The Efficacy of Farm-Nonfarm Diversification on Rural Households’ Quality of Life (Case Study: Golmakan Dehestan of Chenaran County)

Document Type : Scientific Articles


Ferdowsi University of Mashhad


Purpose- Considering that a diversified economy can lay the proper groundwork for improving quality of life, the present study investigates and analyzes the efficacy of diversification on rural households’ quality of life.
Design/methodology/approach - The study is descriptive-analytical and its population consists of rural settlements in Golmakan Dehestan, Chenaran County. “Economic activities diversification” is the independent variable of the study which is quantified in two agricultural and non-agricultural aspects, using 14 indicators. “Rural households’ quality of life” is the dependent variable which is quantified in three social, economic and physical-environmental aspects, using 48 indicators. Questionnaires were handed to 258 rural families in 15 villages and the average score of each indicator was considered as the score of each of the villages studied.  The validity of the questionnaire was established through confirmatory factor analysis (65.72%) and its reliability was established by Cronbach's alpha (0.83).
Findings- The results of the step-wise regression show that diversity of non-agricultural activities has a meaningful influence on the variation of the dependent variable (rural households’ quality of life), such that a change of one standard deviation in non-agricultural activities leads to a change of 0.6 of standard deviation in rural households’ quality of life. Therefore, non-agricultural activities are influential in improving the economic conditions of families, and consequently raising quality of life among rural families.
Research limitations/implications- Among the limitations of the study, the dispersed area that the villages are located in, the long distance between some villages, and the unwillingness of rural households for filling out the questionnaire can be mentioned. According to the role of non-farm activities on improving quality of life, suggestion of the study is to improve non-farming economy in rural areas. This, naturally, requires more attention to national macro-policies along with localization and necessitates implementation of successful global models regarding diversification of non-farming economy in rural areas.
Originality/Value- A review of the studies regarding economic activities diversification in Iran and the world shows that, at the time of this writing, none has dealt with the influence of economic activities diversification on rural families’ quality of life.


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