floods. The main drivers include educational and extension, economic, legal, environmental, and infrastructural factors. The results of the quantitative phase showed that the mean resilience index in all dimensions is below the average limit of 2.5. Therefore, the households had not adequate resilience to floods. The structural equation model revealed that educational-extension services, legal, environmental, infrastructural, and economic factors, as well as indicators related to each of these structures, accounted for about 24% of the variance in resilience. The results of the analysis of factors influencing vulnerability to floods indicated that access to basic services, adaptive capacity, assets, stability, and social security networks, economic, educational and extension services, legal, environmental, and infrastructural factors, as well as indicators related to each of these structures, represented a total of approximately 66 percent of the variance in vulnerability.

4 -Discussion

Findings indicated that educational and extension factors not only directly impact resilience to floods but also reduce farmers' vulnerability to this natural hazard. Farmers who have taken advantage of the new findings from agricultural extension programs report a higher ability to cope with floods. Legal, environmental, and infrastructural factors involve discussions, negotiations, mediation, dispute management, elections, public consultations, support, and other decision-making processes. To effectively contribute to enhancing resilience to floods, integrated risk management should be implemented through a multi-level and multi-central governance system. Farmers perceive that public investments in infrastructure play a crucial role in enhancing resilience and decreasing vulnerability. Moreover, access to media (newspapers, television, the internet, and mobile devices) and proximity to appropriate and standardized medical and health centers have a major impact on coping with floods.

5- Conclusion

The results indicate that the most effective approach to flood management involves a combination of structural and non-structural measures. Structural measures include river management projects that take into account the frequency of flood occurrences. Non-structural measures, on the other hand, include extension and educational factors. Farmers can overcome numerous challenges by prioritizing legal, environmental, and infrastructural factors, particularly in the strategically important Sistan Plain that protects the country's borders.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 26 May 2024
  • Receive Date: 04 March 2024
  • Revise Date: 21 May 2024
  • Accept Date: 26 May 2024