Volume 11, Issue 40 (summer 2022)                   2022, 11(40): 165-188 | Back to browse issues page

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Taghilou A A, Soltani N. Small rural non-agricultural production activities in the dominance of power relations (Case study of West Azerbaijan Province). SPACE ECONOMY & RURAL DEVELOPMENT 2022; 11 (40) :165-188
URL: http://serd.khu.ac.ir/article-1-3836-en.html
1- Associate Professor of Geography and Rural Planning, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran
2- Assistant Professor of Political Geography, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran , n.soltani@urmia.ac.ir
Abstract:   (1335 Views)
Introduction
In the catchment area of Lake Urmia in West Azerbaijan province, the development of non-agricultural and agriculture-related small production activities has been the main strategy of the government to reduce the dependence of rural livelihoods on the agricultural sector and reduce water consumption in agriculture.
Referring to the studies conducted and the literature on the subject, it seems that the issue for the development and expansion of small non-agricultural activities in the villages is a problem of power relations and the inequality of abilities among the beneficiaries of these activities, which has made them unable to get the market benefits and capture the surplus value.
Therefore, the purpose of this article is not to explain the lack of success and discover the cause and effect of the development and establishment of non-agricultural production activities in villages. Rather, it is to help understand the structural limitations of the development and creation of production activities by identifying and examining the pairs of power relations and the interaction forces of these pairs.

 Methodology
Our fieldwork was done in 2019. The main methods used in this research are in-depth interviews, document reviews, and secondary data analysis. In-depth interviews with villagers, semi-structured interviews with officials of financial institutions and entrepreneurship fund (KARA), responsible for rural small business development of Jihad Agriculture Organization, responsible for the training of technical and vocational organization, responsible for the rural economic development of West Azarbaijan Governorate, rural insurance fund, responsible for cooperation Rural, responsible for rural business development of the province's industry, mining and trade organization is.
Villagers and village councils and, producers of pickles, herbal spirits, paste, and dry fruits production, some large and medium-sized companies producing similar urban products were of interest to us in the interview. During the research, we also conducted informal interviews with a number of villagers who own small workshops. Also, we examined the sixth development plan and policies for the development of household and small rural businesses of the Agricultural Jihad Organization, Department of Labor, Welfare and Social Security, Technical and Professional Organization, and Urmia Lake Restoration Headquarters.
Finally, the interviews of the officials in charge of small rural businesses with news agencies were used as second-hand information in our analyses, But the questions that were raised in the interviews are: Why do you think small non-agricultural production activities related to agriculture do not develop? What is the role of the government's interests and programs in the development of urban and rural industries in the development of these activities in the villages? How do you evaluate the performance factors of financial and government institutions in the development of these activities?

Discussion and conclusion
The relations between small rural production activities and similar urban production factories threaten each other's interests, and there is no common interest between them. These two activities compete with each other in acquiring the market and adding value produced in the market. Small rural production activities have a relative advantage, such as high-quality raw materials, more organic production, production quality, and reasonable price compared to the production of urban industries in gaining market and benefits.
According to the logic of the consumer, this advantage in the consumer market increases the ability to gain benefits and keeps the flow of market benefits for itself; But in contrast to the advantage of Urum Ada, Pakdis, Sasan Shahd, Khoshkbar il Sur, Khoshdis and Noushin Shahd industries against these activities, it is in how they relate to the government and other determinants of small rural production activities that have changed the flow of benefits; Because the strength of small rural production activities is in their nature, but urban industries have gained their strength from relationships, which play a decisive role in the distribution of market resources and benefits, and with the rents created through relationships, the most banking facilities, government incentives, opportunities They change the market created inside and outside for their own benefit and threaten small rural businesses with mechanisms such as unhygienic, traditional, bribery of regulatory organizations and non-compliance with labor laws and rural production insurance.
In the network of urban consumer relations and small rural production activities, the flow of benefits is somewhat bilateral. The interests of the consumer are the quality and price of the product; considering the bad economic conditions of the consumer and the low purchasing power of the urban consumer, products with a low price are the priority of purchase, and the quality of the products is the second priority. Rural products have been produced at a relatively low price due to the elimination of many costs such as tax, insurance, labor and energy costs, and self-sufficiency of raw materials. Therefore, the consumer market has welcomed it, and it has generated good income for producers. But since these products are not a priority in the households' basket, it does not bring many benefits to the producers. On the other hand, the production of discourses on "rural products being unsanitary" by scientific centers and government institutions such as universities and health centers changes the relationship between urban consumers and rural producers in favor of industries with similar urban production in a small market and causes further contraction of the market and the interests of the villagers.
The main issue in this section is to investigate how the relationship between the government and the city and the government and the village disrupts the balance of power between the city and the village and how this imbalance of power affects small rural production businesses. Apart from the relationship between the city and the village, which has always prevailed over the village in attracting human, financial capital, goods and other things, this dominance is due to the relationship between these two places with the scientific and economic elites and the government, which affects small production activities.

 
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2021/08/12 | Accepted: 2021/12/11

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