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Farhad Azizpoor, Zahra Khodakarami,
Volume 4, Issue 13 (11-2015)

Considering the important role of agriculture sector in the rural economy, it has caused the development of rural economy in various environmental, social and economic aspects. Thus it can play a significant role in achieving sustainable rural development. To achieve such goals, a particular value must be given to natural, social, human and financial capital resources. Among these, financial capitals receive the highest level of importance. According to the relatively small amount of local benefits of villages along with limited financial resources, less capital flows can be seen to the agriculture sector. Due to the individual exploitation system in the form of micro-credit granting, this condition has caused government give an important value to the supporting procedures of agricultural sector. Karasf in Khodabande county of Zanjan province is one of those rural districts whose share of agriculture sector in its economy is highly remarkable. The relatively low income of farmers in this region together with bureaucratic mechanism of banking system to finance resources of agricultural sector provoked farmers to utilize micro-credits. As in the years of 1385-1392 about 30 thousands of credits was granted to the farmers of this region. Approximately about 66 billion Tomeans of microcredits allocated to this region. It has been concluded to some effective results for villagers in agricultural sector and consequently for the rural development of the study area of the project. the present research we are trying to evaluate the effectiveness of such credits which have been mainly used in agricultural sector. In this regard the following fundamental question raised:
- In which ways the allocated agricultural micro credits are being used?
- What are some socioeconomic effects of microcredits on the rural district and its nearby villages?
- What factors influence the effectiveness of agricultural microcredit in the intended rural area?
This study done by the used of descriptive analytical approach. The statistical population includes exploiting farmers of different villages from rural district of Karasf in Zanjan province (20 villages), Agriculture Jihad experts (10 experts), and experts of agriculture bank (5 experts) in Khodabande county. The following steps were spent in order to sample and determine the sample size: Selecting sample villages, we initially determined the number of villages which were taking advantages of microcredits and then classified them through the frequency of targeted utilizing. Out of 20 villages which had received credits, the sample size of 4 was determined by means of an estimation method based on similar research experience. Then 4 villages of Karsaf, Paskuhan, Korechal, and Dalaye sofla were selected based on results from qualitative sampling. By the use of Cochrane method, 157 out of 2200 units which were taking advantage of microcredits (and had received the credits at least one time in 1385- 1392) selected as agriculture utilizing units. Then using random and stratified sampling methods a case group has been selected from four villages. The intended experts were investigated by census method. To measure the amount of effectiveness, criterions like bank credits for the installment sales of machinery, creating livestock facilities, credits granted for digging wells, providing engine, saving the cost of planting, sowing and harvesting, creating jobs, increasing the amount of production, increasing of revenue and preventing migration of villagers have been selected. Data collection has done through library and field methods. Questionnaires and questioning techniques have been used in parts related to field studies. Due to the subjective nature of the criterions, an ordinal scale used for evaluating data. To assess validity and reliability of the questionnaire, expert opinion and Cronbach's alpha have been respectively used with emphasis on internal consistency of data. Total alpha coefficient was about 82% which indicates high reliability of the questionnaire. One sample t test and rational arguments were used for analyzing data.
Discussion and conclusion
Measuring the effectiveness of agricultural microcredits in rural development indicates that some indicators are more effective than others. The increase of agricultural products (particularly crop products) is the most effective factor on the effectiveness of microcredits. Of course, some other significant factors like the increase of income and savings and decrease of the migration rate can be attributed to it. Results show that agricultural microcredits do not affect equally on different indicators of development- especially on socio-economic ones. Moreover, executive mechanisms of granted microcredits influenced by traditional approach (economic growth) are not necessary efficient enough. In this framework, effective factors like centralized management (up to down) and official and legal relationships have caused financial resources of local nature not to rely on micro-savings by people which has caused by itself the instability of such resources. This situation can be a consequence of different factors. Among these factors, the dominant approach of implementing the policy of agricultural micro-credit is one of the most important ones. A comparative study of the principles governing the granting of credits shows that in the study area, traditional thinking (affected by the perspective of economic growth) was dominant. In the other words, one-dimensional development of the study area influenced by microcredit is influenced by traditional thinking which is governing its role of credits in positive developments of rural areas.

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