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Paper Information

Journal:   JOURNAL OF AGROECOLOGY (كشاورزي بوم شناختي)   2017 , Volume 7 , Number 2 ; Page(s) 17 To 30.
 
Paper: 

ASSESSMENT OF AGRICULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY IN ARDABIL PROVINCE USING A HYBRID APPROACH AHP AND TOPSIS

 
 
Author(s):  DAVARPANAH SHAHLA, HASHEMI BONAB SEDIGHEH*, KHODAVERDIZADEH MOHAMMAD
 
* DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS, AGRICULTURE FACULTY, URMIA UNIVERSITY, URMIA, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

Introduction: Over the last decade, pressure on natural resources has increased due to population growth and the need for food security. This is especially true in developing countries. Excessive use of productive inputs increases the importance of sustainable agriculture to enhance performance and reduce environmental degradation. Sustainable agriculture is the ability to properly manage natural resources to ensure food security and environmental sustainability (Praneetvatakul et al., 2001).This study aims to assess the sustainability of the common agricultural systems in Ardabil Province.
Materials and methods: For this purpose three criteria, each measure itself composed of several sub-criteria, for each city were considered. These included environmental, economic and social criteria. In total, 17 sub-criteria were under consideration for assessing agricultural sustainability. The study data required for standardization of an agricultural sustainability model were collected from sources as diverse as the Agricultural Organization, demographic yearbooks, the Regional Water Authority, and environmental organizations. The study also benefitted from views of technical experts in agriculture and the environment through questionnaires collected in 1395. In this study, to assess the sustainability of agriculture, combine quantitative and qualitative data, as well as achieve more effective decision-making, an approach with a combination of AHP and TOPSIS was used (Radulescu and Rahoveanu, 2010). Determination of Value-Weighted index was accomplished using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). The relative importance of each sub-option (agricultural areas) was also categorized using the TOPSIS technique (Dadashian et al., 2015).
Results and discussion: Based on the results, environmental criteria, with 0.443 relative weights, had the highest impact. Social criteria, with 0.169 relative weights, had the lowest effect on agricultural sustainability. Among the environmental sub-criteria, the most important were fertilizer and pesticide usage with 0.158 relative weights, and efficient irrigation systems with 0.145 weights. Soil salinity, as one of the environmental sub-criteria, had the lowest importance in the assessment of sustainability. From the economic sub-criteria, risk with 0.148 relative weights was the least important and crop yield with 0.295 relative weights was the most important. Among social criteria, presence in promotion classes with 0.377 weighted value and population density with 0.100 weighted value had a respectively high and low impact on sustainability. According to the results of regional ranking, Germi, Bilesavar and Meshginshahr, with weighted values of 0.624, 0.620 and 0.589, were the most favorable regions in terms of sustainability. Sarein, Nir and Parsabad, with weighted values of 0.395, 0.463 and 0.468, had the weakest sustainability. A one-by-one examination of the sustainability sub-criteria of the city of Germi reveals the main reasons for the optimal conditions for agricultural sustainability in this city compared to others. Germi has the maximum criteria of conservation tillage of about 6.10 and the aforementioned low criteria of soil salinity, fertilizer consumption and chemical pesticides. The results of this study showed that in more urban areas such as in Parsabad and the economic center, Maghan, the intended purpose is only maximum earnings and enhanced functioning, with no regard for sustainability or sustainable development issues.
Conclusion: Overall, the data showed the agricultural sustainability for Ardabil Province and determined the strengths and weaknesses of each city in the province. These results enable us to identify the importance of various criteria affecting sustainability and compare regions with good accuracy to apply appropriate policies to improve agricultural sustainability.

 
Keyword(s): SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, ENVIRONMENTAL, CRITERIA, WEIGHTED VALUE
 
References: 
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