American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Major Challenges of Iranian Rural Communities for Achieving Sustainable Development

Khalil Kalantari, Hossein Shabanali Fami, Ali Asadi, Iraj Qasemi and Shahla Chubchian

DOI : 10.3844/ajabssp.2008.724.728

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Volume 3, Issue 4

Pages 724-728

Abstract

Problem statement: Rural population in Iran live in an unstable environment and geographically, villages are extremely diverse and more than 65% of them have population less than 250 persons, which do not provide sufficient population threshold for most of services and sustainable economic and job creation activities. Only 7.5% of rural areas have population more than 1000 persons. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to find out major challenges of Iranian rural communities for achieving sustainable development. Approach: To fulfill this objective, 60 rural development experts who are engaged in government organizations relevant to rural development, were randomly selected. Questionnaire was used to collect data and its reliability was confirmed by Cronbach’s alpha of 0.83. To arrive to consensus of expert’s opinion, factor analysis was used to achieve data reduction and extract factors. Results: In total, 5 factors, including "economic", "management and planning", "environmental", "social" and "physical challenges" were identified. These factors explained 65.52% of challenges to achieving sustainable development in rural areas in Iran. Conclusion: Diversification of rural economy, supporting job creation activities, promoting sustainable rural tourism, business and industrial activities, establishing a stable urban-rural network are among important agenda which can create an appropriate condition for sustainable development in Iranian rural communities.

Copyright

© 2008 Khalil Kalantari, Hossein Shabanali Fami, Ali Asadi, Iraj Qasemi and Shahla Chubchian. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.