International Symposium on
Drylands Ecology and Human Security

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The Analysis of Dryland Sustainability

Ahmad Reza Ommani1, Mohammad Chizari2, Azadeh N. Noorivandi3

1Presenting Author: Department of Agriculture, Islamic Azad University-Shoushtar Branch, Iran
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2Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, College of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modaress University, Tehran, Iran
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3 Department of Agriculture, Agricultural and Natural Resources, Ramin University, Ahwaz, Iran
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Sustainability is the successful management of resources to satisfy the challenging human needs, while maintaining or enhancing the quality of environment and conserving natural resources. Farmers all over the world are working as managers of their farm, the farmers manage the production system to get returns from it. Effective management agriculture extension has special relevance in Iranian content where agriculture plays a key role in meeting food requirement and supporting raw materials. Effective management is crucial for obtaining high returns from a production system on sustained basis. Therefore, essential that the farmers and extension personnel are made aware of the local resources for developing the managerial ability of the farmers to make them move from traditional to cope up with new demands, new problems and new challenges. The purpose of this article is to present the results of a study done about the analysis of dryland sustainability of wheat farmers in Khuzestan province of Iran. The research method employed was correlative-descriptive. Wheat farmers in Khuzestan province were the target population for this study. A random sample of wheat farmers selected (N =5529, n=359). An indicator has been developed for determine level of dryland sustainability of wheat farmers in Khuzestan province of Iran. According to survey results, 70.5% of respondents reported their sustainability to be "unsustainable" and approximately 27% of respondents reported their sustainability to be "moderate" and 3% were sustainable. According to survey results, correlation between education level, participated to extension course, size of land holding, income, their social status, social participation, crop yield and their use of communication channels with level of dryland sustainability was significant. This research highlights the following key policy areas for agricultural sustainability:

  • promote support for agricultural development programs that build rural social capital, particularly for women,
    to access credit and microfinance
  • invest in public research and extension systems for adapting and transferring technologies
  • provide technical assistance and capacity-building for ministries of agriculture and natural resource management
  • work with farmers’ and rural people’s organizations to develop better methods for accessing market information
  • develop partnerships and use participatory approaches – with implementing and policy non-government organizations (NGOs), and national research and extension systems, the private sector, and policy making departments
  • increase support for research, which in some disciplines is increasingly being privatized and driven to specialize in the dryland systems of the rich, rather than addressing the need for sustainable intensification of farming for the employment-intensive poor

Keywords:  Sustainability, Dryland, Farmers