Volume 10, Issue 38 (winter 2022 2022)                   2022, 10(38): 229-246 | Back to browse issues page

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najafi kani A A. The role of hydroponics in production prosperity and economic development of rural areas Case: Villages of central district of Gorgan township. SPACE ECONOMY & RURAL DEVELOPMENT 2022; 10 (38) :229-246
URL: http://serd.khu.ac.ir/article-1-3775-en.html
Associate Professor of Geography and Rural Planning, Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran , rabiee@khu.ac.ir
Abstract:   (1731 Views)
On the one hand, food Supply to the country's 85 million people and its growing population, and the need to achieve self-sufficiency in agricultural production and food security, on the other hand, necessitate an increase in agricultural production in the country. This requires an alteration in traditional farming systems and methods, including soil cultivation and open field cultivation (cultivation in farm and garden) and their replacement with new and high-yield methods such as hydroponics.
Hydroponics, despite the need for sufficient expertise and relatively high initial capital compared to soil cultivation,  has several advantages such as high yield, low labor requirement, no need to observe crop rotation, weed control, plant growth uniformity, minimum water loss, Lack of competition of plants for water and nutrients, the possibility of providing food supply in accordance with the needs of plants, less use of chemicals and as a result healthier crops. Another advantage of this system is its applicability and use in various levels, including large greenhouses commercially and small home scales. In-home environments, by using unused spaces such as homes’ rooftops, indoors and even parking lots and so on, the required products can be easily produced organically. By using the mentioned method and by employing the professional and the youth of the country and also by considering the numerous advantages of hydroponic systems, not only it creates jobs and entrepreneurship, but also helps the development of the country's economy by producing valuable products.

Research Methodology
Due to the importance of the subject, the general purpose of this study is to scrutinize the role of hydroponic farming in the prosperity and the production leap and, consequently, the economic development of rural areas. The present study is in applied form and in terms of the method is descriptive-analytical based on field studies and the statistical population is the villages of the central district of Gorgan County. After identifying and designing the indicators, a questionnaire was prepared that by using Cochran's formula, 240 employers and hydroponic farmworkers, as well as villagers, were selected and interviewed as a sample population. Finally, using the T-test and Mann–Whitney U test, multiple linear regression test, and cluster analysis  (compression type) in the SPSS software environment, data were measured and analyzed.
Gorgan has a privileged geographical position and excellent climatic conditions due to its location which is between a vast and fertile plain and mountains covered with forests and also its relatively short distance to the Caspian Sea. This County is bounded by Aq Qala city from the north, Semnan Province from the south, Aliabad County from the east, and Kordkuy County from the west. In terms of area, Gorgan is 1615 square kilometers (7.91 percent of the province) and the average height of the city is 155 meters above sea level. According to the country divisions in 2016, it consists of two central parts, Baharan and five Rural Districts (Estarabad-e Jonubi, Anjirabad, Roshanabad, Estarabad-e Shomali, Qoroq) and 98 villages.

Results and discussion
The results of the independent t-Test indicate that there is a significant difference in the production of summer crops per unit area between the two studied methods and the income of landowners with a 99% confidence level. The results of the Mann-Whitney test also indicate that there is a significant difference of 99% among the chemical fertilizers absorption coefficient, pesticides, and the apparent quality of crops. Moreover, the results of the multiple linear regression test to explain the effectiveness of hydroponics in multiple fields show that their satisfaction with hydroponics is very high. In other words, the hydroponics method not only reduces water consumption and increases production per unit area and demonstrates the 99% relationship, but also partially improves the absorption of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in the plant. The results obtained or the coefficient of determination obtained in the regression indicate that hydroponic farming was effective up to approximately 88% in increasing crop production per unit area, reducing water consumption and increasing the fertilizers and absorption coefficient, and also increasing farmers' incomes. Cluster analysis was used to measure the development capacity of hydroponics in the target villages and they were classified into four categories in terms of development capacity. Villages of the first cluster (Karimabad and Saadabad) and villages of the second cluster (Lamlang, Jelin, Kheyrat,Fayzabad and Ziarat) have the highest development capacity of hydroponics, respectively. The villages of the third cluster (Maryamabad) and the villages of the fourth cluster (Qarnabad, Dodangeh, Ahangar Mahalleh, and Tushan), although they have good capacity in different fields, they have a lower capacity in comparison to the villages of the first and second clusters.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2022/03/7 | Accepted: 2022/03/1

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