Measure and comparison of economic, social and ecological sustainability of farming systems in the Marvdasht plain

Document Type : Research Paper


Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Development, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran


Agricultural sustainability refers to the ability of a cropping system to produce, without causing irreversible damage to
the ecosystem. There is an increasing need to view cropping systems and identify management practices in a holistic
indicator-based impact assessment. The main objective of this study was to compare and rank the cropping systems of the
Marvdasht plain in Fars Province; in order to show the gap between them. To achieve this aim, sustainability were divided
into four levels based on Composite Index(CI),which is useful for the identification of sustainability and includes three
dimension: (1) economical, (2) social, and (3) environmental and consist of 11 indicators. Required data were collected by
questionnaire from 200 cropping farmers who were selected through a stratified sampling design from six regions located
in Marvdasht plain. The computer software of SPSS was used to analyse the data. Indicators were normalized using the
division by means technique and were weighted. The weightings were derived from Principal Component Analysis
(PCA). CI was used to map the sustainability levels at the plain. According to classifying CI, four categories were
identified, which zone 6 identified as being unsustainable, while two zones 2 and 3 were considered as belonging to the
relatively unsustainable and the zone 5 was identified as relatively sustainable and the remaining zones (1,4) were
classified as sustainable. We conclude that the usage of multidimensional and holistic CI for analysing sustainability of
complex cropping systems is extremely important.


Main Subjects

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