Research Article Open Access

Major Challenges of Iranian Rural Communities for Achieving Sustainable Development

Khalil Kalantari1, Hossein Shabanali Fami1, Ali Asadi1, Iraj Qasemi2 and Shahla Chubchian1
  • 1 Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Development, University College of Agricultural and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
  • 2 Institute for Human and Social Sciences, Tehran, Iran


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.

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Volume 3 No. 4, 2008, 724-728


Submitted On: 8 October 2008 Published On: 31 December 2008

How to Cite: Kalantari, K., Fami, H. S., Asadi, A., Qasemi, I. & Chubchian, S. (2008). Major Challenges of Iranian Rural Communities for Achieving Sustainable Development. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, 3(4), 724-728.

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  • Sustainable rural development
  • rural development challenges in Iran
  • Diversification of rural economy