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Masomeh Jamshidi, Seiyed Hedaiatollah Nouri Zamanabadi, Seiyed Eskandar Seiydai Gelsefidi, Dariush Rahimi,
Volume 4, Issue 13 (11-2015)

Drought is a natural disaster resulting in many damages to human life and natural ecosystems which is different from other kinds of disasters such as flood, hurricanes and earthquakes. As a result of this phenomenon, the level of surface water and ground water decrease dramatically and it is followed by various negative impacts on all aspects of villagers' life especially on economic aspect and agriculture structure. Frequent droughts result in more and more vulnerability of rural societies for facing present droughts, in a way that in some societies the basic challenge for many vulnerable households regarding the drought is survival. The economy of studied villages in Sirvan and Chardavol counties is dependent on agriculture activity. In the past years and before the occurrence of drought, these two counties were considered as a focal point for rice cultivation in Ilam province. In recent years, agriculture section is affected severely and water lands turned to be arid during the year because of climate changes and following that the occurrence of drought and its impacts on water resources, such as drying of seasonal and permanent rivers (Chardavol River) or decrease in agriculture water in the studied counties. According to the agricultural statistics released by Agriculture Organization of Ilam province, proportion of area under irrigated cereals as the dominant cultivation in two counties, Sirvan and Chardavol, in 74-75 crop year was 1530 and 6124 hectare respectively which has been decreased to 35 and 830 hectare in 90-91 crop year. These changes result in many problems in social and economic structure of rural districts in these counties. These problems in the studied rural societies are increase in unemployment, decrease in agricultural productions, decrease in income level and saving of households, increase of fake jobs. So, according to the necessity and importance of the issue, this survey aims to study economic impacts of drought on rural districts which are dependent on agriculture activities in Sirvan and Chardavol in order to answer the question that "What are the impacts of drought on economy of rural districts which are dependent on agriculture activities in Sirvan and Chardavol?"
This survey is a descriptive- analytic one. The population includes all the farmers of Sirvan and Chardavol counties (N= 8099) and regarding the condition of the studied society, we used multistage hierarchical sampling method. Therefore, after determining the samples by using Cochran's Formula which was calculated 367 people, we determined the portion of each rural district and available village out of samples using multi-stage hierarchical sampling method and according to portion principle for each county's portion (103 people from Sirvan county and 264 people from Chardavol). Therefore, after determining the samples by using Cochran's Formula which was calculated 367 people, we determined the portion of each rural district and available villages out of samples using multi-stage hierarchical sampling method and according to portion principle for each county's portion (103 people from Sirvan county and 264 people from Chardavol). Questionnaires were the data collection tools in this survey. The questionnaires are divided to two parts: the first part includes questions about personal and social characteristics of the farmers such as age, sex, education, and their agriculture activities' experiences, water resources before and after drought, the amount and the type of owned land. Second part includes items in the case of drought impacts on economy of rural districts. Since the target villages are dependent on agriculture activities and farming, therefore, the resulted structural and functional impacts of drought on agriculture section such as areas under agriculture production, production, the process of planting and harvesting the crops, income and farming costs, investment and savings by farmers, employment in agriculture section and the number of employees are considered as indicators of drought impacts on economy of rural districts and these items have been questioned. The validity ofdata collection tool was confirmed by experts. Its stability has been achieved by performing pretest and calculation of Alfa Cronbach (0.797). To analysis the data, descriptive statistics and inferential statistics have been used including factor analysis. To assess suitability of the data by factor analysis, KMO and Bartlett test have been used. All the statistical calculations in this study have been done by SPSS version 20 for windows. Sirvan and Chardavol counties are located in Ilam province in the west of Iran. Chardavol County is divided to two districts; 5 rural districts and two cities; Sirvan County has one district, three rural districts and a city; according to 1390 census, Chardavol County’s population is 55225 and the rural population is 37981. Sirvan population is 16948 and its rural population is 13047. Economic structure of these counties is dependent on agriculture and their major water resources are Chardavol River and Simereh River which are almost dry because of recent drought and also the amount of water in Simireh River in two stations, Halilan and Sazbon, decreased up to 90 and 82 percent respectively in 2007-2008 water year.
Discussion and Conclusion
Drought is one of the most persistent and most harmful natural disaster regarding the economy of the region which not only affect the agriculture quickly and directly but also it is followed by indirect and harmful impacts as a result of disorder in natural growth of agricultural productions. The results of factor analysis showed that the recent drought resulted in negative impacts on the economy of the rural districts in two counties, Sirvan and Chardavol. Drought impacts on rural districts in Sirvan County are four impacts including: decrease in production, increase in farmers' debts, poverty and change in approaches to agriculture. The results of factor analysis in Chardavol county shows that many changes happened in the economy of rural districts of this region too because of the occurrence of drought including economic crisis, poverty, change in approaches to agriculture and the debt crisis. According to the obtained results, in Sirvan County, the first and the most important impact of drought on economy of villages which are dependent on agriculture activity is decrease in production.

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